International: Asia Reviews

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Toronto Japanese Fest 2017 Review: IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD

A young girl named Suzu who, in 1944, moves from neighbouring Hiroshima to the port city of Kure, the largest military base for the Imperial Navy and home to ships like the Yamamoto. She moves there to marry Shūsaku, a...

Toronto Japanese Fest 2017 Review: HER LOVE BOILS BATHWATER

Futaba (Miyazawa Rie), a strict, but caring single mother, has an awakening when she is told she has an aggressive and terminal cancer that cannot be treated. With only a few months left to live she sets out to reconcile...

Toronto Japanese Fest 2017 Review: HIMEANOLE, A Violent Condemnation of Bullying And Inaction

Okada Susumu (Hamada Gaku) works part time cleaning buildings with his friend Ando Yuji (Muro Tsuyoshi). Ando asks Susumu to be a go between for himself and Abe Yuka (Satsukawa Aimi), a cafe worker. When they go to the cafe...

Toronto Japanese Fest 2017 Review: DANCHI, A Superb Example of Subdued Comedy

After their son’s tragic death the Yamashita’s, Hinako (Fujiyama Naomi) and Seiji (Kishibe Ittoku), sell their herbal medicine store and move into an apartment complex, a Danchi, in Osaka,. The building is maybe half full and most of the residents...

Review: FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES, Japan's Queer Underground Cinema Classic Never Looked Better

Cinelicious Pics did it last year with their restoration of Belladonna of Sadness, and this time they do it again with a needed restoration of what is still among the most important works of transgressive Japanese cinema of that time,...

Review: GOD OF WAR Eventually Shows its Strengths

Vincent Zhao stars as the eponymous military tactician in Gordon Chan’s sweeping action epic, following the efforts of the Ming army to keep a fleet of fearsome Japanese pirates at bay in 16th century China. Sammo Hung, Wan Qian and...

Review: LOVE OFF THE CUFF Charmingly Caps Off the Trilogy

“n 55!w !” this string of characters is the first thing that fills the cinema screen. It is an especially important moment, as only fans of this rom-com trilogy will feel a knowing nostalgic flutter stemming from those random letters,...

Cannes 2017 Review: THE MERCILESS Punches Up Familiar Gangster Tale

After helming a low-key music drama (The Beat Goes On) and a romantic comedy (Whatcha Wearin'?), director Byun Sung-hyun finally shows off what may be his true colors in the brash and confident half gangster thriller, half prison drama The...

Cannes 2017 Review: THE DAY AFTER Offers Bitter Portrait of Infidelity

Returning to black and white for the first time since The Day He Arrives (which screened in Un Certain Regard in 2011), Hong Sangsoo returns to the Cannes competition section with The Day After, a focused rumination on love and...

Cannes 2017 Review: THE VILLAINESS Shoots and Chops Her Way to Bloody Revenge

Korean action cinema bursts through to new horizons in the hyperkinetic pulp blade and bullet ballet The Villainess. Equal parts Kill Bill, Nikita, John Wick, Hardcore Henry and HK-era John Woo, the second film from Confession of Murder director Jung...

Cannes 2017 Review: CLAIRE'S CAMERA, Hong Sangsoo's Low-Key Cannes Holiday

Love him or hate him, Hong Sangsoo has been remarkably consistent with his films, which both offer viewers a familiar framework and new variations on his favorite themes. His 20th work Claire's Camera debuts this weekend as a Special Screening...

Hot Docs Review 2017: RAMEN HEADS, Slurp-tastic Food Porn

What is it about ramen, Japan's robust working man's (be it salaryman, artist or labourer) meal of broth, noodles and pork, that makes its practitioners and enthusiasts become philosophers and seriocomic poets? Cinema has only encouraged this, as Itami Jûzô's gonzo, fussy,...

Overlook 2017 Review: THE DWARVES MUST BE CRAZY, a Stinker in More Ways than One

The first edition of the Overlook Film Festival will never be faulted for not swinging for the fences with a lineup that includes something for all possible tastes; even if that taste happens to run all the way to the...

NY Indian Film Fest 2017 Review: SIDE A SIDE B, A Love Affair Caught On Tape

It takes huge balls to make a film like Side A Side B. Frankly, I'm surprised that writer/director Sudhish Kamath can sit comfortably with what he must be packing between his legs in order to have conceived this little adventure...

Review: SS Rajamouli's BAAHUBALI 2: THE CONCLUSION Shows A Director on the Verge of International Stardom

Indian director SS Rajamouli is ready for his close-up. For years filmmakers in India have toiled in international obscurity, only occasionally emerging from the shadows when something strikes a chord with international - largely arthouse - audiences. The stereotype of...

Imagine 2017 Review: GUARDIANS

(As the editor-in-chief of Preview Magazine exclaimed when introducing this screening: "Criticize it all you like, but it has a bear with a minigun!") If you've seen its trailers (and why shouldn't you have), you know exactly what to expect...

Indian Film Fest LA 2017 Review: THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS, Captures a Moment of Transition and Rebirth

Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya's The Cinema Travellers is a love letter to an age quickly coming to a close in India and around the world. Once upon a time in India, the only way that the small remote villages...

Indian Film Fest LA 2017 Review: TRAPPED, Loneliness Abounds in the Midst of Millions

Vikram Motwane's Trapped is the story of a man who becomes locked in his flat hundreds of feet above the bustling metropolis of Mumbai with no one to save him or even miss him. When the story first became apparent...

Review: YOUR NAME, A Wondrous Delight From Start to Finish

Body swapping, time displacement and comets of mass destruction all feature prominently in Makoto Shinkai’s heart-wrenching adolescent romance. Boasting an infectious soundtrack by RADWIMPS and luminous animation, Your Name proves a winning combination of laughter, tears and occasionally mind-bending concepts...

Review: THE PRISON Shackles Itself in Familiar Story

The run of corruption thrillers that have proven so popular at the Korean box office of late shows no signs of abating with The Prison, which takes the same themes that have populated works such as Inside Men and Veteran,...