Review: THE LUNCHBOX, An Exquisite Ode To Love And Longing

Dabba (The Lunchbox) by Ritesh Batra is an exquisite, bittersweet ode to love and longing from India, that makes your heart sing. A debut feature that screened at the Cannes Film Festival, it won the Grand Rail d'Or Award in... More »
  

Review: THE WIND RISES Flies Into Fantasy, While Bound To Reality

Anticipation levels are always high with the release of a new Studio Ghibili movie, and even higher when the director and writer is the father of the company and man behind its best works, Miyazaki Hayao. While Miyazaki's previous two... More »
  

Documentary Fortnight 2014 Review: CAMPAIGN 2, A Revealing Examination of the Absurdities of Japanese Politics

As the title indicates, Kazuhiro Soda's latest film Campaign 2, the fifth of his self-described "observational documentaries," is a follow-up to his 2007 film Campaign, which followed Kazuhiko "Yama-san" Yamauchi's 2005 run for a city council seat in Kawasaki City,... More »
  

Review: OMAR, A Heart Pounding Thriller And Tragic Love Story Set In The Occupied Territories

With Omar, this is the second time Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. (His previous effort, Paradise Now, ended up winning a Golden Globe only.) Even if you take away... More »
  

DVD Review: Urasawa Naoki's MONSTER, Episodes 16-30

(Secret societies are all fun and games, until someone starts planning a genocide...) Last weekend, the whole world seemed to be watching marathon sessions of House of Cards when its second season arrived on Netflix. Not me though: I had... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: THE PINKIE Is Fun, But Comes Up A Bit Short

(Talk about a film trying hard to wrap you around its little finger...) Lisa Takeba's feature film debut The Pinkie was one of the many World Premieres this year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. A flashy little comedy drama... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: SPROUT's Short and Sweet Seoul Odyssey

A little girl's trip to the market becomes a charming journey through modern Korea in Yoon Ga-eun's delightful short film Sprout, which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival last October. Korean indie cinema often makes a point of demonstrating... More »
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: Grand and Hypnotic, A DREAM OF IRON Won't Soon Be Forgotten

Early on in A Dream of Iron, a new documentary premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival this year, director Kelvin Kyung Kun Park shows us images a whales moving through the vast blue expanse of the ocean - enormous... More »
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: THE MIDNIGHT AFTER, Fruit Chan's Maddening Pop-Art Apocalypse

It should have been clear as soon as the title, "Based on the novel by PIZZA", rolled onscreen. Fruit Chan's The Midnight After was sure to be loopy, irreverent and a rare kind of crazy. And it was! But... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: Subdued Yet Powerful, NIGHT FLIGHT Soars

LeeSong Hee-il returns to Berlin a year after White Night (2012) with his fourth feature Night Flight. While his last film was a subdued but powerful work about lingering memories of homophobia in modern Seoul, his new film is his... More »
  

Review: A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING, A British Horror-Comedy With A Strong Heart

A quirky gem of a film, Crispian Mill's feature film debut A Fantastic Fear of Everything fits well into the British tradition of horror-comedy, where slightly-crazed logic flows along with an acceptance of the weird, the existential and the eccentric.... More »
  

Review: VENUS TALK Drowns Out Despite Strong Female Stars

As a fan of Moon So-ri and production company Myung Films, I felt that I should be excited about Venus Talk, their first collaboration since Im Sang-soo's excellent A Good Lawyer's Wife (2003). But on the other hand, with its... More »
  

Review: THE HUNTRESSES Misfire in Poorly-Plotted Blunder

Following the recent hits Masquerade (2012) and last year's The Face Reader, period films are set to make a big push into the Korean market in 2014 with at least six big Joseon era films poised to flood the market.... More »
  

Review: THE SATELLITE GIRL AND MILK COW Shows Promise for Korean Animation

There is no shortage of skilled animators in Korea, but following the floundering of the local animation industry in the 1970s, most of that talent went into domestic TV production or was sucked into the outsourced contracts of far more... More »
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: Miike Takashi's THE MOLE SONG - UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI

(Rest assured that people of the fashion police will leave the cinema in tears...) An International Film Festival Rotterdam without a Miike Takashi film is almost unthinkable. Ever since Audition screened, back in 1999, the eclectic director has sent a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2014 Review: LIAR'S DICE Gives A Rising Star Another Chance To Shine

Indian independent cinema has been on the rise for the last couple of years. A rapid increase in visibility and growing interest in the biggest film industry in the world have fed this sudden surge in homespun tales of life... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: Electric Song Kang-ho Leads Courtroom Drama THE ATTORNEY

The combination of politics and cinema has led to some of the most incendiary films the medium has ever produced. Though a tricky balancing act that requires a deft handling of ideologies and a sensitive navigation of contemporary political climates,... More »
  

Sundance 2014 Review: WEB JUNKIE Presents A Balanced Case

How many hours do you spend at your computer every day? Six? Ten? Eight? Well, if you answer any of those or more, according to the People's Republic of China you have a disability, a problem, a sickness, an addiction.... More »
  

Review: THE MONKEY KING Is A Hot Mess From The Heavens

Soi Cheang's The Monkey King finally arrives in time for the Chinese New Year holiday, but despite a spirited central performance from an unrecognisable Donnie Yen, the film proves a chaotic maelstrom of make-up and computer-generated imagery that struggles to... More »
  

Review: Chow Yun Fat Wins Big In FROM VEGAS TO MACAU

Chow Yun Fat and writer-director Wong Jing return to the casino floor in this light-hearted action comedy that casts Chow alongside Nicolas Tse and Chapman To as con artists out to take down an international gambling syndicate. With his trademark... More »
  
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