» 82
by John A. Riley
"Jung Eun-chae is a graceful, beautiful Haewon, but her daydreams seem facile, and the backpack she wears for most of the movie — which seems to be empty — tempers this statuesque gracefulness, rendering Haewon an awkward sightseer or a precocious child on a first-time school trip."
by Jacob Mertens
"Now the fight becomes something more than a contest of wills, it becomes a careful discovery of kindred spirits as seen through a reciprocal poetry of martial arts form."
» 81
by Dan Akira Nishimura
"Although he pays lip service to the honor code of Bushido, Yonoiʼs facade of the disciplined warrior is transparent. Celliers sees through it. As Yonoi is about to execute Hicksley, Celliers challenges him in the most provocative way, with a defiant kiss."
» 78
by Ravi Bhoraskar and Sudha Shastri
"Kahaani captures this moment of rising disillusionment and change in the world. There is no 'riding-into-the-sunset' happy ending, for Vidya still remains an unhappy widow at the close of the movie: perhaps an appropriate resolution for these angsty times."
» 77
by Michael Blancato
"Wong shows that certain modernized countries have been able to flourish economically because they have embraced globalization, but with powerful emotional consequences for their people."
» 76
by Maximilian Yoshioka
"The monumental approach, as one would guess, takes history as something to be inspired by, as a record of human greatness that serves to encourage similar greatness by individuals in future times; in the case of City of Life and Death, it is the various acts of compassion and solidarity that play this role."
» 75
by Tom Vick
"If the technical advancement of cinema now means that nature has been conquered, and most movies take place in a meteorological nowheresville created in a digital effects lab (where the weather is either hyper-real or airlessly unpresent), it strikes me as significant that the weather, the presence of the seasons, persists so strongly in Korean cinema, even as it has grown to rival Hollywood in sophistication, ambition, and technical achievement."
by Mark Player
"An incessant downpour dominates every exterior scene, and even some interior ones through sound. Water becomes a central motif, from Rinko relaxing contemplatively in the bath to Shigehiko watching people drown in the tank."
» 73
by Jonathan McCalmont
"Kim decided to retreat into an interior world where he does not need to confront or take but where his time can be sucked up by shitting in fields, smoking fish, getting drunk, and singing."
» 72
by Norman Ball
"How does Tibet's cultural destruction differ, in essence, from Time-Warner's choreographed glamorization of bitches and ho's in inner-city America, or death metal's hold over disenfranchised Midwestern youth?"
"Boonmee establishes Weerasethakul as our reigning master of the spiritual style: no one else moves across the lines that separate animals from humans and the living from the dead with greater ease or less fuss."
» 69
by Brian Libby
"Sanshiro is ultimately after spiritual gain – to achieve the purity he found in the moonlit flower."
» 62
"Like Hollywood's new postwar men, he offered a multifaceted, ambivalent masculinity far from monolithic wartime ideals."
» 58
"Even the least imaginative people are incredulous about aging: surely this isn't the only story, the only body I get to inhabit."
» 57
"Opens like a darkling fairy tale . . ."
» 55
"The women of To's world are not just endearingly kooky, but often unacceptably bizarre and amoral in their excited reactions to events."
» 52
Pitch-black pessimism, unsparing emotional truths, and women on the verge
This one's got it all, including the kitchen sink
» 51
Sexual ambiguity is one of the hallmarks of Hong Kong cinema's golden age, and no one did it better than Lin Ching-Hsia, aka Brigitte Lin
» 49
The "deadly China doll" widely viewed, during her heyday in the early 1970s, as the female Bruce Lee
» 47
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Tokyo steams, Mifune screams, Shimura beams
» 42
"I love people reading things with hearts!"
A fine example of the female swordplay genre, with Helen Ma vividly incarnating the strong, literally silent action hero as a woman
» 35
The DVDs of these two rare gay pink films could use some extras and better source prints, but at least they're here!
» 34
Takashi Miike's notorious film has earned both awards and mass walkouts
» 33
by Craig Watts
Resurrection and renewal in postwar Japanese cinema, as seen through Tomu's 1955 masterpiece
Truly subversive or mere cinematic "seasoning," in the director's own phrase?
» 31
Ang Lee's homage to the Hong Kong martial arts film
Schoolboys on strike, farting contests, and a mysteriously acquired washer make up the world of this 1959 Japanese classic
Japanese silent films are no longer silent in this fabulous — and expensive — DVD-ROM
by Roger Garcia
HK's martial arts film stylishly bridge time, space, and now cultures
by Sek Kei
A comprehensive look at a seminal decade in one of the world's great cinemas
by Dr. Craig Reid
Jackie spills his guts — this time verbally
by Sek Kei, with additional material by Rolanda Chu and Grant Foerster
Hong Kong's martial arts madness in legend, history, and, oh yeah, the movies
by Rolanda Chu
Two HK classics blur — make that erase — gender boundaries with thrilling results
by Jillian Sandell
Hong Kong's master of balletic blood 'n bulletplay speaks!
by Jillian Sandell
Among their thrills, Woo's homoerotic bullet ballets offered welcome distraction from 1997's doomsday scenarios
» 30
Aaron Cohen
This forgotten star was caught up — and perhaps crushed — by larger historical forces
Tubercular yakuza, scandalous artists, and postwar paranoids duke it out with the world
by Eve Kushner
If "Asian face" isn't bad enough, how about names like Nanki-Poo and Yum Yum?
» 28
The cruelty and clarity of life in a sand pit in Japan, circa 1964
» 26
Mizoguchi's legendary version of Chushingura is finally available in a sparkling DVD transfer
» 22
Mizoguchi, with Ozu and Kurosawa one of the three undisputed masters from the golden age of Japanese cinema, was born in 1898 in the middle class district of Hongo, in Tokyo. Two events occurred when the future director was seven that may have played a pivotal role in the kinds of films he would make. In the first, his family's fortunes were reversed when his overly ambitious father lost their money in a failed business scheme. In the second, which resulted from the first, his 14-year-old sister Suzu was put up for adoption and eventually sold to a geisha house.
The Life of Oharu (1952) is a tragedy with few peers in or out of the cinema; it's 137 minutes of almost unrelieved grimness, made unsettlingly real by the director's ravishing pictorialism and above all by the performance of Kinuyo Tanaka as a woman who falls from a respected member of the Imperial Japanese Court to a broken-down whore and beggar ravaged by disease.
» 21
Akira Kurosawa has been seen as one of the three components of a kind of Holy Trinity of golden-age Japanese auteurs, with Ozu reckoned as the contemplative Father; Mizoguchi as transcendent Holy Spirit; and Kurosawa; nicknamed "the Emperor," in the role of Son. Such comparisons, of course, are more convenient than sensible, since the similarities between these men, particularly in their scathing critiques of the rigid norms of postwar Japanese society and their existentialist bent, are as great as their differences.
» 20
Enjoy Yourself To-night, Final Justice, Midnight Zone, and Once Upon a Time in China and America
» 19
Hong Kong's "Who's the Man?" series — Patrick Chan's Who's the Woman, Who's the Man? and He's a Woman, She's a Man
Bookend satires of fame, pop music, and forbidden kisses
» 18
by Robert B. Ito
The history of blackface has been well documented in American film criticism; the history of yellowface has received much less critical attention, and considerably less public censure
Sweaty, muscular male flesh ready to be assaulted
A brilliantly skilled hitwoman with no family, no friends, and for most of the film no name
» 17
Jackie's almost eclipsed — almost — by the great Michelle Khan. Watch out for that building!
This epic set in the 16th century deals with war, honor, courage, and yes, that homo subtext ever present in male bonding movies — punctuated by Toshiro Mifune's enthralling butt-baring performance!
» 16
Jackie plays a typical role here, the sweet, naive, but principled bumpkin who is forced against his will into violent confrontations and life-threatening stunts

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@brightlightsfilm - stills, photos, and images from classic and contemporary films from around the world.