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All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001)

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From the opening scene, the green rice fields and blue sky filling the screen, the main character standing alone, cut off from the world and cocooned inside the headphones feeding music by his favourite pop star Lily Chou-Chou straight through to his soul, this is a film about teenage isolation and the pain it spawns. It is by degrees dark and disturbing, light and humorous, painful, challenging and ultimately deeply affecting.

Partially inspired by Canto-pop phenomenon Faye Wong, a cross-cultural … (read more)

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Battle Royale II: Requiem (2003)

A bitter and bloody disappointment. The original, Battle Royale, was a truly impressive film which was showered in justified accolades. This one is a piece of total bollocks ripping off the reputation of its predecessor. Despite a pretty good cast, including Fujiwara and Maeda from the original and Oshinari from All About Lily Chou-Chou, this one is just a fire-fest of automatic weapons. And the cast is wasted: poor Oshinari is forced to scream his lines, while other … (read more)

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