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  • 27 Steps of May

    27 Steps of May

    ★★★★½

    I wasn't sure about how to start this review. Am still stirred with emotions that I'm not sure how to summarize the experience into just a few words. But there are two things I know for certain:

    27 Steps of May is the best movie I've seen all year.

    27 Steps of May is the first Indonesian masterpiece I've seen in a long time, if ever.

    The second point is important because, as an Indonesian filmmaker myself, I am all…

  • Memories of My Body

    Memories of My Body

    ★★★

    Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku, via the eyes of its visionary director, Garin Nugroho, conjures up imageries of such mystical splendour and intrigue that it is easy to forgive, but not forget, its bland portrayal of an otherwise deeply complex character journey.

    Juno, a young village boy who learned from an early age that one's body can bring forth catastrophic consequences if not controlled well, had to leave his village as an orphan after both his parents left him. Thus begins Juno's…

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  • Nobody Knows

    Nobody Knows

    ★★★★★

    Nobody Knows chronicles the story of abandoned children, loosely based on the real life Sugamo child abandonment case in burgeoning 1980s Tokyo. Left by their mother in a cramped 2nd-floor Tokyo apartment, the four children, led by their eldest Akira, who was only 12 at the time, have to do all they can to ensure their short term survival. However, this is where the movie diverges from the typical melodrama that it could’ve become. Instead of focusing on survival, writer/director/producer/editor…

  • Maborosi

    Maborosi

    ★★★★½

    Maborosi is the first non-documentary feature film directed by Koreeda, and his sixth that I have seen (as of the writing of this article). It is probably here that his background in documentary filmmaking seems to be most evident, as he frames his subjects and objects with such graphic simplicity that it almost felt like he was trying to make a moving photobook of human sentiment. 

    To elaborate, Maborosi conjures up visuals of such unassuming quality and visceral intent that…