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  • Harmonium


    Part of AFFD 2017 coverage:

    Tadanobu Asano plays an ex-con who arrives at the household of a friend to stay for a few weeks. He quickly integrates into their routine, but also makes clear the fragility of their lives. There is an unnerving quality to both Asano’s performance, his face revealing little of what goes on inside of him (the shock of the red shirt underneath his otherwise all-white dress is one of the key moments in the film), which…

  • Duckweed


    Part of AFFD 2017 coverage:

    This is a heartwarming film from Han Han, telling the story of a petulant son who travels back into the past to meet his young dad. Most of the film’s success can be traced to MVP Deng Chao, who displays an understated charm, and has wonderful blank-faced reactions to most of what goes around him. So many jokes here are about the lack of understanding regarding the changes that the future will bring (the characters…

Popular reviews

  • The Wind Rises

    The Wind Rises


    "I like vehicles and want to continue drawing them, but I have resolved not to draw them in a fashion that further feeds an infatuation with power. In the same way, I think that being infatuated with the worl'ds biggest battleship guns merely reveals an infantile mentality, and such an infatuation is truly useless in conflicts with more sophisticated nations, who think of war as merely a means to victory, cannons merely as tools to destroy targets.

    I thus have…

  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away


    What struck me on this viewing is the idea of consumption. How you're affected by what you choose to consume, or not consume. Or, more the point, what goes into you or doesn't. It begins with her parents, but the same idea is manifested in the stink spirit vignette (a different manifestation of what happens at the beginning of PRINCESS MONONOKE, man's technological advancement wreaking havoc on nature, here expressed as sludge and vomit) and, most savagely, in the No…