Review: MIRUTHAN, Kollywood's First Zombie Film Is A Perfect Indian Horror Concoction

In India, horror films have typically been the red-headed stepchild that no one really talks about. Yes, there are some great b-movies from the '70s and '80s, but the mainstream has largely ignored the genre as inconsistent with the studios'... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: NEERJA Is The Story Of A Heroic Woman Told With Grace And Humanity

On September 5th, 1986 during a stopover In Karachi, New York bound Pan Am Flight 73 was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. This airliner, packed to the gills with 379 passengers and crew, was then held hostage for 17 hours by... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: ANGEL OF NANJING, A Portrait Of Urban Loneliness

Like Japan's Aokigahara (aka "Forest of Death,") and San Francisco's Golden Gate, Nanjing's Yangtze River Bridge is famous for being the site of a disproportionate number of suicides each year. Chen Si is a man who has taken it upon... More »
By Teresa Nieman   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: CROSSCURRENT Channels The Poetry Of Confusion

Yang Chao's tale of two lovers woven into the meandering course of the epic Yangtze river is sadly the only Chinese-language film to feature in Berlinale's main competition this year, seeing it follow in the footsteps of Black Coal, Thin... More »
By Thomas Humphrey   
  

Review: JIL JUNG JUK Puts A Whimsical Twist On Indian Gangster Films

Deeraj Vaidy's freshmen directorial effort Jil Jung Juk is a balls to the wall, whacked out gangster comedy that has very little equal in the world of Indian cinema. Taking influences from all over the globe to craft his twisty,... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: In FITOOR, Bollywood Places Beauty Above Substance, Again

Abhishek Kapoor's Fitoor, a Kashmir set adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, marks yet another step on the downward spiral that is the modern Bollywood blockbuster. I hate to write lines like that, I've invested quite a bit of time and... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: THE BACCHUS LADY Gracefully Explores Bounty of Taboo Subjects

Veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung, star of such classics as Kim Ki-young's Woman on Fire (1971) and The Insect Woman (1972), takes on perhaps her boldest role yet in The Bacchus Lady. Directed by E J-yong, appearing in the Berlinale program... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Berlinale 2016 Review: THE WORLD OF US, A Complex And Compelling Children's Tale

Following the enormous promise shown in her terrific shorts Guest (2011) and Sprout (2013), director Yoon Ga-eun delivers in spades with her feature-length debut The World of Us, a beautiful look at the undulating friendships and rivalries between a trio... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: In ALREADY TOMORROW IN HONG KONG, The Fundamental Things Apply

Here's the basic plotline of producer and now first-time writer-director Emily Ting's immensely charming romance Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, boiled down to its basic essence. A man and a woman meet, and -- spoiler alert -- fall in love... More »
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: PATHS OF THE SOUL Shows Purpose In Pilgrimage

Years ago, when Blu-ray was a new platform and newly acquired by me, I searched the world for the most spectacular discs to play. Be it the US-release of Baraka or the Hong Kong release of Red Cliff, I'd import... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: TOO YOUNG TO DIE! Is One Hell Of A Load Of Fun

(...and no Jamiroquai in sight...) The Japanese writer-director Kudô Kankurô has his heart in a quirky place, and has proven that already several times over. As a scriptwriter he wrote Zebraman for director Miike Takashi, The Apology King for director... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: LOWLIFE LOVE Is Crafty, Filthy And Bitter

In Uchida Eiji's new film Lowlife Love, we get a nasty peek at the underbelly of the Japanese independent film scene. These are not the indies with a low budget, these are the indies with no budget, often made by... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: IP MAN 3, The Legendary Teacher Returns In Fine Form

In Ip Man 3, Donnie Yen returns for another outing as legendary martial arts instructor Ip Man. Still under the direction of Wilson Yip, the newest installment trades Sammo Hung for Yuen Wo-ping as action choreographer, ensuring that the extended... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: MOOR, A Story Of Broken Tracks, Broken Lives, And Building Hope

It seems as though no matter where you look in Pakistan these days, the spectre of British imperial rule looms over the nation in ways that are perhaps so deeply ingrained in the fabric of the nation that's it... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: INSIDE MEN, A Political Thriller That Goes For The Jugular

The year is almost up, the box office has been tallied and the people have spoken. Stories of greedy corporate heirs, crooked clergy, conniving journalists and dirty politicians have risen to the top of the pile, each more acerbic than... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE TIGER, A Gory, Gorgeous Battle To The Death

Following the record-breaking success of Roaring Currents, Choi Min-sik returns to screens in another big-budget period epic, this time hunting down the last Korean tiger (as opposed to the last tiger in Korea, because this feline clearly has a national... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE HIMALAYAS Swaps Snowflakes For Tears

For those looking for an expedition drama, be warned that despite its title, The Himalayas is first and foremost a melodrama. One concerning brotherhood, family and, above all, coping with grief. Himalayan expedition films seem to be in vogue at... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE WORLD OF KANAKO Goes Down A Cinematic Rabbit Hole

The first two minutes of Nakashima Tetsuya's violent and unrelenting The World of Kanako are a litmus test on whether one should proceed. A frenetic orgy of editing non sequiturs, both assaulting and attention grabbing, occurs right before slamming into... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Black Nights 2015 Review: LOEV, Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Same-sex activity is illegal in India, punishable by imprisonment. The release there of Deepa Mehta's film Fire, about a love affair between two women, incited violent protests in 1998. So the fact that Sudhanshu Saria's debut feature Loev was made... More »
  

Five Flavours 2015 Review: CROCODILE Drifts Through Arresting Yet Ponderous Poverty

Fable and reality mingle in Francis Xavier Pasion's Crocodile, a film riddled with beautiful imagery and terrible poverty. Based on real events and bookended by documentary footage of the story's real protagonists, the unique, swampy landscape of the Agusan Marsh... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
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