Posted in Fantasia 2018, Film Festivals, Reviews

Fantasia 2018 mini reviews

Mini reviews of the rest of the Fantasia films that I watched in 2018.

Being Natural, The Vanished, Buybust, Buffalo Boys, Fireworks, Loi Bao, Ajin, Laughing Under the Clouds, The Brink, Punk Samurai Slash Down

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

Fantasia 2018 – 2nd wave

Fantasia will present a 35mm print of the 1989 Hong Kong classic The Blonde Fury with star Cynthia Rothrock in attendance, who rose to stardom in the Hong Kong action scene of the 80s.

The world premiere of Satoshi Miki’s film Louder!: Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp will take place at Fantasia. This musical comedy marks the return of the director from a five year film making hiatus.

The Canadian premiere of Searching stars John Cho in a film that uses a unique storytelling approach of computer screens and social media.

Southeast Asia is represented by two action films, the Vietnamese superhero click Loi Bao by Victor Vu from Vietnam (North American premiere) and the Filipino cops & drugs actioner Buybust by Erik Matti

Two more anime films were announced, the world premiere of the horror film, Aragne: Sign of Vermillion by Saku Sakamoto and the international premiere of Penguin Highway by Hiroyasu Ishida

The rare entry from China called People’s Republic of Desire by Hao Wu will have it’s Quebec premiere.

Other East Asian films include The Vanished by Lee Chang-Hee (North American premiere), Being Natural by Tadashi Nagayama, Amiko by Yoko Yamanaka, and One Cut of the Dead by Shunichiro Ueda.

See the full press release for all the other films.

Trailers after the jump

Continue reading “Fantasia 2018 – 2nd wave”

Posted in Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

Festival du nouveau cinema – Oct 5-16, 2016

Le festival du nouveau cinema just released its schedule. In regards to East Asia, Japan is well represented with many features, a couple from China (one is listed under Hong Kong) and a couple from South Korea. In Southeat Asia, there are a few from the Philippines and Cambodia and Thailand each have one film.

Here are a few of my personal picks but be sure to check out the full lineup.

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Posted in Film Festivals, Film Screenings, World Film Festival

Montreal World Film Festival schedule released August 27-September 7

The schedule for the Montreal World Film Festival is now online. I’ve already highlighted some films in this previous post and on twitter. Here are filtered search results to films from South Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Nepal.

Some trailers and film picks after the jump.

Continue reading “Montreal World Film Festival schedule released August 27-September 7”

Posted in Film Screenings

First wave of films announced for Fantasia 2014

The staff at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival has release a sampling of films to be screened. I’ve posted the Asian film parts of their press release below.

A towering and truly unique figure in Japanese animation, director Mamoru Oshii will be a recipient of Fantasia’s Lifetime Achievement Award. From pioneering OVAs DALLOS and the haunting ANGEL’S EGG, and of course the beloved PATLABOR series, of the 1980s, through the dramatically influential global hit GHOST IN THE SHELL in the mid-’90s, to its award-winning sequel and other powerful, pensive works in the new millennium (SKY CRAWLERS, AVALON), Oshii has consistently strived to bring new ideas and in fact a whole new attitude to anime. With his meticulous and idiosyncratic near-future thrillers and dramas, linked by persistent themes, motifs and concerns, Oshii asserts a complex, deeply thoughtful and decidedly adult sensibility — while maintaining the highest technical standards in the field (and hardly confining his efforts to animation). In seeking a path to call his own, Oshii has blazed a trail for fantastic entertainment worldwide to follow.

Mamoru Oshii will be receiving his award on our opening night, July 17, before a special screening of the new HD master of GHOST IN THE SHELL, being re-issued by Manga Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the original manga’s publication. This will be the first time the GITS HD print has been made available outside of Japan, lovingly restored, unadulterated and awe-inspiring in its beauty.

ADDITIONAL FIRST WAVE ANNOUNCEMENTS INCLUDE: Continue reading “First wave of films announced for Fantasia 2014”

Posted in Fantasia 2012, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2012 festival in review

Fantasia 2012, total films seen: 21

This was a really good year (certainly better than last year) but there were also quite a few films that I wanted to watch but couldn’t because of my schedule. Honestly, I felt like there were just way too many films and it was a bit overwhelming trying to pick a reasonable number of them to watch.

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Posted in Reviews

Fantasia 2012 review: Graceland

dir. Ron Morales
act. Leon Miguel, Arnold Reyes

This is a tense, uncompromising and unsettling thriller from the Philippines. It deals with unsavory subjects as poverty, child prostitution and corruption. There is one shocking scene of nudity that some viewers may not be prepared for. It’s not exploitative but some will not care to see such a scene. Graceland is about a driver while driving his own daughter and his boss’ daughter home, gets hijacked and knocked out by a kidnapper who takes the girls. The driver is then tasked by the kidnapper to deliver a ransom note to his boss, a corrupt congressman. The story is well paced and raises the tension ending with revelations that mostly make sense. Those who can handle it will be treated to a very good film. Less you know about it, the better the viewing will be.