- This week in cinemas: 'Firestorm' (3D, Hong Kong)
- Interview: Director Anthony Chen on 'Ilo Ilo'
- 'The Raid 2: Berandal' (Indonesia) teaser released
- Japanese Film Fest: Full Syd/Mel program
- This week in cinemas: 'The Act of Killing'
- This week in cinemas: 'Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon' (China)
- This week in cinemas: 'Out of Inferno' (Hong Kong, China)
- International Chinese Film Festival 2013 (Sydney, Melbourne)
- This week in cinemas: 'My Lucky Star' (China)
- Japanese Film Festival 2013
Reviews by Country
Here at Heroic Cinema, we’ve got a lot of love for the evergreen Ghost in the Shell universe. It seems to sprout a new variation every few years, and they’re always worth watching.
Akira and the original Ghost in the Shell film were my personal introduction to anime, many years ago, and I remember how refreshing it was to find cinematic visions of cyberpunk science fiction that just dumped you headlong into the mirrorshades-and-AI future, posing the sort of questions … (read more)
Last year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) brought us three very different films that shone a light on the pressure (shading towards the horror, in some cases) of high school in South Korea: the harrowing true story Silenced, the wistful, nuanced drama Bleak Night and the snarling animated film The King of Pigs.
This year they have programmed Pluto, another feature film that takes the pressure-cooker environment of the final years of high school as … (read more)
This year’s opening film for the Korean Film Festival in Australia, which I caught at the sold-out KOFFIA opening night in Sydney, is Jo Sung-hee’s A Werewolf Boy. It’s a great choice for an opening film — it’s a genre crossover (romantic melodrama with werewolves!) with stars in lead roles, it’s got a fresh new talent in the director’s chair, and it made serious bank back home: Werewolf Boy sold more than seven million tickets in South Korea, and … (read more)
Superstar Lee Byung-hun (JSA, A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil) gets to play the leading role twice over in Masquerade, a lavish South Korean costume drama set during the turbulent rule of King Gwang-hae of the Joseon Dynasty. (Wikipedia pegs this as 1608-1623, for those as ignorant of Korean history as I am.)
One role is that of young King Gwang-hae himself, maintaining his grip on his feuding court through political intrigue and … (read more)
It’s all coming up kaiju this year!
Inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s epic monsterpiece Pacific Rim and the upcoming 2014 Hollywood Godzilla reboot, I decided to set aside a few evenings and run through the Godzilla “Millennium Era” films and see what it’s all about really. Prior to these, I had only ever seen the classic 1954 film that started it all, and Madman have just released (and kindly sent us a review copy of) a box set, covering the … (read more)
Monsoon Shootout, which screened in competition at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, is the first feature film from Indian director Amit Kumar. A dark, introspective crime thriller, it takes as its subject the moral dilemma faced by a young policeman working in Mumbai’s slums, where gangland thugs face off against cops who don’t like doing paperwork.… (read more)
My first film at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was Outrage Beyond, the great Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s follow-up to 2010′s yakuza film Outrage. Set in the same universe of gangsters in pinstripes, black sedans and sudden violence, it picks up the story some years after the events of the first film.… (read more)
South Korean director Jang Hoon followed up his 2010 hit Secret Reunion (a fun spy-vs-spy thriller that sold 5.5 million tickets, coming in second for that year’s box office) with this, his third feature: a gigantic war film set during the 1953 ceasefire at the end of the Korean War.