Monstress 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.
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.
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.
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.
Mini reviews of Heart Attack, The Wailing, The Throne, The Inerasable, Karaoke Crazies, The Phantom Detective, Assassination Classroom: Graduation, Lazy Hazy Crazy, A Violent Prosecutor, The Bodyguard, What a Wonderful Family!, and The Piper after the jump.
The 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.