Posted in Sports

TVA Sports speaks with Nachi Fujimoto of Les Canadiennes

What follows is my English translation of the TVA Sports article by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, published on November 11, 2017.

A Good Shot for Asian Hockey

The Japanese player of the Montreal Canadiennes, Nachi Fujimoto sees the arrival of two Chinese teams to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) as a good thing for Asian hockey.

“It’s good for Asian hockey that two Chinese teams play in the Canadian league. In women’s hockey, the two best teams are Canada and the USA,” said Fujimoto after her team’s defeat at the Bell Center on Saturday. “The best way to learn is to play against the best players on the planet.”

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Posted in Documentary, Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

RIDM 2017 Documentary festival Nov 9-19, 2017

RIDM (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de montréal) is Montreal’s documentary festival that runs from November 9-19, 2017 at various venues. There are documentaries from all over the world. There are some East Asian documentaries from China, Singapore and Thailand at this year’s edition. There are at least a couple of documentaries with Montreal connections.

Montreal-based film production company GreenGround has a feature at the festival with two screenings, one with English subtitles (Nov 16) and one with French subtitles (Nov 12). It is called Taming the Horse, directed by Gu Tao. The director visits an old childhood friend in China who has become embittered by his life.

Antoine, directed by Laura Bari is a documentary from 2008 about a blind child name Antoine who lives in Montreal.

 

Posted in Sports, Video

Nachi Fujimoto returns to Les Canadiennes

The Canadiennes of the CWHL initially drafted Nachi Fujimoto, the Japanese defender from Sapporo, Hokkaido, before the 2016 season but then traded her to Boston. Before this season in 2017, the Canadiennes traded for her so now she is back in Montreal, which I believe makes her the first Japanese player on the team.

Nachi has an older sister who played as a goalie in the NWHL last season and has been the goalie for the Japanese national team.

Posted in Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Reviews

Un Printemps d’ailleurs / A Touch of Spring @ Nouveau Cinema 2017

printempsdailleursUn Printemps d’ailleurs / A Touch of Spring (2017)
Director & Screenplay: He XiaoDan
Cast: Yan WenSi

Review: The story starts with Li Fang (Yan WenSi) who has a violent breakup with her husband in Montreal over her desire to have a baby. While her husband looks for a lawyer to organize the divorce proceedings, she decides to return to her hometown of Dazu in ChongQing (municipality), China to visit her grandfather. She struggles to reconcile her family’s idea of success with her own.

With regards to the story, it’s straight-forward and simple. It’s more of a character study or a bit of a philosophical exploration. Of course, there’s a bit of a clash between traditional Chinese values and more western ones that Fang has adopted but it’s not really the focus and simply comes out naturally as events occur. In another event, what seems like a cultural clash ends up not being the case due to the secrecy surrounding a young girl that she meets at her family reunion. The pacing is rather relaxed so it can feel a tad slow but it’s mostly fine and allows one to ponder the significance of certain events or piece together information from hints given. Buddhism is often mentioned including the idea that life is suffering. Fang wonders what the secret is to a happy marriage to which her grandfather replies with a very unromantic but perhaps sage response.

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Posted in Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Trailers, Video

Festival du nouveau cinema Oct 4-15, 2017

Le festival du nouveau cinema from October 4-15, 2017 will be screening films from all over the world at various theaters in Montreal. There are some recent movies from Japan such as Beat Takeshi’s Outrage Coda (the final installment of the Outrage trilogy) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish. Films from the past such as Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django and several gangster films from the 60s by Seijun Suzuki. There’s also an intriguing stop motion animation short film by Takeshi Yashiro called Norman the Snowman. From South Korea there are a couple of recent Hong Sang Soo films and from the past, a Korean western by Kim Jee Woon. There’s a movie from Chinese born but Montreal based director Xiaodan He called Un Printemps d’ailleurs. There is also a Vietnamese horror movie called KFC.

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Posted in Music, Next Music From TOKYO, Video

Next Music from TOKYO Vol 11 concert – Oct 8 & 9 @ Le Divan Orange

Steven Tanaka is organizing a second tour of Next Music From Tokyo this year after a very successful vol 10 last May. Montrealers are in for a nice surprise this year because there will actually be two shows in Montreal although they won’t be exactly the same. The first will be on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at Le Divan Orange (4234 St. Laurent) in Montreal and the show starts at 8pm (doors 7pm) and will feature all the acts. There will be a second (mini) show on Monday, October 9, 2017 with only four of the acts but they will play longer sets and it will be followed by some sort of after party. The Montreal stop is after Toronto and before Vancouver. The lineup of six Japanese indie/underground bands are: Jyocho, Nuito, 午前3時と退屈 (Gozen Sanji To Taikutsu / 3 A.M. and Bored), O’ Summer Vacation & Koutei Camera Girl Drei + opening act: Ame To Kanmuri. Tickets are $14. Hard copy tickets can be purchased at Cheap Thrills or you can buy them online.

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Posted in Fantasia 2017, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2017 festival in review

Fantasia 2017, total films seen: 22

This was an okay year overall. Last year wasn’t necessarily that much better but it had some super memorable screenings while this year there weren’t any films that wowed me or had the audience go super crazy. Granted, I missed some South Korean movies I really wanted to watch like A Taxi Driver and A Day. Only three films were labeled recommended this year. This isn’t the worst year as far as outright disliking films but the number of films that I enjoyed or liked a lot this year was lower than previous years. I am starting to wonder if my interest in East Asian cinema is waning.

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Posted in Funny, Video

Just for Laughs & Zoofest 2017

Just for Laughs is Montreal’s internationally acclaimed comedy festival. Zoofest is another comedy festival that’s newer which showcases upcoming talent. Here are some East Asian comics, I saw in the listings.

Steve Byrne, half Korean, half Irish, American comedian returns to Montreal with his own solo show (July 24) and as part of the Ethnic show (multiple shows until July 22).

Ali Wong is an American comedian who also returns to Montreal with a solo show (July 27).

Frank Truong is a mentalist & magician from France who is part of the French show Cabaret insolite (multiple shows until July 19) and also has a couple of free shows on (July 20, 21).

Joe Vu is a Canadian comedian who is part of the Homegrown Comics show (July 28).