This Thai feature doesn’t show us the island until very late in the film. It’s not all that big on funerals either. What it does show us, for most of its 1 hour and 44 minutes, is three people arguing which direction to go in their car. One of them is always sure that at least one of the others is wrong — that they missed a turn, took a wrong turn, blew through an intersection, or got spun around in wide, slow-going circles.
You may not know the name Fei-hung Wong (1847–1924), but if you’re into martial arts movies, you’ve probably seen some semblance of the legendary hero onscreen.
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Novelist Martin Limón lives quietly near Seattle. In his imagination, however, he’s often traveling to South Korea, where his series of military thrillers starring Sergeant George Sueño are set. The newest series title, “The Ville Rat,” set in the 1970s, follows Sueño and his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Ernie Bascom, […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly “Kung Fu Panda 3,” from DreamWorks, marks the third installment of the adventures of Po, an amiable and witty animated panda bear who, somewhat against his own nature, becomes a martial-arts expert and helps to defend his Chinese village from evil. The film’s two directors, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Wu Ershan’s “Mojin: The Lost Legend” opens with a frantic action sequence inside an ancient tomb. In the far-reaching tradition of Hong Kong cinema, time and gravity seem to work at the whim of the screenwriter (Tianxi Bachang, in this case), and the three leads scrabble about, frozen in […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Troubling. Challenging. Problematic. Call 2015 what you want, it had plenty of reasons to stay in bed with the covers pulled over your eyes. Here are 10 visions worth getting out of the house for (although, in fairness, you can ingest most of them through your television). 10. “Cambodian Son,” directed […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly It began with a coin purse. Hello Kitty, soon to conquer the world, made her debut on a tiny coin purse made from see-through plastic. The year was 1975. The “Hello! Exploring The Supercute World Of Hello Kitty” exhibit at the EMP Museum includes a replica of this coin […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly If Jafar Panahi’s new movie comes off less than perfect—or even if it seems perfect—one must consider the circumstances. The Iranian director’s own government banned him from making films for 20 years. In a statement issued earlier this year, Panahi replied that “Nothing can prevent me from making films […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Japanese jazz pianist and composer Keiko Matsui has traveled all over the world with her music, and recorded her latest CD/DVD set at the Ex Theater in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. But she told me that Seattle is actually her favorite place to play. “Seattle is my favorite city,” she […]
By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly I settled into my seat wondering how Hou Hsaio-Hsien, a Taiwanese director with an eye to the quirks, and subtle quakes of human interchange, would approach a martial arts film, specifically, a “wuxia” (“martial hero”) narrative, with its implicit practices. And “The Assassin,” his first full-length film since 2008’s […]