Shizuka Suzuki (Ayaka Miyoshi) hates musicals, or at least that’s what she claims after a traumatic incident from her childhood leads her to despise the stage. So, when she decides to take her niece to visit a fair in the park and magician Machin Ueda (Akira Takarada) hypnotises her into turning all life situations into […]

Super-entertaining Takashi Miike crime thriller First Love is a Tarantino-beating bonanza that opens with a decapitated head rolling into the frame and doesn’t let up for 108 minutes. The Yakuza genre is one Miike delved into early on in his career with great success, and now he’s jumped back into the world of Tokyo gangsters in […]

In the colorful world of Japanese manga live-action adaptations and musical-themed film productions, we can find a series of films that center around pop- and rock-bands that practically ooze ‘ikemen’ (good looking men) by the seams, while there is an (un)surprising lack of such films centering on female music groups. The reason for that lies […]

“I was envious of those who had siblings when I was younger, I thought that their lives were richer,” anime director Mamoru Hosoda admits to MyM Buzz, as he explains how he came to create the story for his latest film Mirai. A sweet, heart-warming family film about four-year-old Kun, who struggles to accept the arrival of […]

A gentle and emotionally intelligent look at the meaning of family in contemporary Japan. Empathetic, quiet and in-tune with human fragility, this year’s Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters explores the humane need for belonging and connection. Wondering if you can ‘choose’ your family, Hirokazu Koreeda once again perfects the art of drawing genuine heartbreak from an […]

Hideki Arai’s 1990s manga series Come on Irene (Itoshi no Irene) addressed the shortage of brides in the rural areas of Japan, melding comedy, drama and darker thriller hues into its story – there is no wonder that it attracted Keisuke Yoshida, a Japanese filmmaker whose previous projects successfully combined those same elements. In fact, […]

Natileigh – Nats – Sitoy is a Cebuana actress who has been busy making a name for herself as an indie actress in the Philippines. After she won Best Supporting Actress role at Cinema One Originals for  her role in Lily, she appeared in Bagahe (2017), in Brillante Mendoza’s Netflix series Amo (2018) and in […]

In Japan, a ‘jiko bukken’ is the name given to stigmatized properties where the last tenant has died of unnatural causes. Supposedly – according to Room Laundering at least – Japanese landlords must disclose to possible residents if the last tenant died of something out of the ordinary. Leaving landlords stuck with unrentable properties, that […]

With its 3rd edition just around the corner, London East Asia Film Festival announced an impressive 2018 line-up. Hye-Jung Jeon, the Director of LEAFF, travelled to ‘each corner’ of the globe, powered by her undying passion for cinema, to make sure that the films she will present at this year’s festival are noteworthy. Dark Figure […]

Is there anything that has yet to be seen in the zombie film genre? You might think there isn’t, but One Cut of the Dead, which earned itself not only a standing ovation from the audience in Udine, but also missed winning the festival audience-favourite title by a handful of votes, landing on second place, […]