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The Place Promised in our Early Days (2004)

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The Place Promised in Our Early Days is the first full length feature from Mokoto Shinkai. Shinkai first came to prominence with Voices From a Distant Star, an anime that he produced almost single-handedly. Voices From A Distant Star, with its melancholy voice over and themes of separation and loss, was not only an awesome achievement but also an incredibly emotionally resonant piece that announced the arrival of a true auteur.

With Place, Shinkai again returns to … (read more)

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Café Lumiere (2003)

Hou Hsaio-hsien’s Café Lumiere, his plaintive tribute to the incomparable Yasujiro Ozu, is certainly sure to piss off large sections of its audience. I had the curious experience of seeing it with quite a big audience at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and much of this crowd was comprised of people who were only there to ensure themselves good seats for the next session in that cinema: Kung Fu Hustle, introduced live by Stephen Chow himself. Needless to … (read more)

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