Posted in Music, Video

Next Music from Tokyo Vol 9 concert – Oct 5 @ Le Divan Orange

Next Music from Tokyo is a concert series featuring indie bands from Japan. It’s run by Steven Tanaka with shows in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. I only discovered it recently when I attended volume 8 last minute (which was in May earlier this year). I’m very excited that we don’t have to wait a whole year for vol 9, which kicks off its tour in Montreal on October 5, 2016 at Le Divan Orange. The lineup has been finalized and the bands are Maison Book GirlThis is JapanJizueToranoko Rammy, and Hitsuji Bungaku. Here’s the facebook event page.

Sep 17 update: trailer!

Based on videos online, the bands sound great and this should be another amazing show. Advance tickets available August 17. Here are some music videos of the acts.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Reviews

Monstress 1-6 issues review

monstress_vol1-1Monstress is a creator-owned comic book series by Marjorie Liu (writer) and Sana Takeda (artist). They had collaborated before on Marvel comics such as X-23. Having not regularly bought floppies since the late 90s, I had only been following comics sporadically while buying the odd TPB or graphic novel once in a while. I was only vaguely aware of Marjorie Liu and didn’t know Sana Takeda at all. When I first heard the premise for Monstress I was intrigued but what really convinced me to buy the floppies instead of wait for the TPB was Takeda’s art. It was really stunning and intricate. The first 6 issues are available as a TPB right now and Monstress #7 comes out next month. What follows are my thoughts, maybe not so much a review. There will be some minor spoilers.

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Posted in Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

Canada China International Film Festival – Sep 16-19, 2016

CCIFF (Canada China International Film Festival) is a new festival that aims to nurture and promote cooperation between the film industries of China and Canada. It’s first edition will be in Montreal from September 16-19, 2016. There will be various panels aimed at film professionals and also film screenings for the public.

The schedule has been recently released. It is $10 per movie ticket, which can be purchased on their Eventbrite webpage. Screenings will take place in Concordia University’s Hall building and Visual Arts building.

Here are trailers form some of the films that will be screening.

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Posted in Music, Video

Yuki Isami – flute player

Yuki Isami is originally from Japan but is now based in Montreal. She plays different Japanese flutes as well as the western flute.

I first saw her perform at a concert during Festival Accès Asie in May 2016. She performed pieces composed by Takemitsu Toru. While some of his unorthodox compositions were not to my liking, I thought she performed them very well. Since summer is still around, let’s enjoy this medley of summer songs performed by Isami on flute with a pianist.

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Posted in Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2016 festival in review

Fantasia 2016, total films seen: 25

This year’s lineup of movies was very promising but the ones I looked forward to the most ended up being disappointing or just okay. But there were a couple of surprises that ended up being really great. Overall though, I’d say this was a good but not great year (like last year). I’d say the number of great films this year was less than most of the previous years. My main disappointment was the lack of films that resonated with me emotionally. However, in regards to just pure entertainment, I was satisfied by a few strong entries.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

The Top Secret: Murder in Mind – review @ Fantasia 2016 [Recommended]

The_Top_Secret-_Murder_in_Mind-p02The Top Secret: Murder in Mind / 秘密 THE TOP SECRET / Himitsu The Top Secret (2016)
Director: Keishi Otomo
Screenplay: Izumi Takahashi, Keishi Otomo, Lee Sork-jun, Kim Sun-mee
Cast: Toma Ikuta, Masaki Okada, Koji Kikkawa, Tori Matsuzaka, Chiaki Kuriyama

There are various puns one can use to describe this movie (based on a manga) but I’ll limit mine to one: mind-bending. I’m using this word in regards to the experience of characters, two in particular, Maki (Toma Ikuta) and Aoki (Masaki Okada) who are police agents of unit 9, an unofficial team who are making use of a revolutionary technique that allows them to extract the visual memories (no sound or other senses) of a deceased person for up to 5 years. This technique requires an agent to receive the memories which are also recorded. Maki is actually a co-founder of the unit and the leader while Aoki is a promising rookie recruit.

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