Your Name / 君の名は / kimi no na wa was a smash hit in Japan (4th highest grossing film in that region) and is currently the highest grossing anime film world wide. It will start screening in Montreal at Cineplex Forum starting April 7, 2017 courtesy of Funimation. It will also screen at other theaters across North America.
Window Horses is an interesting looking animated film that was just released in Montreal theaters (Cineplex Forum, Cinema Beaubien, Cinematheque Quebecoise) on March 17, 2017. It is written & directed by Ann Marie Fleming (Asian Canadian director) and the main character, Rosie Ming, is voiced by Sandra Oh (Korean Canadian actress). Gloria and Stephen are Rosie’s grandparents and are voiced by Nancy Kwan and Eddy Ko (Chinese Canadian actor).
New Super-Man is a comic book about a Chinese Superman. The original Superman, Clark Kent aka Kal-El, is still around so this one’s not a replacement but understandably the idea of making an “insert race here” version of an iconic superhero is a controversial one. The only reason I even considered buying this was because of the writer that was hired for this series. His name is Gene Luen Yang who is an award-winning writer & cartoonist who wrote American Born Chinese, a graphic novel that achieved much success. It is also one of my favorite graphic novels ever. Even Mr. Yang himself initially rejected the job of writing a Chinese Superman but after some further thought he came to realize some of the storytelling potential. Issues 1-6 comprise the first story arc titled, “Made in China.” How did the team, which includes artist Viktor Bogdanovic, behind New Super-Man do? First, I’ll write a brief plot summary of the issues, which will contain some spoilers (but no major ones) and then proceed with my impressions.
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.
Next screening on July 27.
I’m not really a fan of the zombie genre but I’ve enjoyed this director’s previous animated works so gave this animated movie a shot. It was a pretty good time with the Fantasia audience. Lots of people die and the ending isn’t a happy one but the movie is a crowd-pleaser for sure with lots of moments which you will cheer for.
I received the following message recently about an Indiegogo campaign to produce a Monkey King animated pilot. Check it out and contribute if you like it.
Hi Film Beats. I am reaching out to you on behalf of the Vietnamese American Media Network (VAMNtv) a new English- and US-based Vietnamese American network. We are currently producing an animation series: Kong’s Journey — based on one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels — “Journey to the West”.
You have a solid understanding of the Asian American film industry and Hollywood. We are crowdfunding to raise $250K to produce a 22-minute pilot episode. We have potential investors overseas for this project — but it is contingent on whether they think there will be enough interest in the project.
We are asking for your support to visit our crowdfunding campaign for Kong’s Journey and to share the campaign with your readers to help us make the project a reality.
We truly feel that we need your support and cannot reach our goal without it. Thank you in advance for your support and we look forward to keeping you posted with our good news.
Kevin T Nguyen
Fonki is of Cambodian descent and was born in France but is now based in Montreal. He’s created some amazing murals that you can see across Montreal. His latest mural was created for the 2016 edition of the MURAL Public Art Festival. It can be seen on St. Urbain street just above Duluth. Here’s my own cell pic of it below.
And here are other photos of the other murals from Cult Montreal.
Only Yesterday is an old Studio Ghibli movie from the 90s that gets an official release in North America for the first time this month. Those in Montreal can watch it at Cinema du Parc! starting on March 18. There will screenings of both the dubbed version and the original Japanese version with English subtitles. I’m a purist so I’ll opt to watch the latter.