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Fantasia 2017 Review: ALMOST COMING, ALMOST DYING Shreds Dignity For Laughs In Surprising Ways

In french, an orgasm is sometimes referred to as, la petite mort, or little death. The phrase can also infer, with less existential hubris, simply a nervous spasm. Kobayashi Toshimasa playfully uses the two ideas in his feature film debut Almost...

Japan Cuts 2017 Interview: Kan Hanae on Sex and Religion in WEST NORTH WEST and Unleashing Rap Fury in YAMATO (CALIFORNIA)

Having begun her acting career at age 10 in the hands of legendary Japanese director Suzuki Seijun, Kan Hanae has never stopped working.  Attending Japan Cuts, with not one, but two films, Kan spoke with me about the challenges of...

Fantasia 2017 Review: A DAY (하루), Blockbuster, Rinse, Repeat

When a child dies in an accident, regardless of fault, the parents will live that horrible day over and over again in their mind. They will wonder if only something was different, a phone call, a change of plans, an...

BiFan 2017 Review: MON MON MON MONSTERS, Giddens Ko's Brutal, Stylish High School Horror-Comedy

Taiwanese filmmaker Giddens Ko returns to high school for his follow up to the massively entertaining and successful You Are the Apple of My Eye, but things take a much darker turn in Mon Mon Mon Monsters, a mile-a-minute horror-comedy...

Review: THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND, Impressive Action Torpedoed by Nationalism

Following a pair of blockbusters, action maestro Ryoo Seung-wan aims to outdo his past successes with The Battleship Island, the biggest Korean release of the year. Set on a Japanese labor camp island, this star-driven, big-budget period escape drama strives...

BiFan 2017 Review: RYEOHAENG Casts Abstract Light on NK Refugees

Director Im Heung-soon returns for his third feature, casting his artistic light on another under-served segment of the population with the documentary Ryeohaeng. Focusing on the lives of several female North Korean defectors in Korea, Im contrasts talking heads positioned...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: Superstar Gang Dong-won on VANISHING TIME, Upcoming JIN-ROH and 1987

At the moment, in Korea, there aren’t many stars that shine brighter or hotter than Gang Dong-won.  The leading man of more than 20 features creates frenzies everywhere he goes, as proven by his appearance to receive the Star Asia...

PARADOX World Premiere to Open Hong Kong Summer Film Fest

Wilson Yip's much-anticipated action thriller Paradox will have its world premiere on 15 August as the Opening Film of this year's Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival, organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.   Paradox is the...

Fantasia 2017 Review: JAILBREAK, An Exceptional Addition to Martial Arts Cinema Coming Out of Southeast Asia.

A group of Special Task Force Officers are escorting Playboy, a reported crime boss of the Butterfly Gang to Prei Klaa prison. Playboy though, claims that he is not the true boss and will reveal their identity when he is...

Fantasia 2017 Review: Thai Period Action Flick BROKEN SWORD HERO Introduces a New Action Talent

Joi’s childhood was plagued with teasing and bullying by the governor's son and his friends. Though his father refuses to put him in a Muay Thai school, Joi secretly trains himself.   When a confrontation with his bullies leaves the...

BiFan 2017 Review: BEHIND THE DARK NIGHT Swedes Its Way to Victory

Low-budget, semi-autobiographical indies about young men trying to make their feature film debuts have been done to death in Korea (Cheer Up Mr. Lee, We Will Be OK and Director's Cut come to mind), so expectations were muted for Behind...

BiFan 2017 Review: GODSPEED Revs Up Violence and Humor in Artful Road Movie

Hong Kong comedy star Michael Hui returns after a long absence in the latest from Taiwanese filmmaker Chung Mong-hong, A road movie about a drug deal gone wrong, Godspeed may not appear special on the surface, but this mashup of...

BiFan 2017: THE TWIN Takes Top NAFF Project Award

The Network of Asian Fantastic (NAFF) Films brought its tenth anniversary project market to a close earlier this week, and gave its top prize to the Finish horror project The Twin by director Taneli Mustonen. Mustonen's Lake Bodom also screened...

BiFan 2017: THE ENDLESS and BEHIND THE DARK NIGHT Triumph on Closing Night

After eight days of screenings and round-the-clock BBQ, the 21st edition of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) held its closing ceremony at Bucheon's City Hall on Friday, July 21st. Topping the awards during the night was The Endless,...

Kitamura's DOWNRANGE on Its Way to Thrill in 2018

Kitamura Ryuhei cemented his place in the genre hall of fame with Versus back at the turn of the century. Since then he's found himself in and out of favor with fans as he made the likes of Aragami, Agumi,...

TRIPLE THREAT Teaser: Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen Team-Up

In which the headline says it all and I don't need to write anything else... Okay, well, that's not quite true. Only a few days after announcing they accquired the North American rights, WellGo USA has dropped a teaser to...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: MAD WORLD Director Wong Chun Challenges Misconceptions of Mental Illness

For his first feature film, director Wong Chun decided to shine a spotlight on the serious topic of mental illness, and one Hong Kong family’s struggle to cope. The project generated such momentum that both of its stars, Shaun Yue,...

New York Asian 2017 Interview: Legend Eric Tsang on Giving Back and Revitalising Hong Kong Cinema

One of the true legends of Hong Kong cinema, Eric Tsang has made more than 250 films in a career spanning over 40 years that shows no sign of stopping.     Tsang came to the New York Asian Film...

Pretty Packaging: The French PERFECT BLUE Is A Total Jawdropper

As part of celebrating 100 years of Japanese animation, French distributor Kaze released a special edition of Perfect Blue, Satoshi Kon's debut film as a director. This happens to be one of my favorite anime. Satoshi Kon basically used the...

New FIREWORKS Trailer for Japanese Animated Adaptation Skews Gorgeous

The full English-language title for this upcoming animated film is Fireworks: Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?, so you'll forgive me if I just refer to it as Fireworks in the headline. It's based on a...