6 items from 2017
Moonstone Entertainment and Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures will share sales duties on “Legend of the Demon Cat,” the latest film from Palme d’Or winning Chinese director Chen Kaige.
A period action drama, the film sees a Chinese poet and a Japanese monk join forces to investigate the influence of a demonic cat, which has possessed a general’s wife, wreaked havoc on the royal court and killed legendary courtesan Yang Guifei. The film, originally presented under the title “Kukai,” is adapted from a bestselling four-volume novel about love, death and revenge by Yumemakura Baku.
The film is structured as a Japan-China co-production involving China’s New Classics Media and Japan’s Kadokawa. Hong Kong’s Emperor boarded later. The international cast is headed by Sometani Shota and Huang Xuan, as well as Keiko Matsuzaka (“The Happiness of the Katakuris”).
International sales are split. Emperor is handling South Asia, »
- Patrick Frater
Above: Soviet poster for The Ghost That Never Returns (Abram Room, Soviet Union, 1929). Designed by the Sternberg Brothers.Have you seen what’s playing on Mubi lately? Many of you who read my column may not often partake of the best of what Mubi has to offer, which is a beautifully curated, constantly changing selection of films which amounts to a top-notch repertory cinema on your laptop and in your living room. Now that Mubi is on the Roku app too there is even more reason to subscribe to the best film streaming deal on the internet. I know, I know, there is always too much to see and too little time, but for me what elevates Mubi over other streaming services—and I’m not just saying this because I write for them—is the 30-day model which offers you a new surprise every morning as well as the »
The Australian film-maker Stephan Elliott once jokingly told me that he’d made The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to bring screen musicals back from the grave into which Xanadu had put them. Yet despite reports of their death, musicals have never gone away, providing the backbone of the movie business in key territories such as India, and regularly flourishing elsewhere across the globe. In 2008, Phyllida Lloyd’s film of the Abba-fest Mamma Mia! became a record-breaking UK hit (paving the way for Sunshine on Leith et al), while stage-to-screen adaptations, from Chicago to Les Misérables, have consistently charmed Oscar voters in America.
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
The staggeringly accomplished debut feature by Brazilian critic-turned-director Kleber Mendonça Filho, Neighboring Sounds, announced the arrival of a remarkable new talent in international cinema. Clearly recognizable as the work of the same director, Mendonça’s equally assertive follow-up, Aquarius, establishes his authorial voice as well as his place as one of the most eloquent filmic commentators on the contemporary state of Brazilian society. – Giovanni M. »
- The Film Stage
After several years spent working almost exclusively in the direct-to-video world of “V-cinema” in Japan, Takashi Miike announced himself as a world-class filmmaking talent with this trio of thematically-connected, character-centric crime stories about violence, the underworld of Japanese society, families both real and surrogate, and the possibly hopeless task of finding one’s place in the world. His first films made specifically for theatrical release, and his first for a major studio, the Black Society Trilogy was the beginning of Miike’s mature career as a filmmaker and they remain among the prolific director’s finest works.
- Phil Wheat
After several years spent working almost exclusively in the direct-to-video world of “V-cinema” in Japan, Takashi Miike announced himself as a world-class filmmaking talent with this trio of thematically-connected, character-centric crime stories about violence, the underworld of Japanese society, families both real and surrogate, and the possibly hopeless task of finding one’s place in the world. His first films made specifically for theatrical release, and his first for a major studio, the “Black Society Trilogy” was the beginning of Miike’s mature career as a filmmaker and they remain among the prolific director’s finest works.
- Gary Collinson
6 items from 2017
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