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  • Pulgasari

    Pulgasari

    ★★★

    Pulgasari is probably the most widely known North Korean film, which I admit might not be saying much, that's probably like talking about Moldova's most famous pop act, but here we are. The story of its making, whereby agents of Kim Jong-il kidnapped Shin Sang-ok, a famous South Korean film director and imprisoned him and his wife in a re-education camp for several years before forcing him at literal gunpoint to make movies for the state before they finally escaped…

  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    ★★★★

    It's only proper that a movie with the word “justice” in its title arrives to undo a great injustice. Zack Snyder's Justice League stands as a monument to not only filmmaking ambition in the superhero genre, but also as a vindication of true fandom and positive things can come from this. Of course modern internet fandom definitely has a negative aspect, recall the bullying of Kelly Marie Tran as if it was somehow her fault that Rian Johnson is an…

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  • Cherry 2000

    Cherry 2000

    ★★★

    I absolutely loved Miracle Mile (1988) when I saw it a couple of years ago and have been keen to check out more Steve De Jarnatt films. That's not too difficult as sadly he only got to make two features, the other of which is Cherry 2000. Despite what you might think based on the title, the movie is actually set in 2017, in what appears to be a transition phase where society is breaking down but we're not quite…

  • Golgo 13: The Professional

    Golgo 13: The Professional

    ★★

    It would be hard to think of a film where there was a greater gap between the artistic vision of the production and the meanness and smallness of the story. Visually this is a landmark in not only Japanese anime but animation as whole, with endless fascinating visual ideas, novel edits, effects and transitions and a dazzling radiance of colour and light atop elegant movement. However the plot of Golgo 13 was a struggle to care anything for; it takes…

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  • The Rocking Horsemen

    The Rocking Horsemen

    ★★★★

    The absolutely crackers House (1977) was one of my favourite first time watches last year, and I've been keen to check out more Nobuhiko Obayashi films. The Rocking Horsemen is a much more straightforward coming-of-age/it's a long way to the top if you want to rock 'n roll/puppy love sort of story, but there's still wonderful little Obayashi touches, such as how the main character sometimes breaks the fourth wall to address the audience in addition his narration and how…

  • Drifting Clouds

    Drifting Clouds

    ★★★

    I opined in my review of Floating Weeds (1959) that no one since has tried to make films in the way Yasujirō Ozu did. Well, let me now retract that claim, because so many things about the Drifting Clouds, starting with the movie's title, are extremely Ozu-esque. There's his favourite theme of working class people seeking dignity and financial security and the struggles of family life; here we have a couple in Helsinki who are struggling with the aftermath of…