Posted in Music, Next Music From TOKYO

Next Music from Tokyo vol 13 tour – Oct 5-10, 2018

Next Music from Tokyo or should that be Next Music from Tokyo & Taiwan? Because for the first time in the tour’s history, it will be inviting a non-Japanese band. This band is from Taiwan but has toured in Japan so it would seem that some Japanese fans are aware of them. The other four bands come from Japan and not just Tokyo but other cities like Osaka. Two bands return from past volumes. There’s Otori making their second showing and Mass of the Fermenting Dregs making their third appearance, the first band to do so on the tour. But if you want to be picky this would be the second appearance of the reformed band, the original lineup was all female who broke up but then a few years ago the original bassist reformed the band with two male members. I had previously seen this band in Vol 8, which was the first NMFT show that I ever attended and I’ve  attended every show since then except vol 12. The other two bands are new to the tour and both are all female trios: UlulU and Paranoid Void.

It kicks off with two shows in Toronto on Friday October 5 and Saturday October 6. Then in Montreal on Sunday October 7 and ends in Vancouver on October 10. Tickets can be purchased online now.

More videos after the jump.

Continue reading “Next Music from Tokyo vol 13 tour – Oct 5-10, 2018”

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Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Searching – film review

Searching (2018)
Director & Writer: Aneesh Chaganty
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La

Synopsis

A father misses a couple of phone calls from his daughter while he’s asleep. When she doesn’t return home,  he tries to contact her again but ends up contacting the police to search for her. While searching through her laptop for clues he discovers that he does not know his daughter as well as he thought he did.

Review

The thing that will become noticeable early on is that this movie is not filmed or staged in a conventional manner. Everything is seen via some sort of video media, whether it be a computer screen, a smartphone screen, a TV screen or surveillance camera. It is not the first movie to do so but very few films have chosen to tell their story in this way. It’s an interesting technique that makes it stand out and is particularly effective in the beginning when we see a montage of sorts showing the Kim’s family life before tragedy strikes. However, the restriction to presenting the story only via screens starts to feel forced towards the end when the film resorts to hidden cameras, live TV and live streaming to show the final events.

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Posted in *Recommended, Food, Reviews

Food Fight! Japanese Cheesecake [日本のチーズケーキ]

Uncle Tetsu VS Yoko Cheesecake

Food Fight! posts will be totally biased where I compare the same or very similar foods and declare a winner (or not). For this inaugural edition of I have sacrificed my health and waistline to compare two Japanese cheesecakes that are currently available in Montreal.

Before we go on, it’s important to note that Japanese cheesecake is significantly different from traditional or Western cheesecake. Japanese cheesecake is perhaps more similar to a sponge cake than a traditional cheesecake. The Japanese version is also known to be very jiggly and fluffy. I’ve seen the terms “cotton cheesecake” or “soufflé cheesecake” to refer to the Japanese cheesecake as a way of differentiating it from its Western counterpart.

TetsuVsYoko

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Posted in Reviews, Trailers, Video

Crazy Rich Asians – film review

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Dir: Jon M. Chu
Cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkafina

Synopsis

Based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan (who has subsequently written two more books that form a trilogy), the movie follows Rachel, a Chinese American professor who goes to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick who she quickly discovers is part of one of the richest families in Singapore. She has to deal with judgmental rich people and of course Nick’s unimpressed mother.

Review

The actresses and female roles are almost all really good some of which in some way almost steal the spotlight away from the lead, Constance Wu. But let’s talk about her as Rachel first. She does a good job and her character arc actually goes in unexpected directions. The conflict between tradition and modern attitudes has a bit of a different twist here as socio-economic classes also comes into play. It informs and affects the romantic conflicts but doesn’t overwhelm the main story. Wu handles both the comedy and serious scenes in convincing fashion.

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Posted in Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2018 festival in review

Fantasia 2018, total films seen: 23

Although the lineup featured some films I was excited to watch, this ended up like last year where nothing really stood out. In fact, I’d say that I felt even more indifferent about most of what I watched compared to last year. The best thing I can say is that I didn’t really hate anything I watched this year but at the same time I only gave two films the recommended label, this is the lowest total and ties it with 2011, the first year that I extensively covered the festival on this blog. However, due to the schedule and my other personal commitments I missed a lot of the South Korean films but I’m not sure that it would’ve affected my overall impression that much. Many of the South Korean films didn’t appeal to me or appeared to be retreads.

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Penguin Highway – film review – Fantasia 2018

PenguinHighwayPenguin Highway / ペンギン・ハイウェイ (2018)

DIRECTOR: Hiroyasu Ishida
WRITER: Makoto Ueda
CAST: Kana Kita, Yû Aoi

Synopsis

Adpated from a book, a 4th grade boy has a crush on an older woman who works at the dentist’s office that he goes to but that’s not the only thing on his mind. When penguins start appearing in his town, he decides to investigate with his best friend.

Review

This film exhibits one of the great things that make animation a special medium. There are simply things you can draw that you couldn’t possibly replicate in real life or even with the aid of photo-realistic computer graphics. That sort of imagination and creativity are on display in this film.

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Posted in Series, Video

Blasians – kickstarter

Taken from the kickstarter page.

ABOUT THE SHOW
Blasians follows the lives of a group of Black and Asian best friends living in the Bay Area. The web series, a dramedy, explores the complicated, hilarious, and sometimes difficult things woke millennials of color go through on their path to self-actualization. The show’s major themes center around friendship, love, potential, and forgiveness.

WHY THIS PROJECT MATTERS
Blasians was created by Amie Darboe, a Black American writer and producer from Rhode Island, and is directed by Pongkarnda ‘Kik’ Udomprasert, a writer and director from Thailand. It’s rare to see projects by women of color get the funding they need, but even rarer to see projects that are a result of partnerships between Black and Asian women creatives.

Although progress is being made, Asian and Black communities lack representation in all aspects of media. Additionally, misconceptions about Black and Asian relationships continue to add strife to our communities. Blasians aims to show that not only do Asian and Black friendships exist, but that they’re fun, raw, and hella beautiful.