Behemoth (2015)

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Behemoth

Competing in the 2015 Stockholm International Film Festival’s Documentary section, Behemoth is a visually striking documentary about the negative effects that coal mining in rural Mongolia have on the environment, and the lives and health of the coal miners. Although the film strives to connect the dots between the causation of air pollution in big cities in China like Beijing that is in part due to unchecked industrial development, such as coal mining and the running of steelworks, it is … (read more)

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Bilocation (2013)

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Bilocation

Mari Asato spins a new take on the well-worn theme of of doppelgängers in this creepy thriller. Bilocation is about an aspiring painter named Shinobu (Asami Mizukawa) and the harrowing discovery that she has an identical self who is traipsing around the city with a completely different will and in a parallel existence, totally unaware that she is just an apparition of the real copy.

Shinobu is a loner, preferring to spend her time in her studio painting, hoping to … (read more)

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Revivre (2014)

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Revivre

As the European title of the film suggests, the story is about rebirth or to come alive again. Interestingly, Revivre’s Korean title Hwajang (화장) means “cremation” and “make-up”, and as the film progresses all of these meanings come into play in the narrative of the story, culminating in an end that is at once poignant and thought-provoking, and kept me guessing at the outcome until the credits rolled.

What’s seemingly a bland story about a senior executive’s ordeal in … (read more)

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Lost in Hong Kong (2015)

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Lost in Hong Kong

I will admit to not having been in a big hurry to see this film, as I had recently watched Lost in Thailand, the second entry in this loosely-connected series. I can only describe that feature as being interminably long and totally unfunny — not good descriptions for a comedy. Also, I wasn’t a fan of mainland star and director Xu Zheng, but I do like Zhao Wei and her recent films have been so varied (Dearest, Hollywood (read more)

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Melbourne Giveaway: Free tickets to ‘The Assassin’

Shu Qi in The Assassin

Attention, Melbourne cinema fans! We have a great giveaway to hand out this week, courtesy of the Cinema Nova on Lygon Street: ten free double passes to see Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin at a special advance screening on Sunday 11 October at 10am.… (read more)

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My Ordinary Love Story (2014)

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My Ordinary Love Story

My Ordinary Love Story is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

My Ordinary Love Story is not your ordinary love story. It starts off as one, but soon takes you on an unexpectedly wild ride along with the film’s main couple, Eun-jin and Hyeon-suk.

Eun-jin is an almost-30 year old woman who has yet to find the right man; that is, until she meets the plain but loving Hyeon-suk. The … (read more)

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The Target (2014)

The Target

The Target is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

The Target begins with a rainy cold-open in which Baek Yeo-hoon (Ryu Seung-ryong) staggers out of a building, a bullet wound in his stomach and a grizzled grimace on his face. He’s pursued by a couple of literally jackbooted thugs with guns who seem intent on finishing him off — and although Baek makes it out alive, he’s hospitalised. The credits … (read more)

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The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

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The Admiral: Roaring Currents

The Admiral: Roaring Currents is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

For me, not being Korean, it is hard to get behind Korean nationalism. Period piece war movies like The Admiral have this nationalistic intent, meant to inspire pride whilst reminding us of the sacrifice made by those who’ve died in history — as an almost direct connection to our present selves.  Being able to empathise with the characters plays … (read more)

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