Internationl Reviews - Foreign, Overseas

Rotterdam 2016 Review: LOWLIFE LOVE Is Crafty, Filthy And Bitter

In Uchida Eiji's new film Lowlife Love, we get a nasty peek at the underbelly of the Japanese independent film scene. These are not the indies with a low budget, these are the indies with no budget, often made by... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: IP MAN 3, The Legendary Teacher Returns In Fine Form

In Ip Man 3, Donnie Yen returns for another outing as legendary martial arts instructor Ip Man. Still under the direction of Wilson Yip, the newest installment trades Sammo Hung for Yuen Wo-ping as action choreographer, ensuring that the extended... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: MOOR, A Story Of Broken Tracks, Broken Lives, And Building Hope

It seems as though no matter where you look in Pakistan these days, the spectre of British imperial rule looms over the nation in ways that are perhaps so deeply ingrained in the fabric of the nation that's it... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: INSIDE MEN, A Political Thriller That Goes For The Jugular

The year is almost up, the box office has been tallied and the people have spoken. Stories of greedy corporate heirs, crooked clergy, conniving journalists and dirty politicians have risen to the top of the pile, each more acerbic than... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE TIGER, A Gory, Gorgeous Battle To The Death

Following the record-breaking success of Roaring Currents, Choi Min-sik returns to screens in another big-budget period epic, this time hunting down the last Korean tiger (as opposed to the last tiger in Korea, because this feline clearly has a national... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE HIMALAYAS Swaps Snowflakes For Tears

For those looking for an expedition drama, be warned that despite its title, The Himalayas is first and foremost a melodrama. One concerning brotherhood, family and, above all, coping with grief. Himalayan expedition films seem to be in vogue at... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE WORLD OF KANAKO Goes Down A Cinematic Rabbit Hole

The first two minutes of Nakashima Tetsuya's violent and unrelenting The World of Kanako are a litmus test on whether one should proceed. A frenetic orgy of editing non sequiturs, both assaulting and attention grabbing, occurs right before slamming into... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Black Nights 2015 Review: LOEV, Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Same-sex activity is illegal in India, punishable by imprisonment. The release there of Deepa Mehta's film Fire, about a love affair between two women, incited violent protests in 1998. So the fact that Sudhanshu Saria's debut feature Loev was made... More »
  

Five Flavours 2015 Review: CROCODILE Drifts Through Arresting Yet Ponderous Poverty

Fable and reality mingle in Francis Xavier Pasion's Crocodile, a film riddled with beautiful imagery and terrible poverty. Based on real events and bookended by documentary footage of the story's real protagonists, the unique, swampy landscape of the Agusan Marsh... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Blu-ray Review: Finally, THE APU TRILOGY Receives The Attention It Deserves

I've been writing about Indian cinema for a little over five years now. I've been a fan of Indian cinema for right around ten years. Yet, until a couple of weeks ago, I had never seen any of the films... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Black Nights 2015 Review: UNDER THE SUN, A Peek At North Korean Propaganda

For much of the world, North Korea is an enigma. What little we know of it comes either from those who have escaped (who do not tend to paint a pretty picture) or what little information comes from the country... More »
  

Review: KEEPER OF DARKNESS Exorcises Nick Cheung's Directorial Demons

While remaining committed to the horror genre, Nick Cheung's second outing as director is a huge improvement on 2013's Hungry Ghost Ritual. Again casting himself in the lead, Cheung this time leaves writing duties to Yeung Sin Ling (Inner Senses,... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Five Flavours 2015 Review: THE LIGHT SHINES ONLY THERE Finds Hope In The Darkness

Sleepy Hokkaido sets the stage for an unusual friendship in The Light Shines Only There, in which a stoic young man holding on to a secret pain befriends a yellow-toothed, happy-go-lucky wastrel on parol. Destitution, emotional turmoil abound, yet this... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Black Nights 2015 Review: NIGHT SHIFT, Iranian Drama Meets Hitchcock

Niki Karimi has had a stellar career in Iranian cinema, first beginning as an actor, and moving into writing and directing in the past decade. Her most recent feature, Night Shift, is a serious and unusual blend of domestic drama... More »
  

Five Flavours 2015 Review: LAZY HAZY CRAZY, A Carnal And Vivacious HK Youth Film

Follies of youth, burgeoning passions and ephemeral connections form the backbone of Luk Yee-sum's sensational debut Lazy Hazy Crazy. Set in a Hong Kong that has seldom been seen on the big screen, here is a film that feels uniquely... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Now On Blu-ray: A SNAKE OF JUNE Is Still A Masterpiece

A bit of a spoiler alert up front, A Snake of June is my favorite Tsukamoto Shinya film. While I haven't seen all of them just yet, of the eight or so that I've managed to ingest, A Snake of... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: THE ASSASSIN, An Unqualified Success, Or, A Studied Bit Of Installation Art

The first thing that strikes you in The Assassin is the quiet. Hou Hsiao-Hsien's ruminative tone-poem, about a Tang Dynasty sell-sword tasked with killing kin, is a remarkably hushed affair. Be it dialogue, sound-effects or music, at no point does... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Busan 2015 Review: TWENTY TWO, Sober But Slow Portrait Of Chinese Comfort Women

One of most sensitive topics in regional Far East Asian politics these days, Japan's use of comfort women during the wane of its colonial empire is a constant talking point on the news. Among the more sobering and least sentimental... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2015 Review: RECORDING Chronicles Charming Cast In Forgettable Story

It's the small moments that work in Recording, a story that is low on ambition but infused with a winning charm even as it drags in the scripting department, particularly in the back half. Sweet and unaffected, Park Min-kook's debut... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2015 Review: SPECIAL ANNIE Awkwardly Switches From Subject To Artist

Ten years after her feature debut What Are We Waiting For?, documentarian Kim Hyun-kung returns with an intimate film that is both a portrait of a HIV-positive New Yorker and a filmmaker uncertain of her aims. Awkwardly straddling the border... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
 
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