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Surrounded by Films

Films I watch, films I review – with special focus on 'World Cinema'.

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 →

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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)

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 death penalty in a country where most of its population is... 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 between... 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 marvelous 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... Continue Reading →

Review: Before the Flood (2016)

Think green, act green. How? Just watch the film directed by Fisher Stevens, co-produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. In this insightful documentary, the actor and appointed United Nations representative on climate change, shows us an overview of one of... Continue Reading →

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