This is a film that subverts your expectations of the romantic drama. In its opening monologue, you think this is going to be a story of a once-passionate and loving relationship that went up in flames. What you’re greeted with is the semi-tumultuous pairing of two very unlikely companions.
This week, Adam and Kevin cover the 2018 New York Asian Film Festival with reviews of The Empty Hand, The Looming Storm, Microhabitat, and Wrath of Silence. Adam also gushes about the craziness that is BuyBust.
What is so interesting about Dukun's tackling of witchcraft as a horror subject is that the tension does not come from whether or not it is real, but from what the sadistic soul who practices it will do with her unregistered power.
Attempting to highlight the idea that rumors have real-world consequences for the unlucky ones they concern, The Hungry Lion is a meditation on the effects of schoolyard buzz on one of its victims in a monopolizing, objective manner, which dryly makes its opinions heard through blank, repetitive sermonizing about the ills of the young people.
In possibly the most dreary film seen in decades, Yue Dong’s The Looming Storm presents an intriguing Chinese noir, set in a town sandwiched between four factories where a man’s obsession brings him to ruin. Bathed in melancholy, Dong crafts a fascinating mystery buttressed by a magnificent performance by Yihong Duan.
Officially formed in 1973 and still doing shows to this day with its original members, The Wynners isn’t a very widely known band outside the members’ native Hong Kong, but there, they will go down in history as one of the most famous and prolific Cantopop groups ever.
Shot in just eight days, Richard Somes’ Filipino actioner We Will Not Die Tonight evokes a lo-fi version of Walter Hill’s The Warriors, delivering unrelenting violence from the first act that never lets up.
The assembled teenage tragedies that populate River's Edge aren't suffering in their nihilistic angst to provide a lesson, however, so much as they are there to exist and envelop you into their dead-end state of mind, living as they do in presumably hazardous proximity to an industrial district that is polluting the rivers that run behind the school from which they frequently skip.
There exists good intentions behind Harada's want to focus on the plight of Edo women and the disproportionate favoritism of the institution of marriage at the time, but lacking the follow-through and giving into broad populist appeals to entertainment makes these intents inherently shallow.