LA Asian 2015 Review: THE CHINESE MAYOR Manages To Be Portrait And Landscape

The documentary scene in China is difficult to approach, especially when so many of the works are strictly forbidden to be shown there. With so many independent film festivals being banned and even raided by Chinese government officials, it's truly... More »
  

Review: Wicked And Witty INSIDE NO.9 Brings Innovation to Television Comedy

The apocalyptic prophecies about the impending doom of television did not materialise and serialized (television) fiction blossoms thanks to alternative distribution channels. Apart from the technological upgrade to hybrid television and the enhancement of consumer´s interactivity and transmediality, the... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: SAINT LAURENT, Drinking, Screwing Around, And Smoking Like A Chimney

The gilded life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has received the big screen treatment twice in recent times. The first was the paint by the numbers biopic Yves Saint Laurent, a gentle, actor's film made with the full collaboration... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Review: SKIN TRADE Trades On Ensemble Face-Kicking

Thirty years after its explosive heyday, Dolph Lundgren is here to show us how little action movies and muscle-led cinema have evolved. And yet, we're meant to think that they have. In 1985, Rambo won the Vietnam War. It was a... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Udine 2015 Review: THE END OF THE WORLD AND THE CAT'S DISAPPEARANCE, A Quirky Little Sci-Fi Film

Takeuchi Michihiro's The End of the World and the Cat's Disappearance, a zany, modestly packaged apocalyptic sci-fi film revolving around Itsuko (Izukoneko aka Mari), a vlogger-cum-J-pop-idol who attempts to singlehandedly save the world from a gigantic meteor, but ends up... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: FORGET ME NOT, A Touching Mixture Of Fantasy, Mystery, And Teen Romance

One of the most affecting and enigmatic teen-targeted Japanese films of the last few years, Horie Kei's Forget Me Not (not to be mistaken with Hirayama Hideyuki's 2010 drama that bears the same English title) defies easy categorization, veering confidently... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: PORT OF CALL Proves Philip Yung's Most Ambitious And Polished Film To Date

A decidedly bleak yet surprisingly meditative exploration of the lower depths of contemporary Hong Kong, Philip Yung's Port of Call clearly articulates its genre-bending aspirations and effectively taps into the generational anxieties of youth today. Based on a case that... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: The "Fuckery & Shenanigans" Of FINDERS KEEPERS

What would you do if you acquired a storage locker and all its random contents, only to discover one such item consisted of a barbecue containing a human foot? I guess the answer largely depends on who you are. If... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Review: A FOOL, A Stark Reminder That In China Nice Guys Finish Last

Based on Hu Xuewen's novel Running Moonlight, actor Chen Jianbin's directorial debut is a harsh reminder of humanity's predatory nature, as an honest farmer's efforts to help a young homeless man set of a chain of calamitous events.Chen Jianbin was... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Udine 2015 Review: Political Thriller HELIOS Aims High But Misfires

Following Cold War, an interesting and surprisingly bureaucratic action film, Sunny Luk and Longman Leung strive for bigger and louder with Helios, an overambitious and convoluted thriller that had its international premiere at the 17th Udine Far East Film Festival.... More »
  

Udine 2015 Review: War Drama DRAGON BLADE Might Be The New UNESCO Representative

The Udine Far East Film Festival (FEFF) opened its 17th edition with a bang. Not only did the Italian festival hold the world premiere of the international cut of Dragon Blade, it also managed to have Jackie Chan himself introducing... More »
  

Udine 2015 Review: THE WICKED, An Effectively Thrilling Exercise In Low-Budget Filmmaking

Bolstered and braced by a wonderfully sinister performance from the relatively unknown young South Korean actress Park Ju-hui, Yoo Young-sun's The Wicked is a slow-paced but nicely modulated and effectively gripping exercise in low-budget indie filmmaking. Shot in a mere... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: MAKEUP ROOM Makes Perfect Use Of Its Very Limited Location

Genuinely funny, touching, and cleverly realized, Morikawa Kei's Makeup Room (メイクルーム) plays like a modest but deft combination between a chamber-like dramedy and well-observed ensemble piece that derives most of its energy from a wealth of enthusiastic performances and witty... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Review: Quentin Dupieux's REALITY, Not Just Another Headscratcher

French DJ-cum-filmmaker Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr.Oizo, invaded the cinema landscape rather abruptly through his Dadaistic effort Rubber, following a killing tire in a twisted slasher formula. The comic element aside, Dupieux knew what he was up to since the first minute,... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Review: THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED, Savagely Amusing

For all of us who feel Robert Zemeckis's Forrest Gump is a sentimental, condescending, apple pie enema to cinema lovers, and David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button somehow missed the mark, we finally have an entry in 'the man... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: FAR FROM MEN, A Western In Algeria

(How can you be Far From Men when Viggo is around?) An Algeria-based western might seem like an odd idea on paper, but David Oelhoffen's Far From Men (Loin des Hommes), starring Viggo Mortensen, turns out to be a pretty... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Udine 2015 Review: PARASYTE - COMPLETION, A Conclusion In Need Of A Pay-Off

Much like how Parasyte Part 1 suffered from being all set-up, so its sequel, Parasite - Completion, is similarly hobbled by being mostly a series of climactic stand-offs and philosophical summations, with precious little build-up or satisfactory pay-off.An unspecified yet brief amount... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: UNBRANDED, Wild, Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Us Away

Four Texas A&M University graduates choose one hell of a in-between-school-and-real-life adventure, opting to adopt a dozen or so wild mustangs, train them, and make a 3000 mile journey from the Arizona-Mexican border up the spine of former 'wild west'... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: DEEP WEB Examines Justice On The Electronic Frontier

The 21st century is a foreign country. If you had asked someone in the 1989 what the charming fantasy adventure The Princess Bride, and slacker time travel history lesson, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure had in common, you would likely have... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: JASMINE, A Claustrophobic Twilight Zone Of Revenge

Dax Phelan, veteran screenwriter and producer based in Los Angeles got the Hong Kong bug on a writing research trip to the city in 2005. By his own tongue-in-cheek admission, it had become somewhat tedious being handsomely paid for writing... More »
By Ezra Emerson   
  
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