“Ponyo,” the new film from Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, opens with a shot of the sky on a sunny day. It’s only a short shot. Unlike Miyazaki’s earlier film “Porco Rosso,” “Ponyo” concerns itself with the sea, not the sky.
“Thirst” is a new film directed by controversial South Korean director Chan-wook Park. The film begins with a fat man wheezing in his hospital bed. Between wheezes, he explains how he once held the world’s greatest sponge cake. He longed for nothing more than a private place to devour this cake. However, he came across two hungry sisters and gave the cake to them instead.
“Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone” (a film adapted from the Japanese science fiction anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion”) is set in the not-too-distant future, in a city called Tokyo-3. The buildings shimmer in a heat wave. The streets are suspiciously empty. A huge spray suddely sprouts out over the water.
Week 4: the final stretch “Breathless,” South Korea Reviewed by James Tabafunda Song-hoon (Yang Ik-june) is an enforcer for his gangster friend Man-shik (Jeong Man-shik). Song-hoon’s personal life, filled with childhood memories of being a victim of domestic abuse from his father, enables him to easily direct his clenched fists and bad temper toward anyone, […]
By Thi-Le Vo Northwest Asian Weekly Just when we think we’ve leaned enough about the weapons used during WWII, a documentary entitled “On Paper Wings” draws our attention to a Japanese weapon many of us have previously not heard about, shedding light on an important part of American history that has been overlooked.
Week 3: Real life is a drag “The Red Race,” China/Germany Reviewed by Jason Cruz Do you ever wonder why the Chinese have great gymnasts at the Summer Olympics?
Week 2: Film reviews of those with a message “Kabei — Our Mother,” Japan Reviewed by Andrew Hamlin Japanese director Yoji Yamada’s 74th film abandons the samurai storylines he’s previously used. The film showcases his skill at telling a family-oriented story. The tale resonates between the mind and heart long after the end of the […]
Film reviews of the good, the great, and the ones you absolutely can’t miss “Daytime Drinking,” South Korea Reviewed by James Tabafunda
Directed by Zhang-ke Jia, “24 City” is a Chinese film that blends documentary and fiction. It opens with a grim tone: Factory workers heat and hammer metal, and shots reveal people lingering alone and in smaller groups. The film follows individuals as they recount the story of how a factory turned into an apartment complex, a reflection of how China modernized.
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly “Please set your volume high,” urges Japanese director Go Shibata in his introduction for the DVD release of his second feature film, “Late Bloomer.”