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The Crimes That Bind (2018)

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(Ed: some might consider the following review to have some small spoilers. If you’re worried about that, go and catch it at the Japanese Film Festival and then come back and read our review!)

The mundane routine of actual police work has never been something that takes front and centre stage on our screens. From the days of the gumshoe detective, to the Lethal Weapons, to Miami Vice and NYPDCSINCIS, being a detective and hunting killers is exciting, dangerous, … (read more)

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Space Battleship Yamato (2010)

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You get what you pay for and in cinematic terms the currency, as everyone should know, is genre. If you go to see a big budget action movie, you should probably expect a big budget action movie and all that entails, and you really shouldn’t complain if you get it. In my opinion, it’s important to be clear on this concept; that way you don’t end up sitting behind me in the cinema making annoying pseudo-intellectual comments about a) the … (read more)

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Departures (Okuribito) (2008)

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Every human culture has its own death ritual, and if most of us thought about it much, we probably never considered how something common to every human on the planet can be regarded so differently. Because death, as equalising as it is, is a very personal thing. It’s difficult to understand someone else’s grief, difficult to face it in others and difficult to deal with it within one’s self. So, for a film to treat the topic of death, grief … (read more)

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Kagemusha: The Shadow Warrior (1980)

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Akira Kurosawa is one of world cinema’s best-loved directors. Celebrated both in his native Japan and (perhaps especially) overseas, he directed some of cinema’s most enduring and famous stories, and was responsible for bringing Japan’s cinema industry to the world’s attention with 1950’s Rashomon. Fans of action cinema will be (or should be!) familiar with The Seven Samurai, his long but brilliant film tracing the story of a group of samurai hired to protect a village from marauding … (read more)

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