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: THIS MUST BE THE PLACE Mixes Comedy, Absurdity, and Human Drama

For some people, This Must Be The Place will be the new Sean Penn flick, for others it will be the new Paolo Sorrentino film. The difference may seem futile, but based on this simple distinction you might say that... More »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

Review: HELLS ANGELS (HERUZU ENJUERUZU) Is The Greatest Story Ever Told

Fans of Dead Leaves and Redline, rejoice. From out of nowhere Madhouse releases Heruzu Enjueruzu (Hells Angels), a wicked, manic and no-boundaries anime that may feel like a Studio 4°C project but has its roots firmly in the Madhouse foundation.... More »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

Review: An Opposing View On THE TALL MAN (AKA THE SECRET)

Pascal Laugier's The Tall Man opened recently in Belgium theaters under its new name The Secret. Our own Peter Martin was hardly ecstatic when he reviewed Laugier's latest, stating:... what's needed is something incendiary, something that will provoke a deep... More »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

Fantastic Fest 2012 Review: LEE'S ADVENTURE

Talk about a pleasant surprise. I referenced the new and upcoming generation of Asian film makers a couple of times already (pk.com.cn, Honey PuPu), Lee's Adventure is allowed to join this illustrious duo as the film further underlines my belief... More »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

Review: QIANXI MANBO (Personal Favorites #57)

Qianxi Manbo was the first Hsiao-shien Hou film I watched, though I must admit that back then I didn't have a clue who Hou was. But the film spoke to me in a way that few other films had before... More »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  

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 »
By Niels Matthijs   
  
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