Posted in Adaptation, Art & Animation, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Manga, Nouveau cinéma 2019, Reviews

Children of the Sea – film review – Nouveau cinema 2019

Children of the Sea (2019)
Director Ayumu Watanabe
Screenplay Daisuke Igarashi
Producer Eiko Tanaka
Cast Mana Ashida, Gorô Inagaki, Hiiro Ishibashi, Seishû Uragami

Synopsis

This is based on a manga. It is about a young girl with an innate connection to ocean animals. Thinking she’s alone, she meets a couple of boys who were raised in the ocean by dugongs. Besides that unconventional upbringing there is are other odd things about he boys and the mystery related to them goes far beyond their upbringing.

Review

Visually and aurally the movie is quite amazing. With music composed by Joe Hisaishi, that also signals that the soundtrack will be excellent. Scenes of all the variety of sea creatures in the ocean to lush greenery and vibrant flower above ground, there’s no shortage of incredible art. There’s also fair amount of zoom effects and camera shifts which appear to be computer aided. The animation is very high quality overall.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

Festival du Nouveau Cinema – Oct 9-20, 2019

Another edition of Nouveau cinema is fast approaching and runs from October 9-20, 2019 in various cinemas such as Cinema du Parc, Cinematheque quebecoise, Cinema du musee, and Cineplex quartier latin. A listing of screenings of notable East Asian films will be followed by trailers.

Quebec based director Ky Nam Le Duc will have the world premier of his movie, “Canada”,  and he along with the cast will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Nouveau cinema also has augmented reality or virtual reality works and one intriguing one is “East of the Rockies”, an interactive narrative written by author Joy Kogawa.

There will be three screenings Chinese movie “So Long, My Son” directed by Wang XiaoShuai, an award winning director who is part of the sixth generation of Chinese directors.

Fans of old school martial arts will certainly want to see the restorations of two films by legendary wuxia director King Hu that will be screening, “The Fate of Lee Khan” (1973) and “Raining in the Mountain” (1979). The latter is a North American premiere of a brand new restored version.

Japan as usual has many entries in this festival such as the world premiere of “Videophobia” directed by Daisuke Miyazaki whom along with actress Tomona Hirota will be in attendance. “Diner” is directed by Mika Ninagawa stars Tatsuya Fujiwara and Tina Tamashiro. “They Say Nothing Stays the Same” is the first film by well known actor Jo Odagiri and makes its North American premiere. “To the Ends of the Earth” is directed by award winning Kiyoshi Kurosawa and stars Atsuko Maeda. “37 Seconds” is the first film directed by Hikari.

There are also two animated features from Japan. “Pom Poko” is a lesser known Ghibli classic directed by Isao Takahata. “Children of the Sea” is a recent movie directed by Ayumu Watanabe.

Update Oct 10: A surprise announcement was just made and “Parasite” directed by Bong Joon Ho will have a screening.

Trailers below:

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Posted in Art & Animation

Otakuthon – August 16-18, 2019

Otakuthon is Montreal’s #1 anime convention featuring live shows as well as autograph and photo sessions with anime/manga guests from North American and Japan. In addition there are viewing rooms, areas to watch & play video games, cosplay contests, anime/manga vendors and much more.

One of the artists who will perform a show is the legendary guitarist, Miyavi, who also had a memorable role in the live action film, Bleach.

It will take place from Friday to Sunday, August 16-18 at Palais des Congres.

Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2019, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Twilight – movie review – Fantasia 2019

Twilight / 薄暮 [hakubo] (2019)
Director & Writer: Yutaka Yamamoto
Cast: Hiyori Sakurada, Seishiro Kato

Synopsis

A female freshman, Sachi, who likes to play the violin and a male freshman, Kijinami, who likes to paint meet at a bus stop. Sachi enjoys seeing the countryside during twilight just after the sun sets and part of the sky turns green. Kijinami likes to draw outdoor scenery and the two students strike up a friendship and potentially more.

Review

This is apparently the third movie of a trilogy of movies that deal with the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It’s a short one that a bit less than an hour but it uses that time effectively to delivery a simple but endearing story.

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Posted in *Recommended, Art & Animation, Fantasia 2019, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

White Snake – movie review – Fantasia 2019 [Recommended]

White Snake / 白蛇:缘起 [Báishé: Yuánqǐ] (2019)
Director: Amp Wong, Ji Zhao
Writer: Da Mao
Cast: Xiaoxi Tang, Tianxing Yang, Zhe Zhang

Synopsis

A snake demon, Xiao Bai / Blanca, who has attained human form loses her memory and is rescued by a human man, Xuan. They begin to fall in love but Xiao Bai’s fellow snake demons including her sister, Xiao Qing / Verta, track her down in order to remind her of her mission. Humans and demons are enemies and cannot be allowed to fall in love with each other.

Review

The inspiration of this story has roots in Chinese folklore and mythology. This movie is apparently meant to be a prequel to the Chinese legend, Madame White Snake, an extremely popular tale in China. Like that legend, this movie’s story is very much a forbidden romance type of story. It’s also more adult oriented. There’s nothing that is necessarily sensitive for kids to see but there is an obviously implied sex scene at one point but nothing is shown at all. There’s no blood (or at least I don’t really remember it) but some fight scenes can be pretty violent and one involves something being cut into multiple pieces.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2019, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Ride Your Wave – movie review – Fantasia 2019

Ride Your Wave / きみと、波にのれたら [Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara] (2019)
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Writer: Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Ryota Katayose, Rina Kawaei

Synopsis

A female student who is an avid surfer and a fireman fall in love with each other but then tragedy strikes when the fireman drowns but somehow the student is able to magically conjure him in bodies of water. However, her constant need to be with him even after death is preventing her from moving on with her life.

Review

I’ve seen one of this director’s movies previously and although I didn’t like the story there, it had some pretty wild animation sequences. The style in this movie is the same and in my opinion it’s a style that is definitely Japanese but distinct enough to be distinguishable from the generic anime style. But this one’s more grounded with some fantastical sequences but nothing as bombastic or WTF as this director has shown previously.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Film Screenings

Fantasia International Film Festival, July 11 – August 4, 2019

Another edition of the Fantasia festival will start very soon. The full schedule is available on their website.

For the 2nd/final wave announcement of films see the following Fantasia press release.

Here are some of the East Asian films announced.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2019 – First Wave Announcement

Fantasia International Film Festival just announced their first wave of films. Here’s a list of the East Asian movies. Trailers will be below the list.

Idol
The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil
Door Lock
Chiwawa
House of Hummingbird
We Are Little Zombies
Ode to Nothing
No Mercy
The Fable
She
21st Century Girl
Fly Me  to Saitama
G Affairs
The Island of Cats
The Moon in the Hidden Woods
White Snake

To see the full list check out the press release below.

https://fantasiafestival.com/en/news/first-wave-2019

Trailers below

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