• My Sons

    My Sons

    Tokyo Story. A film about life, family, love, generational gap. Beautiful ending. Almost perfect.

  • Typhoon Club

    Typhoon Club

    What seems like a coming-of-age comedy is actually a horror film. It's like always on the brink of breaking into full on surrealism. The vibes are so strange and ominous, feels like a fever dream. Wish the overall execution had more clarity and that's what lets this down but otherwise pretty decent.

  • Labyrinth of Dreams

    Labyrinth of Dreams

    Life is so dull, lonely and miserable that you don't mind having a murderer as your lover. Very sensual and a wonderfully eerie atmosphere that mostly does the heavy lifting here. The use of silence is great. It has a lovely alluring quality to it and is nicely haunting. Pretty solid stuff.

  • The Crazy Family

    The Crazy Family

    Disintegration or rather destruction of traditional family unit. Outright deranged and manic. That final act is gloriously unhinged and that ending is brilliant. Would've been more effective if it was little shorter and more focused but still this is really very good and a truly insane ride.

  • A Pool Without Water

    A Pool Without Water

    Wonderfully perverse and twisted. Beautifully shot and has a really lovely moody score. Loved the flow and atmosphere. For a character study about a rapist and with such sleazy and shocking content this is incredibly entrancing. Wakamatsu superbly directs it. Stumbles a little in the final minutes but otherwise this is just brilliantly sick stuff. Great great film.

  • Tora-san's Cherished Mother

    Tora-san's Cherished Mother

    Not as funny as the first one as it's more heavy on drama, still very good and quite moving too. But seeing Tora-san's heart break again, I hate it here Robbie. At least the ending was sweet.

  • Round About Midnight

    Round About Midnight

    Rather slight but the laid-back nature, some familiar faces, nighttime Tokyo, jazz and some bittersweet vibes make this a decent watch. The impromptu duet in the back of a truck was pretty nice as well.

  • Stepbrothers

    Stepbrothers

    Solid mostly. Effective in its critique of Japanese values as well as the oppressive and patriarchal society. Rentaro Mikuni is terrific as the despicable military officer, Tanaka as always is great but little too old for the early parts. Ieki directs it well , gives some moments of nice subtlety and crafts an incredibly oppressive and sad atmosphere. It suffers a little in terms of character work where everyone is lacking some complexity but otherwise overall it's pretty good.

  • Eight Taels of Gold

    Eight Taels of Gold

    Lovely film. A warm and bittersweet romance as well a tale of nostalgic homecoming. Sammo and Sylvia Chang's chemistry is marvelous. Sammo especially is incredible, delivers such a moving and melancholic performance. Mabel Cheung's direction is terrific as she does delicately explores the romantic longing and tension and also gives a warm portrait of someone returning to their homeland and reuniting with the family. The photography is stunning, the Chinese countryside is beautifully captured, it follows so very nicely and it has a great lived-in feel to it. The final 10-15 minutes are truly wonderful.

  • Love in the Time of Twilight

    Love in the Time of Twilight

    Time travelling, supernatural, rom-com. A very wild ride. It's insanely silly but also so sweet, charming and sincere at the same time. It's full of imaginative sequences and images and it's so frantic that it's hard to keep up with but it still manages to dazzle because of how carefree it really is. Special film.

  • Free and Easy

    Free and Easy

    An absurd tragicomedy about corruption and loneliness in a crumbling Chinese village. The story is quite amusing and even a little stupid but works well thanks to its deadpan humour similar to Kaurismäki. The village almost feels like ghost village where no one actually lives other than our characters. The characters are fun and quirky and lot of the situations are genuinely funny even though the general atmosphere is quite sad. Geng's direction is really good and he has lot…

  • Blind Shaft

    Blind Shaft

    Portrait of a harsh, desperate, hopeless world. A bleak and at times darkly humourous look at moral corruption in a capitalist society where humans are nothing but cheap and easily replaceable product.