Niels Matthijs
Antwerp, Belgium

Niels joined Twitch back in 2009. Convinced that there is no such thing as too obscure, he set out to cover some of the weirdest, oddest and incomprehensibly overlooked Asian films. When he's not watching celluloid, he's either writing about his love for electronic music and webdesign or enjoy life with his soon to be wife.

Review: KEIBETSU (Ryuichi Hiroki)

Hiroki fans rejoice, because the Gods of Cinema just blessed us with an English-friendly DVD release of one of Ryuichi Hiroki's latest gems. Keibetsu (or The Egoists if you prefer the English title) is once again quality output, highlighting Hiroki's... More »

RIP Kon: PERFECT BLUE (Personal Favorites #93)

RIP Satoshi Kon. I realize I'm a bit late (tomorrow it will be exactly two years since the man died from pancreatic cancer), but since then I haven't really found a chance to pay proper tribute to one of the... More »

Review: FIRST TIME (Han Yan)

The past 10-15 years Chinese cinema got a major overhaul. It used to be a playground for hardcore arthouse directors and poverty porn enthusiasts, with only a few exceptions made for martial arts fare. But nowadays there's a movement of... More »

Review: SURVIVE STYLE 5+ (Personal Favorites #52)

Dear mister Gen Sekiguchi, where the hell did you disappear to? More than 8 years ago you gave us a film that ranks as one of the best Japanese comedies ever produced. Not only that, it's also one of the... More »

Review: ERASERHEAD (Personal Favorites #42)

If there is one film that ultimately led to the existence of Twitch, it's probably Eraserhead. The one film that kick-started a whole league of weird and vague little films garnering underground followings, the mother of all cult films. Twitch... More »

Review: HOTARU NO HAKA (Personal Favorites #33)

Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies) is a very depressing film. So much in fact that Ghibli made an entirely new film (Tonari no Totoro) to cushion the blow upon its release. They even packaged it as a double... More »

Review: TOKYO-KEN (Personal Favorites #39)

Some people firmly believe Rocky is the best boxing film out there, others swear by Scorsese's Raging Bull. If you ask me, there hasn't been any film that could match the sheer adrenaline springing from Tsukamoto's boxing hands. Tokyo Ken... More »

Review: DENSEN UTA (Masato Harada)

Densen Uta (Suicide Song) is one of those films that is bound to attract the wrong audience. The film is often categorized as a regular J-Horror, case in point the many reviews trying to fault it for not being something... More »

Review: CHERNOBYL DIARIES (Bradley Parker)

Oren "Paranormal Activity" Peli returns to the big screen after wrapping up his short and rather underwhelming series The River, finally abandoning the found footage fare for a more traditional horror setup. The result is Chernobyl Diaries, a film that... More »

Review: HEBI NI PIASU (Yukio Ninagawa)

Whenever the word hebi (snake) pops up in Japanese film titles chances are you can expect something situated in the margins of society. Notorious examples are Shinya Tsukamoto's Rokugatsu No Hebi and Takashi Ishii's Hana To Hebi (beware!). Compared to... More »

Review: RAMPO JIGOKU (Personal Favorites #61)

Back when the Japanese horror scene was dominated by black-haired, female ghosts draped in long white gowns, ever fueling the regressing less is more aesthetic, there was one project that rose from the stale ashes left by hundreds of rip-offs... More »

Review: TADA, KIMI WO AISHITERU (Takehiko Shinjo)

If the name Takehiko Shinjo doesn't ring a bell, it's because the man usually limits himself to a type of film that has a hard time establishing itself outside of Japan. Romance isn't the most challenging genre to begin with... More »

Review: Shiki-Jitsu (Personal Favorites #13)

Chances are you know Hideaki Anno only from his involvement in Evangelion. The man rose to fame when his series aired 15 years ago. It marked the start for a series of sequels, reboots, manga adaptations and an unlimited slew... More »

NYAFF 2012 Review: STARRY STARRY NIGHT, A Beautiful Portrait of Youth

With its New York premiere happening Tuesday, July 3rd as part of the 2012 New York Asian Film Festival, we now revisit Niels Matthijs review from earlier in the year.Tom Lin's latest endeavor may be his definite ticket to international... More »

Review: CHA NO AJI (Personal Favorites #81)

What a weekend it was, a little more than 8 years ago. Probably my favorite film-related weekend ever, with Vital, Cha No Aji and Survive Style 5+ on the menu. All three films ended up in my personal top 100... More »

Review: WILD 7 (Eiichiro Hasumi)

It may sound a bit weird, but straight-up, modern action flicks aren't all that common in Japan. Usually Japanese action films are coupled to (and eclipsed by) other genres (like sci-fi, kaiju, martial arts or samurai), leaving only a few... More »

Review: ALLEGRO (Personal Favorites #21)

When Christoffer Boe made Allegro, he was faced with the almost impossible task to follow up Reconstruction with a film that would meet, preferably even exceed people's expectations. Allegro doesn't quite cut it, but man does it come close. It's... More »

Review: NINTAMA RANTARO (Takashi Miike)

In case you haven't noticed, I have a thing for Takashi Miike films (Visitor Q, 46 Okunen No Koi, Crows Zero). It's not easy to keep up with his work as often only the more decent, arthouse-safe releases are finding... More »

Review: NORWEGIAN WOOD (Anh Hung Tran)

I'm not really the biggest Anh Hung Tran fan, but I do follow his work from a distance. While not truly spectacular, I appreciated the soft-natured atmosphere of Mua He Chieu Thang Dung, Xich Lo on the other hand was... More »

Review: Three Times (Personal Favorites #49)

It's been a while since Hsiao-hsien Hou made anything substantial. Safe a quick short film (as part of the 10+10 anthology project) little has been heard from him ever since he released Le Voyage Du Ballon Rouge. At one point... More »
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