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

Microhabitat – film review – Fantasia 2018

Microhabitat / 소공녀 [So-gong-nyeo] Lit: A Little Princess (2017)

DIRECTOR / WRITER: Jeon Go-woon
CAST: Esom, Ahn Jae-hong, Choi Duk-moon

Synopsis

This slice of life drama paints a portrait a woman who makes little money but manages to get by while enjoying her two favorite things: cigarettes and whiskey. But when the price of cigarettes and the monthly rent are increased, her budget cannot handle it and she decides to sacrifice rent and moves out. Now essentially homeless she stays over at the places of various past friends, who have their own hardships.

Review

The premise of this movie is certainly not exciting nor does it seem particularly interesting. In such cases the characters and plot have to be strong to make the movie engaging. Miso (Esom) is the main character, a woman who is poor but enjoys the simple things in life and has a stable relationship with her boyfriend. Esom from what I can tell seems to be playing against type here. She looks suitably downtrodden but with rather good skin. Her performance is convincing and her character empathizes easily with others.

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Posted in Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2018 – Final Wave

Fantasia International Film Festival has just announced the remaining films and the full screening schedule is now posted on their website. The entries in East Asian cinema continue to be intriguing. This year’s festival runs from July 12 to August 2, 2018. Its screenings take place at Concordia University’s downtown campus.

Donnie Yen’s new movie Big Brother directed by Ka-Wai Kam (he worked on the Ip Man films with Yen) will have its world premiere at Fantasia. Yen produces, stars and is also the action director and collaborated with action choreographer Kenji Tanigaki whom he had worked with previously on movies such as Special ID and Dragon. Tanigaki was the action director on the Rurouni Kenshin films.

Another world premiere comes from Japan, The Travelling Cat Chronicles directed by  Koichiro Miki, it’s an novel adaptation starring Sota Fukushi, Mitsuki Takahata, Yuko Takeuchi, and Alice Hirose.

A couple more Japanese novel adaptations will have their North American premieres. Takashi Miikie’s Laplace’s Witch, a mystery adapted from a novel and starring Sho Sakurai, Suzu Hirose, and Sota Fukushi. Gakuryu Ishii’s Punk Samurai Slash Down starring Go Ayano, Shota Sometani, and Tadanobu Asano.

Room Laundering starring Jo Odagiri and Elaiza Ikeda in a quirky comedy by first time director Kenji Katagiri makes its North American premiere.

From Korea, comes the Microhabitat, a first feature by Jeon Go-woon.

From China, comes Da Hu Fa directed by Busifan, the rare animated film from the mainland that will be shown in 3D and looks to be a unique entry to the genre.

Back to Japan, we have more North American premieres. Kasane directed by Yuichi Sato (who also directed Poison Berry in My Brain) stars Kyoko Yoshine, Tao Tsuchiya and Tadanobu Asano in a films where two actresses swap faces. Tornado Girl is a romcom directed by Hitoshi One and starring Satoshi Tsumabuki and Kiko Mizuhara.

Bodied directed by Joseph Kahn is about a grad student who becomes battle rapper. Dumbfoundead is one of his first opponents.

More East Asian films and films from other countries are mentioned in the full press release which you can find on ScreenAnarchy.

Trailers after the jump.

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

Fantasia 2018 – First wave

Here are some of the East Asian films that Fantasia announced as part of their first wave of films that will screen at this year’s festival.

World premieres include Buffalo Boys, a western from Indonesia directed by Mike Wiluan, and Bleach, a live action manga adaptation directed by Shinsuke Sato and starring Sota Fukushi and Miyavi featuring supernatural battles.

Inuyashiki, another live action manga adaptation but in the Sci-fi genre directed by Shinsuke Sato will have it’s Canadian premiere and stars Noritake Kinashi and Takeru Satoh. Another manga adaptation from Sato called I am a Hero featuring zombies will also screen.

Animated features making their Canadian premieres include: Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms, which is the directorial debut of Mari Okada; Fireworks directed by Genki Kawamura, which is an adaption of a TV drama by Shunji Iwai; and the “gekimation” Violence Voyager by Ujicha.

From South Korea: Last Child, a first feature film from director Shin Dong-seok is a drama that will have its Canadian premiere and stars Choi Moo-seong, Kim Yeo-jin and Seong Yu-bin. The Outlaws is an action comedy directed by Kang Yun-sung and starring Don Lee and Yoon Kye-sang.

Horror entries include: Japan’s Rokuroku: The Promise of the Witch by Yudai Yamaguchi and Indonesia’s Satan’s Slaves by Joko Anwar.

Other Japanese films include: Tremble All You Want by Akiko Ohku, Wilderness: Part 1 & 2 directed by Yoshiyuki Kishi and starring Masaki Suda and Yang Ik-june, and Hanagatami by Nobuhiko Obayashi.

For the full list of films, check out the press release.

Some trailers after the jump.

Continue reading “Fantasia 2018 – First wave”

Posted in *Recommended, Discussion

Major East Asian Languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean

This was written some time in the past (like maybe a year ago) with updates over the course of my learning although I’ve been pretty lazy about it recently.

A comparison of the major East Asian languages of Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese & Korean

These are some initial thoughts from a native English speaker’s perspective. I am most experienced with learning Chinese (having taken courses and visited China). More recently I took some beginner Japanese classes and have read up on my own about Korean. I have learned a fair amount about the pronunciations but can only say really basic sentences in Japanese and nothing significant in Korean. I have read about the basic “correct” sentence structure and grammar that isn’t actually spoken (i.e. devoid of honorifics and conjugations). I have an idea of the different conjugations and how honorifics changes them.

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Posted in *Recommended, Sports, Travel, Video, Vlog

TokiYuYu vlogging PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018

Tokiyuyu is Canadian (she went to high school & university in Quebec) according to her youtube profile but moved from the US to Japan. She mostly blogs about her life in Japan but here I’ve posted her videos about her recent visit to PyeongChang to watch the Olympics.

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Posted in Festival du nouveau cinéma, Film Festivals, Reviews

Claire’s Camera @ Nouveau cinema 2017

Claire’s Camera (2017)
Director & Screenplay: Hong Sang-Soo
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Kim Min-Hee

Review: The story for this movie is extremely simple. A French woman randomly meets a few Koreans (a man and two women) in Cannes during a film festival and finds out they know each other. Gradually their connections are revealed as she encounters each one multiple times and take polaroid photos of them believing that people change after she takes their photo.

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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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