Book Review: MASAAKI YUASA SKETCHBOOK FOR ANIMATION PROJECTS

(Book titles don't get more truthfully descriptive than that...) One of the most distinctly unique talents working in animation, Japanese artist Yuasa Masaaki has had quite some coverage on the Twitch site. You can say we're big fans of his... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Busan 2014 Review: THE NIGHT Boasts Strong Cast And Clear Message

The Korean winner of this year's Sonje Award for Best Short Film at the Busan International Film Festival, The Night is a simple 35-minute tale of college friends who fall prey to the norms of Korean society. Yet by touching... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: DISCONCERTO, An Uninspired and Lengthy Sequel To A Charming Odd-Couple Comedy

Centering on the adventures of Japan's original odd couple, Omori Tatsushi's 2011 comedy-drama Tada's Do-It-All House proved to be a hit in its home country, winning the heart of Japanese audiences thanks to an imaginative story of Tada (Eita), the... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: Peter Chan's DEAREST Devastates

Based on multiple true story accounts of child abduction in mainland China, Peter Chan's latest film Dearest is definitely not an easy watch. It follows a divorced couple in Shenzhen, the father Tian Wenjun (comedic actor Huang Bo) and mother... More »
  

Review: THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, Delightful For Children And Adults Alike

Director Takahata Isao's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a 10th century Japanese folk story which, despite some minor changes and an added love interest, is followed faithfully here. An old bamboo cutter, Okina is walking in the woods... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: THE COFFIN IN THE MOUNTAIN, An Entertaining And Cleverly Written Black Comedy

To make effective use of multi-perspective narrative is never an easy task, but first-time helmer Xin Yukun has found a perfectly workable way of implementing the risky technique within a story of a peaceful, rural Chinese village forcefully awakened from... More »
  

Camera Japan Review: SHORT PEACE Has Great Shorts But No Peace

(Otomo Katsuhiro once again searches for beauty in violence and destruction, and this time he has brought some friends...) Seeing anime on a big screen is always a special affair in the Netherlands, and there are only a few... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Busan 2014 Review: THE TRUTH SHALL NOT SINK WITH SEWOL Invokes Tears And Outrage

The Sewol Disaster, the most significant event to rock South Korea since the IMF Crisis in 1997, gets its first big screen treatment with The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol, the first of what are sure to be many... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: GENTLE, A Polished And Splendidly Acted Adaptation Of Dostoyevsky's Touching Short Story

Le-Van Kiet's Gentle starts with an unexpectedly drastic scene, as if trying to wash away the tranquility so pleasantly accentuated by the film's opening credits and its intriguing title, inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1876 short story 'A Gentle Creature'.From the... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: FANTASIA, A Beautifully-Lensed, But Overly Familiar Chinese Indie

In Wang Chao's Fantasia, one family's struggle to overcome a personal crisis, inevitably worsened by the father's progressive terminal illness, serves its purpose as a catalyst for the director to weave a tale of seemingly great social significance. Even though... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: KABUKICHO LOVE HOTEL, A Raunchy Charmer

Kabukicho Love Hotel (better translated as Sayonara Kabukicho) is the latest urban-centric film from esoteric director Hiroki Ryuichi (Vibrator). Although the film contains the sprawling metropolitan malaise that permeates his contemporary films, this is a far more accessible and crowd-pleasing effort that plays... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: FIRES ON THE PLAIN Drags Us Into The Abyss

Though based on Ooha Shohei's book of the same name rather than Ichikawa Kon's languid and harrowing 1959 film, Tsukamoto Shinya's Fires on the Plain was always going to be an entirely different beast. Low-budget and with a frenetic and... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: PARALLEL Means Well But Lacks Drive

The heart-warming story of a disabled ice hockey team's journey to the World Championships, Korean documentary Parallel is a testament to perseverance and passion in the face of adversity. However, at 70 minutes and with an all too easy to... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: FACTORY COMPLEX, An Artful Look At Korea's Beleaguered Workforce

It's no secret that workers are subjected to punishing conditions and constant humiliation in Korea, a country that has made the news recently for having the longest work hours and yet the least productivity among all OECD nations. New documentary... More »
  

Vancouver 2014 Review: EXIT Feels Pretty But Shallow

Chienn Hsiang's second feature, Exit, is lovely to look at, and pleasant enough to watch, but ultimately feels inconsequential. Chen Shiang-chyi stars as Lingzi, a childlike middle-aged woman finds herself alone for a few weeks while her teenaged daughter visits... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: SUNRISE Plunges Us Into Noirish And Riveting Tale Of Child Abduction

Indian cinema provides another jolt of electricity to the thriller genre with Sunrise, a tight, punchy neo-noir about child trafficking in Mumbai. Taking place at night, frequently under heavy rain and driven forward by a pulsating minimalist electro score, the... More »
  

Camera Japan 2014 Review: FORMA Demands Attention

(This review won't scratch the surface, and that is fully intentional...) At the start of Forma, you see one of its protagonists stick a pen in a cardboard box, making a small hole. She then puts the box on her... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Busan 2014 Review: LIVE TV Showcases Misogyny And Bad Filmmaking

Found footage horror and digital age social themes combine to disastrous effect in the lamentable and stunningly offensive Live TV, a midnight film at Busan that'll make you wish you'd turned in early. A pair of chauvinistic jackasses record their... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: RED AMNESIA Is Haunted By Forgotten Ghosts

Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle) returns to cap off his so-called legacy trilogy with a film that is one part thriller and one part melodrama. It does not always work, but when it does, it is largely thanks to the incredible... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: TIMING Mixes Overstuffed Narrative And Plain Animation

Popular webtoonist Kang Full has become a big name in Korean film over the last few years following the success of features based on his work, such as BA:BO (2008), Late Blossom (2011), Neighbors (2012), and 26 Years (2012). At... More »
  
 
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