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: 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 »
  

When Protagonists Deserve To Die

Horror films... they belong to what is probably the most feel-good genre around. Think about it, whatever kind of evil force (be it groups of deformed hillbillies, bloodsucking vampires, scarred slashers or ghastly alien predators) the writers release on their... More »
  

Review: KOFUKU NO KANE (Personal Favorites #20)

Kofuku no Kane is what happens when three of my favorite Japanese film people get together to make film. It's the highpoint in the oeuvre of director Hiroyuki Tanaka (Usagi Drop, Monday, Kanikosen), which wasn't shy of good films to... More »
  

Review: SLEEPWALKER (Oxide Pang)

I'm not quite sure how they do it, but the Pang Bros keep producing films at an excruciating pace, be it by themselves or in collaborative efforts. I'm not one to complain though, I'm always in for a bit of... More »
  

Review: PISTOL OPERA (Personal Favorites #32)

If you're into weird and you haven't seen Pistol Opera yet, just skip this review and make sure you go into the film as blank as possible. Pistol Opera is without a doubt one of the strangest cinematic experiences of... More »
  

Review: THE FLOWERS OF WAR (Yimou Zhang)

Yimou Zhang is back with a new film and once again he means business. The Flowers Of War is China's most expensive film yet and it's one of the first major Chinese films to prominently feature an American Hollywood star... More »
  

Review: A DAY ON THE PLANET (Isao Yukisada)

Isao Yukisada (Parade, Women Play Twice) may not be amongst the most famous of Japanese directors, quality-wise he's easily one of the most consistent ones I know. His output ranges from good to great, never truly peaking but never failing... More »
  

Review: TAKESHIS' (Personal Favorites #75)

What would happen if a director made a film about himself? And how would that film be affected if this director just happened to be a real multi-talented control freak? You don't need to look any further than Takeshis', Takeshi... More »
  

Review: Calvaire (Personal Favorites #80)

Fabrice du Welz raised quite a few heads when he released Calvaire. Not only are Belgian horror films a rare commodity, for a freshman effort Calvaire felt surprisingly mature and focused. Clearly this wasn't some kind of semi-professional one-off, but... More »
  

Review: LIFE CAN BE SO WONDERFUL (Osamu Minorikawa)

Osamu Minorikawa's Life Can Be So Wonderful is a film that illustrates exactly what the recent output of Japanese cinema is missing. It's a very unique, personal and free-form film that exists outside of most genre boundaries and definitions. Just... More »
  

Review: TALKING HEAD (Personal Favorites #40)

Mamoru Oshii (Kokaku Kidotai, Innocence, Patlabor 2, Sky Crawlers) has one hell of an impressive resume, containing some of the biggest, challenging and most successful animation films out there. At the same time he never stopped experimenting, expanding his oeuvre... More »
  

Review: INTRUDERS (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)

Intruders is a rare little bird. It's a 'big-budget' horror flick directed by someone who dares to put his own style forward. It's unlike the poor reboots that plague the American horror market, but it certainly has the dollars to... More »
  

Review: HANA-BI (Personal Favorites #90)

If you haven't seen any Takeshi Kitano (Kikujiro no Natsu, Achilles to Kame, Kantoku: Banzai!) films yet, Hana-bi is probably one of the best starting points in the man's oeuvre. It's one of his more accessible films, but it still... More »
  

Review: VERSUS (Personal Favorites #36)

There is no doubt that Versus was Ryuhei Kitamura's (LoveDeath) break-through film. His two earlier efforts made little or no splash in the film world, but once Kitamura released Versus doors started to open. As often the case, Kitamura never... More »
  

Review: NIGHTFALL (Roy Chow Hin-Yeung)

Nightfall is what you call quality genre film making. It's a film that raises clichés to an artform. There are no surprises, no deviations from the norm, but the execution is simply flawless. Amidst an endless list of competing police... More »
  

Review: LIVIDE (Bustillo and Maury)

Five years ago director duo Bustillo and Maury unleashed À l'Intérieur onto the general public, a film that may be described as one of the most suspenseful and gory films of the past decade and one of the highlights of... More »
  
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