Posted in Sports

TVA Sports speaks with Nachi Fujimoto of Les Canadiennes

What follows is my English translation of the TVA Sports article by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, published on November 11, 2017.

A Good Shot for Asian Hockey

The Japanese player of the Montreal Canadiennes, Nachi Fujimoto sees the arrival of two Chinese teams to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) as a good thing for Asian hockey.

“It’s good for Asian hockey that two Chinese teams play in the Canadian league. In women’s hockey, the two best teams are Canada and the USA,” said Fujimoto after her team’s defeat at the Bell Center on Saturday. “The best way to learn is to play against the best players on the planet.”

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Posted in Documentary, Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

RIDM 2017 Documentary festival Nov 9-19, 2017

RIDM (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de montréal) is Montreal’s documentary festival that runs from November 9-19, 2017 at various venues. There are documentaries from all over the world. There are some East Asian documentaries from China, Singapore and Thailand at this year’s edition. There are at least a couple of documentaries with Montreal connections.

Montreal-based film production company GreenGround has a feature at the festival with two screenings, one with English subtitles (Nov 16) and one with French subtitles (Nov 12). It is called Taming the Horse, directed by Gu Tao. The director visits an old childhood friend in China who has become embittered by his life.

Antoine, directed by Laura Bari is a documentary from 2008 about a blind child name Antoine who lives in Montreal.

 

Posted in Sports, Uncategorized

KunLun Red Star and Vanke Rays – Two Chinese teams join the CWHL

Not one but two women’s teams from China, Kunlun Red Star and Vanke Rays will be making their debut in the CWHL this season (2017-2018). They both play out of Shenzhen. KunLun Red Star is also the name of the Chinese men’s team who are part of the KHL. Vanke Rays are part of the Chinese ice hockey league. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out considering that China is not known for producing many hockey players, male or female. Apparently each team consists of approximately half Native Chinese players and half non-Chinese (mostly Canadian or American) players.

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Posted in Sports, Video

Nachi Fujimoto returns to Les Canadiennes

The Canadiennes of the CWHL initially drafted Nachi Fujimoto, the Japanese defender from Sapporo, Hokkaido, before the 2016 season but then traded her to Boston. Before this season in 2017, the Canadiennes traded for her so now she is back in Montreal, which I believe makes her the first Japanese player on the team.

Nachi has an older sister who played as a goalie in the NWHL last season and has been the goalie for the Japanese national team.

Posted in Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Reviews

Bangkok Nites @ Nouveau Cinema 2017

bangkoknitesBangkok Nites (2016)
Director: Katsuya Tomita
Screenplay: Toranosuke Aizawa
Cast: Subenja Pongkorn

Review: Starting off with the main character, Luck (Subenja Pongkorn), a Thai prostitute looking outside a hotel room, we follow her and a Japanese man named Ozawa through the world of sex tourism in Thailand and the various Japanese men who come for the services. The film looks at how richer people from Japan exploit poorer ones in Thailand. It also explores if a real relationship can grow between a prostitute and a former client and the definition of “paradise.”

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Posted in Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Reviews

Un Printemps d’ailleurs / A Touch of Spring @ Nouveau Cinema 2017

printempsdailleursUn Printemps d’ailleurs / A Touch of Spring (2017)
Director & Screenplay: He XiaoDan
Cast: Yan WenSi

Review: The story starts with Li Fang (Yan WenSi) who has a violent breakup with her husband in Montreal over her desire to have a baby. While her husband looks for a lawyer to organize the divorce proceedings, she decides to return to her hometown of Dazu in ChongQing (municipality), China to visit her grandfather. She struggles to reconcile her family’s idea of success with her own.

With regards to the story, it’s straight-forward and simple. It’s more of a character study or a bit of a philosophical exploration. Of course, there’s a bit of a clash between traditional Chinese values and more western ones that Fang has adopted but it’s not really the focus and simply comes out naturally as events occur. In another event, what seems like a cultural clash ends up not being the case due to the secrecy surrounding a young girl that she meets at her family reunion. The pacing is rather relaxed so it can feel a tad slow but it’s mostly fine and allows one to ponder the significance of certain events or piece together information from hints given. Buddhism is often mentioned including the idea that life is suffering. Fang wonders what the secret is to a happy marriage to which her grandfather replies with a very unromantic but perhaps sage response.

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Posted in *Recommended, Music, Next Music From TOKYO, Video

Next Music From TOKYO Vol 11 live show – A double dose of awesomeness

In what I believe is a first, two shows were scheduled instead of one for the Montreal stop of the Next Music From Tokyo tour. The Sunday one was initially the only one planned and ended up having a decent sized crowd. But some of the bands wanted to do a Monday show too, which predictably ended up with a small crowd (the rain certainly didn’t help) and featured less bands than the Sunday show since a couple of them didn’t want to do 4 shows in 4 nights (Toronto shows were on Friday & Saturday). Naturally you would think that you wouldn’t be missing anything by skipping the Monday show. If you skipped the show based on that thought well let me say that you were totally wrong and you should repent for your sins. In fact, the Monday show ended up being more exciting and memorable than the Sunday one (which was still great). What the small crowd lacked in size, they made up for with ferocious loudness and a willingness to let go all inhibition while dancing, jumping and even moshing at one point.

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Posted in *Recommended, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Reviews

Meditation Park @ Nouveau cinema 2017 [Recommended]

Meditation Park (2017)
Director & Screenplay: Mina Shum
Cast: Cheng PeiPei, Sandra Oh, Tzi Ma

Review: The story focuses on a grandmother named Maria (Cheng PeiPei) who’s seemingly good life is turned upside-down when she discovers her husband’s (Tzi Ma) infidelity after celebrating his 65th birthday. Further tension arises when her adult daughter (Sandra Oh) comes for a visit to pass on a wedding invitation to Maria. It’s from the son whom her husband disowned in the past.

The acting performances are amazing. This combined with the nuanced writing and efficient editing allow the story to move at a good pace that doesn’t feel too slow, which is often a problem with some dramas. Each character has their flaws and even seemingly negative characters are given dimension that gives some explanation for their actions, whether it be the neighbor who “steals turns” and undercuts his price for his backyard parking or the mistress and Maria’s husband.

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