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: HOSHI O OU KODOMO (Makoto Shinkai)

Whenever Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimeters Per Second, Hoshi no Koe) releases a new film it always feels like somewhat of an event. With just a few films to his name Shinkai launched himself as one of the most fresh and... More »
  

Review: THE DIVIDE (Xavier Gens)

Even though Xavier Gens' Frontières has earned its place amongst the front-runners of the French horror wave, a film like Hitman already hinted at Gens' broader vision. With The Divide Gens takes the post-apocalyptic route and serves a slice of... More »
  

Review: USAGI DROP (Hiroyuki Tanaka)

Even though Hiroyuki Tanaka (Monday, Kanikosen) is a certainty in my selection of favorite directors, the past few years Tanaka has been struggling to find his way (much like the rest of the Japanese film industry). While Usagi Drop isn't... More »
  

Review: 2046 (Personal Favorites #60)

2046 was probably Wong Kar Wai's highest anticipated film. After he hit it big with In The Mood For Love everyone with the least bit of interest in Asian cinema was waiting for its (informal) sequel. Upon release reactions were... More »
  

Review: KUHIO TAISA (Daihachi Yoshida)

Hong Kong was long the home turf of conman cinema, but now Japan finally has a certified hustler of its own. His name is Sergeant Kuhio, a jet pilot fighting for world peace, trying to do justice to his royal... More »
  

Review: Jin-Ro (Personal Favorites #27)

The first time I tried to watch Jin-Ro I didn't even make it till the end credits. Years later I gave the film a second chance and through subsequent viewings my appreciation for this film grew bigger. Nowadays (I watched... More »
  

Review: THIS MUST BE THE PLACE

For some people This Must Be The Place is going to 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... More »
  

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 »
  

Review: MEMORIES (Personal Favorites #26)

For 10 long years Memories was Studio 4°C's best kept secret. It took the film almost a decade to appear in the West and by that time it just wasn't the technical bombshell it was supposed to be. When it... More »
  

Review: WHITE VENGEANCE (Daniel Lee)

Daniel Lee (14 Blades) is clearly working his way up on the budget tables. After years of operating in (elevated) B territory, White Vengeance is Lee's first true big budget feature. Those of you expecting an overpowering action-fest should take... More »
  

Review: INNOCENCE (Personal Favorites #4)

Mamoru Oshii's (Tenshi no Tamago, Patlabor 2, Sky Crawlers, Tachiguishi Retsuden) Innocence is without a doubt one of the trickiest accomplishments of his already rich and challenging career. From the get go the film was doomed to fail, back then... More »
  

Review: THE WOMAN KNIGHT OF MIRROR LAKE (Herman Yau)

Whatever you do, don't discard The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake as just another martial arts epic. Herman Yau's latest film may be firmly grounded in the martial arts genre, but there is definitely more than meets the eye here.... More »
  

Review: 964 PINOCCHIO (Personal Favorites #88)

Shozin Fukui is one of Japan's hidden cyberpunk talents. After a period of experimentation that resulted in three short films, he burst onto the scene with his first full-length feature film: 964 Pinocchio. It's not what you call a very... More »
  

Review: PARADE (ISAO YUKISADA)

At first glance Parade may look like any other Japanese drama, and to some extent it is exactly that. But with each progressing segment something more unique develops. Something that could be called Yukisada's trademark magic, an almost translucent quality... More »
  

Review: MONDAY (Personal Favorites #51)

Hiroyuki Tanaka (Kanikosen, Blessing Bell, Drive) is a very big favorite of mine. Largely unknown in the West (unless you're part of a privileged fest crowd that is), Tanaka is a director with plenty of commercial appeal who failed to... More »
  

Review: TEKON KINKURITO (Personal Favorites #24)

Tekon Kinkurito is without a doubt one of the most unlikely Japanese animation projects ever realized. Based on an obscure manga, helmed by an American director, conceived in the bowels of Studio 4° offices, there seemed to be no commercial... More »
  

Review: ETERNAL MOMENT (Yibai Zhang)

Even though Yibai Zhang (Spring Subway, Lost Indulgence) is somewhat of a critics favorite, his films clearly fail to find their way outside the confines of the Chinese borders. Some lukewarm film fest successes and fringe critical acclaim are not... More »
  

Review: KIKUJIRO NO NATSU (Personal Favorites #83)

So far I've been ignoring the work of Takeshi Kitano (Achilles To Kame, Kantoku Banzai), but as I'm slowly revisiting my all-time favorite films there really is no way around Kitano's impressive body of work. So let us start with... More »
  

Review: ONE DAY (Chi-Jan Hou)

One Day is continuing my lucky streak of picking quality Taiwanese films (Honey PuPu, Blowfish, Starry, Starry Night and Make Up), making me wonder why so many people are still ignoring (or missing) the obvious (artistic) growth of the Taiwanese... More »
  

Review: VISITOR Q (Personal Favorites #34)

Last week I reviewed Takashi Miike (Sun Scarred, Crows Zero, Crows Zero II, Zebraman 2)'s most impressive arthouse venture 46 Okunen no Koi, this week I'll be tackling Miike's biggest anti-arthouse middle finger: Visitor Q. Visitor Q is without a... More »
  
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