Reviews by Country
Perhaps you’ve never thought about what you’re watching in those two hours in the cinema when Studio Ghibli, arguably the most renowned Japanese animation studio on the planet, is working its narrative and visual magic on you. After all, it’s easy to be caught up in a Ghibli film, transported. It’s what they do, what they’ve always done, and it’s easy to forget the hundreds of people and the thousands (and thousands) of work hours that go into making a … (read more)
Maybe I’m a bit of a romantic, but the story of Romeo and Juliet, those most famous of star-crossed lovers, is a story that never seems to get old. There’s something fundamentally appealing about two people that want to be together but can’t, and Patema Inverted is, in a very literal sense, Romeo and Juliet for the far flung future. It’s not the Montagues and the Capulets keeping the would-be lovers Patema and Age apart however, but gravity.
Patema lives … (read more)
By now it should come as no surprise that South Korea makes some damn fine films. In fact, if there’s anyone out there consistently living up to the U.S. action blockbuster in terms of content if not money, it’s definitely South Korea. The 2013 offering, The Suspect, directed with a controlled hand by Won Shin-yeon (Seven Days), not only is a thoroughly exciting action movie but it’s also a better-than-decent espionage thriller, a little bit Robert Ludlum, … (read more)
For once I’m watching a series-based movie with absolutely no knowledge of the series, and in this case I can’t help but think I perhaps haven’t found the best entry. Fairy Tail Phoenix Priestess gives the impression that its strengths lie in the direction of the series, where you have time to develop some level of interest in and attachment to the characters. In feature length format, there’s just a few too many of them to really get involved in … (read more)
It’s funny what kind of impression you get from movie posters, and I guess in that light, movie poster design isn’t anywhere near an easy thing. Take for instance the poster for Daihachi Yoshida’s The Kirishima Thing. Looking at the dominating image of the bespectacled student with the 8mm camera, you would think it’s a movie about one person, probably a school student, who makes movies. You’d only be partially right. Kirishima Thing doesn’t have nearly that level of … (read more)
There’s something fundamentally appealing about stories about siblings – particularly brothers and specifically twins. Socially, twins are still seen as something worth remark. Scientifically, the study of twins might even help science identify where genetics influences human development and growth and where it doesn’t. But mythologically, brothers have long held a strong and undeniable fascination. Cain and Abel, Romulus and Remus, Castor and Pollux, Famamir and Boromir, Thor and Loki, Dean and Sam, Dante and Virgil. Brothers are either at … (read more)
One of the questions that apparently many Japanese are asked – at least if you go by the awesome pre-recorded Q&A session that ran before the Gold Coast Film Festival’s screening of Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie and featured the voice actors for both Naruto (Junko Takeuchi) and Kakashi (Kazuhiko Inoue) – is why do foreigners like anime?
It’s an interesting question, in fact. Why do we like anime (well, those of us who are fans at least)? The … (read more)
It’s nice to see some turn about being fair play in Lee Sang Il’s Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 cowboy eulogy, The Unforgiven, and in some historical sense it is in fact satisfyingly apt. The samurai period film and the American western have a long history of inter-relatedness, both thematically and as a matter of record. In 1954, inspired by the early films of American western directors like Howard Hawks and John Ford, Akira Kurosawa made what is … (read more)