Author Archives: Samson

Samson’s Favourites List of 2010!


I have finally got some spare time to write about my favourites amongst the films that I saw for the first time in 2010. Yes, I know it’s already the end of January and that in just 11 months’ time, we’ll have another new year to celebrate, but I’ve seen some great movies last year and so please let me tell you about them!

My Favourite Asian Films of 2010

(As I start putting the list together, I come to … (read more)

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Eden of the East (2009)

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If you ask me what my absolute favourite anime series from the last decade was, I will answer with a high level of certainty: ‘Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex‘. The handsomely drawn, brilliantly scripted and amazingly entertaining series is quite simply a modern anime masterpiece. The genius behind Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was director Kenji Kamiyama, and from this man now comes a new anime series, Eden of the East, which I … (read more)

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Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t (1992)

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I like sports movies, and I love Japanese sports movies. They are often touching, usually inspiring, and almost always entertaining. Sumo Do Sumo Don’t was one of the first sports movies that I have ever seen, and what a fine example of the genre it still is. I have had the joy of seeing this film again with its release on DVD in Australia, and here are my thoughts some 15 years on from the time I first saw it … (read more)

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Merantau (2009)

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It seems that every time I read or hear anything about Merantau, the new action film from Indonesia, it is invariably being compared with the Thai martial arts classic Ong Bak. Having just seen Merantau myself, I can certainly appreciate some similarities between the 2 films, in particular the starring of an unknown actor who has amazing fighting skills, combining speed, agility and fearlessness to wow the audience. However, there are also quite a lot of very obvious … (read more)

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Feel the Wind (2009)

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I am not a runner, and when I do run, I feel the pain (in my legs) more than I feel the wind (on my face). So after learning in Feel the Wind that anyone can run and enjoy running, I have decided I ought to get off my bottom a little more and do some exercise. Yes, Feel the Wind is that kind of movie. It is uplifting and inspirational, as it describes an incredible level of fitness that … (read more)

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Hanamizuki (Flowering Dogwood) (2010)

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Hanamizuki is a personal favourite of mine amongst all the films that I have seen at this year’s Japanese Film Festival. It is perhaps not as accomplished in various aspects as a few of the others, but it has managed to touch me and tug at my heartstrings in a way that no other films have done.

Based on the lyrics of a moving love song by Yo Hitoto (played in full at the end of the film), this story … (read more)

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Zero Focus (2009)

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If I were to make a film about my life right now, ‘Zero Focus’ would be a most appropriate title. But no, the Japanese film Zero Focus is not about some dude who is overworked, underpaid, struggling to juggle multiple commitments, while trying to watch as many good films as possible, all resulting in chronic sleep deprivation and therefore a pathologically shortened attention span. Instead, it is a suspense mystery drama.

The main character is Teiko (Ryoko Hirosue), a newly … (read more)

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Villon’s Wife (2009)

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”Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Otani (Asano Tadanobu) does not know what love is, but his wife Sachi (Matsu Takako) certainly does. He is a talented writer, but … (read more)

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