Reviews by Country
Call it a coming of age story if you want. The Peter Pan of ninjas can play all day and never take things too seriously. Until he has to. Call it a round-about revenge tale, or even a moral play. It is a little Shakespearean in its developments, and its style of humour (and a brilliant momentary break in the fourth wall) certainly does justice to the Bard. Or call it, perhaps most importantly, a serious Japanese contender for Guy … (read more)
As the Shaw Brothers film studio business was winding down, resulting in an output of lesser quality than the preceding decades, The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter burst forth, a bellowing send-off for both a voluminous cycle of movies and a star who died too young. Bursting with vigour and capturing much of what made the studio and director famous, it never settles for imitating the past, still refining techniques and pushing new ideas.
This is not immediately evident as the … (read more)
Festival season is upon us once again, and the fine folks at the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) are putting on another great show for us starting this Thursday 17 August. This year the festival is popping up in eight Australian cities, starting with Sydney and ending in Hobart & Darwin in late September:
Sydney: 17-26 August
Adelaide: 1-3 September
Perth: 1-3 September
Melbourne: 7-14 September
Brisbane: 8-10 September
Canberra: 15-17 September
Darwin… (read more)
Some movies opt for a mysterious title to incite audience interest, while some movies are more up front. Assassination is pretty up front. Yet there’s so much more to it than that one noun bluntly seems to state.
Director Choi Dong-hoon returns with another big-budget rollercoaster of a film, sharing many faces with his last feature The Thieves. Also similar to his previous hit is the basic structure of Assassination, with a large cast maneuvering their way to … (read more)
The whimsical opening music of Gorgeous accompanies the narration of a romantic legend, while the camera pans across a dazzling night sky. This is promptly followed by a CGI fish burp gag. It’s not a movie to be taken seriously, but still ultimately wants to be a fairytale romance at heart. I can’t believe I watched this with my brothers back in the day without squirming.
Innocent, starry-eyed, Taiwanese girl Bu (Shu Qi) strikes out for the big city with … (read more)
Melbourne fans of Japanese cinema, listen up: the Cinémathèque program at ACMI on Wednesday nights is starting a program of films by popular Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda films this week, entitled Dreams of Everyday Life: The Quixotic Cinema of Hirokazu Kore-eda. It runs from July 5 to July 19, and includes the following films:
7:00pm – Maborosi (1995)
9:00pm – I Wish (2011)
7:00pm – After Life (1998)
9:10pm – Still Walking (2008)
JULY 19… (read more)
The Rebel is a fascinating viewing experience. The occasional Vietnamese film has made a name outside its homeland — we even have a few reviewed here on HC — but mostly we see the country through the filmic lens of western Vietnam war films. So it’s always interesting when a homegrown production comes along to lend its own voice to the conversation. When it’s as well-made as this film, it’s a pleasure to watch as well.
The Rebel goes back … (read more)