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World Cinema Reviews

Review: Waiting for Sunset (2018) by Carlo Enciso Catu

Choices. Life is full of them, but what happens afterwards when we have made our choice and we cannot turn back time? The aftermath of this dilemma is beautifully portrayed in Carlo Enciso Catu’s Waiting for Sunset. Named Best Film... Continue Reading →


Review: Little Forest (리틀 포레스트, 2018) by Yim Soon-rye

Struggles of young 20-something middle-class depicted through food and the beautiful seasons of South Korea   Based on a manga series of the same name (2002) by Daisuke Igarashi, Yim Soon-rye (Whistle Blower 제보자, 2014) portrays through the four seasons... Continue Reading →

CinemAsia 2019: The midwife – Mary Stephen’s lecture on storytelling

In a short lecture given by editor Mary Stephen on the 9th of March for CinemAsia Film Festival 2019, Stephen discussed what it takes to become an editor and compared editing films in the West and the East. Stephen’s first... Continue Reading →

Review: First Night Nerves (八个女人一台戏, 2018) by Stanley Kwan

Stanley Kwan’s concern with the romantic issues of women adopts a contemporary angle in his latest work First Night Nerves. After approximately nine years, Kwan (Everlasting Regret, 2005; Women,1985) returns with a story about two stellar actresses (played by renowned... Continue Reading →

Review: Aruna & Her Palate (Aruna & Lidahnya, 2018) by Edwin

A mouth-watering road film through Indonesian cuisine As a romantic comedy and quirky adaptation from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate” (2014), Indonesian filmmaker Edwin delivers an enjoyable journey through Indonesian cuisine and the romantic problems of thirty-something young... Continue Reading →

Review: Fango (2012) by José Celestino Campusano

Buenos Aires' suburbs in a raw light Mixing different styles, Fango looks like a documentary, but it's not. It is a fictional depiction of the surroundings of Buenos Aires, where the glamorous looks cease to exist and the organic human... Continue Reading →

Review: The Favourite (2018) by Yorgos Lanthimos

Set in the 18th century and the last years of friendship between Queen Anne and Lady Sarah Churchill, Yorgos Lanthimos adds hilarious eccentricity to this almost forgotten historical event. Filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The... Continue Reading →

Review: Cold War (2018) by Paweł Pawlikowski

A black-and-white romantic drama that seduces with its music and shows a bittersweet love story during the Cold War in Poland. Paweł Pawlikowski ("Ida," 2015; "My Summer of Love," 2004) delivers again an award winning work that is being widely... Continue Reading →

Review: Cook Up a Storm (决战食神, 2017) by Raymond Yip

A passionate quest for respect and family, with a touch of food porn. “Cook Up a Storm” is a culinary comedy drama film directed by Raymond Yip (Young Bruce Lee, 2011). With an experience that spans over 30 years, Yip... Continue Reading →

Review: Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes, 2014) by Damián Szifron

Six different and unrelated stories that portray the sombernesss and fury of people in contemporary society. “Wild Tales” (Relatos Salvajes) is an Argentinian black comedy that makes a point by taking it to an extreme; and what an extreme! This... Continue Reading →

Review: Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura (2017) by Takashi Yamazaki

Based on a manga by Ryohei Saigan, “Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura” is not the first adaptation of Saigan onto the big screen, as director Takashi Yamazaki adapted several of Saigan’s manga series. It is no coincidence that Takashi Yamazaki... Continue Reading →

Review: Omotenashi (2018) by Jay Chern

Omotenashi is a Japanese word that describes hospitality from the heart. It is a complex concept that is embedded in Japanese culture. Not a stranger to challenges, Jay Chern, born in Taiwan and raised in the USA, makes his debut... Continue Reading →

CinemAsia On Tour: Interview with Omotenashi’s director Jay Chern

Eindhoven | 13 Oct. 2018 During CinemAsia On Tour Eindhoven: Taiwan Focus edition, I interviewed Jay Chern whose debut film "Omotenashi" 盛情款待 |おもてなしscreened on Saturday 13 Oct. For the review of the film click here. Contents: About the film's production... Continue Reading →

Review: Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben, 2018) by Asghar Farhadi

Reunited again after "Loving Pablo" (2017), power couple Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem offer another profound performance through the lens of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi. Tensions within relationships are a key aspect which Asghar Farhadi has mastered in previous works, such... Continue Reading →

Review: A Quiet Place (2018) by John Krasinski

As a horror film, A Quiet Place is unprecedented. The actors do not make any sound, communicate in sign language and – if you haven’t seen the trailer – this makes you wonder and glues you to the screen. John... Continue Reading →

Review: The Age of Blood (2017) by Kim Hong-seon

“The Age of Blood” started production in 2016 and was completed and released in 2017. This film is the debut feature of filmmaker Kim Hong-seon, who previously worked on television dramas of a similar genre. This historical action film set... Continue Reading →

Review: I Can Speak (2017) by Kim Hyun-seok

Awarded with the Blue Dragon Film Award for Best Leading Actress and Best Director, “I Can Speak” addresses many topics, but one, in particular, takes the spotlight: Comfort Women. This term refers to women and young girls that were taken away... Continue Reading →

Review: The Room (2003) by Tommy Wiseau

"The Citizen Kane of bad movies" or the ''worst movie ever made,'' that is how a few critics denominate The Room, sentenced to the forever shadows of several independent productions. Nevertheless, the film came to the mainstream life after being... Continue Reading →

Review: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)

Based on the autobiography “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” by cartoonist John Callahan, Gus Van Sant delights us with his latest work. Bound to a wheelchair and struggling with his alcohol addiction, John Callahan decides to delve... Continue Reading →

Review: Oh Lucy! (オー・ルーシー!2017)

“Oh Lucy!” is an American Japanese production directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi and based on Hirayanagi’s short film of the same name. Her short film obtained several international awards, leading to her debut feature “Oh Lucy!” This comedy-drama was first finalised... Continue Reading →

Review: Tully (2018)

Tully directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, 2005; Juno, 2007) and written by Diablo Cody, is their third collaboration together and the second with Charlize Theron. Previously, the three of them had worked on Young Adult (2011). Tully depicts... Continue Reading →

Review: Tremble All You Want (勝手にふるえてろ, 2017)

Based on the novel of the same name (2010) by Risa Wataya and directed by Akiko Ohku, “Tremble All You Want” conquered the public’s hearts at the Tokyo Film Festival 2017 by winning the Audience Award. And the award is... Continue Reading →

Review: A World Not Ours (2012)

During the "EYE International Conference 2018 – Activating the Archive" I watched the documentary A World Not Ours directed by Palestinian-Danish filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel. The conference selected audio-visual collections that engage and deal with societal change and actions. After several... Continue Reading →

Review: The Throne (사도, 2015)

The Throne starts with the pivotal event of the story that is one of the greatest tragic events of the Joseon era. This scene is important as it captures our attention immediately. The story is based on a true event... Continue Reading →

Review: 1987 When the Day Comes (2017)

Warning! Do not watch without any knowledge about Korean modern history. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the film because of its intensity, but if you are someone who is not familiar with the last 50 years of Korea, this... Continue Reading →

Review: Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (신과함께-죄와 벌, 2017)

I was hyping myself up since I watched the trailer of Along with the Gods months ago. For my feeling, I had waited enough, and now I was very lucky that I could watch it on the big screen at the... Continue Reading →

Review: Bad Genius (ฉลาดเกมส์โกง, 2017)

Bad Genius along with Our Shining Days were a few of my favourite films during the CinemAsia Film Festival. Bad Genius even won the CinemAsia Best Film Award. Of course, Bad Genius has won many other international and national awards.... Continue Reading →

Review: Kartini (2017)

Such an inspirational film. I’ve watched with astonishment and also with a bit of resentment Kartini, as the circumstances back then were terrible for women. Kartini is a drama biopic film directed by Hanung Bramantyo...

Review: Ramen Heads (ラーメンヘッズ, 2017)

As a foodie and film lover, I HAD to see this documentary about ‘Ramen King’ Osamu Tomita and his obsessive passion for the perfect ramen. While addressing the value of such a simple dish like ramen and the hard-work behind... Continue Reading →

Review: The Brink (狂獸, 2017)

This film was not on my watch-list during CinemAsia Film Festival, and I suppose I had to follow my intuition. I am not a great fan of action underworld films but I said yes to this one – and I... Continue Reading →

Review: Our Shining Days (闪光少女, 2017)

Having watched a scene of the film somewhere on the Internet, I was looking forward to Our Shining Days. It seemed like an entertaining, funny and peculiar film, as the scene that I watched involved an anime-looking girl playing a... Continue Reading →

Review: Monster Hunt 2 (捉妖記 2, 2018)

I was waiting for Monster Hunt 2 with excitement as some of you might know. Two things attracted me to this sequel, the film’s creative story and Tony Leung Chiu-wai. Monster Hunt 2 continues where the first film left. Wuba,... Continue Reading →

Review: Monster Hunt (捉妖記, 2015)

I must admit it, I like Chinese adventure films. So, I was looking forward to watching Monster Hunt. The humour and narration style suit my demands for a relaxed afternoon, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. This film is... Continue Reading →

Review: On Body and Soul (Testről és lélekről, 2017)

Can two persons have the same dream? And can they interact in their dream? Who wouldn’t like to have something like that? An alternative reality in your dreams, a VR where you can do what you want, and be with... Continue Reading →

Review: The Square (2017)

A friend of mine asked me, “So, what do you think?” Silence. I thought about this question for a few minutes and nothing came into my mind. How to describe what we had just watched? Complex, funny, ironic, critical. But,... Continue Reading →

Review: April’s Daughter (Las hijas de Abril, 2017)

This story is beautiful and crazy at the same time. Las hijas de Abril | April’s Daughter sheds light on issues about the rights of a teenage mother, the concept of being a ‘mother’ and the power of women. The film... Continue Reading →

Review: Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Call Me by Your Name has been widely acclaimed and critics are still loving it. Now – after having watched the film – I do understand why. The editing pace, camera movement and dialogues make this a beautifully tender and... Continue Reading →

Review: Wonder Wheel (2017)

To be honest, yes, I was excited by knowing that the film Wonder Wheel would come soon in cinemas. I was looking forward to this film since I’ve heard the news. However, Wonder Wheel was not a masterpiece nor a... Continue Reading →

Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

I think I have found a new director to add to my list of favourite filmmakers. Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer presents a dark dilemma surrounded by unconventional but brilliant dialogues. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a... Continue Reading →

Review: Bloodless (2017)

Bloodless made my heartbeat rise and almost made me scared, not because of the story, but because of how adequately it leaded one to the place where the murder happened. Bloodless is a VR-documentary film of 12 minutes based on... Continue Reading →

Report: IDFA – Bloodless (2017)

25 November 2017 | Amsterdam When I arrived at the room the event had already started. I just sat and watched the first of many fragments that would be shown. The first one was the making-of Bloodless – a VR... Continue Reading →

Review: Suburbicon (2017)

When I went to watch Suburbicon I had no idea what it was about - I had not seen or read anything related to the film. At the end, Suburbicon was quite enjoyable, not a masterpiece or a great film,... Continue Reading →

Review: 120 BPM (120 Battements Par Minute, 2017)

During the end credits no one talked, there was no noise, and there was not even a sound. That was the impact the film had on the viewers. Everyone slowly put their coats on and left the screening room. My... Continue Reading →

Review: You Disappear (Du forsvinder, 2017)

You Disappear started by captivating me with a shocking scene and then it moved on to confuse me and amuse me. This film brings to the table issues of mental health in a sober and persuasive manner, and asks: Is... Continue Reading →

Review: Manifesto (2017)

Now that I see the runtime I realise that Manifesto is not that long. Probably it felt long because I was thinking during the whole screening, reflecting on the words spoken by Cate Blanchett and captivated by the visual choices... Continue Reading →

Review: A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica, 2017)

A Fantastic Woman became one of my favourites of this year, if not of all-time. It is a sublime combination of great cinematography with a perfectly coherent story accompanied by the excellent music of Matthew Herbert. This film is a... Continue Reading →

Review: The King (더 킹, 2017)

Many film critics denominate it the ‘Korean Wolf of Wall Street’ or even the ‘Korean Goodfellas’ and ‘Scorsese crime saga’. And they are right, not in terms of ‘copycat’ or ‘wannabe’, as the film portrays a unique entertaining and solid story,... Continue Reading →

Review: The Bad Batch (2016)

The trailer got me excited. The Bad Batch seemed to be a great pop culture film with remarkable actors, music and plot line - that was the trailer. The Bad Batch is a science-fiction romantic action film directed by Ana... Continue Reading →

Review: The Double Lover (L’amant double, 2017)

Before watching L’amant double, I checked out the trailer. The trailer depicted L'amant double as a suspense thriller murder/detective-ish film - just a common story that didn’t interest me that much. However, because the director is François Ozon I said... Continue Reading →

Review: Baby Driver (2017)

What do you get when you mix one of the most hilarious directors/screenwriters of this time with pop-culture and an amazing soundtrack? Exactly, you get Baby Driver. This action thriller has everything you want: romance, good and bad guys, great... Continue Reading →

Review: A Woman’s Life (Une Vie, 2016)

A profound film about a young woman’s journey into an unideal adulthood. Her journey is a passionate heartbreak that is filled with hope and naivety. Une Vie is a timeless story about human emotions. Une Vie shows the transition of... Continue Reading →

Review: Porco Rosso (紅の豚, 1992)

Who doesn’t love Ghibli films and Hayao Miyazaki’s magical touch? Studio Ghibli’s animations are delightful fairy tales that enchant young and old. In every animation that Miyazaki and Ghibli make, innocence, sweetness and love prevail (Miyazaki also explores other topics... Continue Reading →

Review: The King of Pigs (돼지의 왕, 2011)

Continuing on the subject of pigs and South Korean cinema, this week I present you The King of Pigs. A dark violent animation about the sometimes cruel reality that can be found in the South Korean culture. The King of... Continue Reading →

Review: Okja (2017)

Bong Joon-ho did it again. In Cannes 2017, this Netflix production had a standing ovation after experiencing some technical difficulties. It also generated a discussion about whether or not digital distribution (thus not theatrical) could be in the film festival... Continue Reading →

Review: The Fury of a Patient Man (Tarde para la ira, 2016)

What a debut! The Fury of a Patient Man (Tarde para la ira, 2016) is Raúl Arévalo’s debut film, which won four Goya Awards for Best Film, Best New Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor (Manolo Solo). The... Continue Reading →

Review: The Untamed (La Región Salvaje, 2016)

You know that when you cannot get a film out of your head, it is a good one because the filmmaker has hypnotized you with his/her story. It makes you think, reflect, and question things. This is the case of... Continue Reading →

Review: The Handmaiden (아가씨, 2016)

The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing right now. This 70th edition of the festival not only has interesting films, but also remarkable juries such as Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, 2013), Fan Bingbing (actress and producer; see my... Continue Reading →

Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Bonjour! Good day! How is the film...? If you have ever watched the animation of Beauty and the Beast (1991), you’ve probably read these first words singing the melody of the film. After watching the live-action remake of Beauty and... Continue Reading →

Review: I Am Not Madame Bovary (我不是潘金莲 , 2016)

Before I Am Not Madame Bovary (directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Feng Xiaogang), I had never watched a film with Fan Bingbing. To me, she was just an actress with a pretty face who everyone was talking about and wanted... Continue Reading →

Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Scarlett Johansson and Takeshi Kitano in one film? Count me in. I am talking about the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell (dir. Rupert Sanders), based on the manga of the same name written by Masamune Shirow. Ghost in... Continue Reading →

Review: The Road to Mandalay (再見瓦城, 2016)

The Road to Mandalay (再見瓦城, 2016) directed by Midi Z presents Lianqing (Wu Ke-Xi) who starts her journey from Burma to Thailand. In Thailand, she hopes to obtain a work that would allow her to support her family back home.... Continue Reading →

Review: Apprentice (2016)

The death penalty is legal in Singapore and more than 80% of its population is in favour of this sanction. Therefore, making a movie that opens up the debate on the death penalty in a country where most of its... Continue Reading →

Review: Arrival (2016)

Aliens… do they exist? That is hard to say, but they certainly exist in our minds. Since forever, films have shown and dreamt about science-fiction narrative related to extra-terrestrial life, for example, A Trip to the Moon (1902, dir. Georges... Continue Reading →

Review: Moonlight (2016)

What a powerful story! I am not saying this only because the main protagonist is a strong one, but also because of the amazing empathy created by the narration, cinematography, and sound. Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins) is a story about... Continue Reading →

Review/Report: Mikio Naruse – Unknown Master of Japanese Cinema

From 12 through 29 January 2017 the EYE Film Institute introduces Mikio Naruse to The Netherlands by showing 14 of his films. This Japanese filmmaker is an “unknown master of Japanese Cinema,” as EYE denominates him. After watching two of... Continue Reading →

Review: Passengers (2016)

When you have two of the most popular young actors of this time in one film, you expect that it will be great. Unfortunately, for Passengers, this didn’t work out well. The film could be seen as a mix of... Continue Reading →

Review: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Tom Ford surprised us with his debut film A Single Man in 2009, in which a professor deals with the death of his partner. This was an eloquent, detailed, and marvellous composition. In Nocturnal Animals, Ford astonishes us once again... Continue Reading →

Review: Perfect Blue (パーフェクトブルー, 1997)

These last few weeks I was in the mood for animation films. So, after doing a brief research, I came across various wonderful animations that thematically and cinematographically are very interesting. Here, I review Perfect Blue (Pāfekuto Burū; パーフェクトブルー; 1997).... Continue Reading →

Review: Train to Busan (부산행, 2016)

What a ride! This zombie-apocalypse-horror-thriller-drama film took me on a roller-coaster of emotions: from happy surprised to dramatic sobbing. This mix of genres is not something unique of the film itself, but a well-known characteristic of contemporary South Korean films.... Continue Reading →

Review: Waterboys (2016)

This is not your typical Dutch film, and just in case you thought about it – no, it is not a documentary about The Waterboys (a U.K. folk-rock band that was big in the 1980s). This film is about the... Continue Reading →

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