Author: Ada Wong

Review: Sky on Fire

Sky on Fire, in title, draws on the legacy of Hong Kong action film heavyweight Ringo Lam’s box office success of the 1980s such as City on Fire and Prison on Fire. Joseph Chang and Amber Kuo portray siblings who become embroiled in a battle between pharmaceutical companies whilst they desperately seek a cure for her terminal cancer. Joining them are company chief security officer (Daniel Wu), and pharmaceutical heir (Zhang Ruoyun) as loyalties and morality become muddled in a fight for x-stem cells, justice, and a young girl’s life. While Ringo Lam remains a long way from his...

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EUFF 2016 Review: Mom and Other Loonies In the Family

Mom and Other Loonies in the Family is a multigenerational story featuring 94-year-old Berta, spanning four generations of family tales. Part wiry drama, part Hungarian history lesson, we experience the trials and tribulations of evolving values, religious persecution, and national identity through their experiences. Ibolya Fekete’s film tells not only of a single woman’s life but the history of the nation covering 100 years that include two world wars, a revolution, and other political and religious strife. She paints a picture of familiarity to many Hungarian and Central and Eastern European families, but one that is less familiar to...

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Review: Jean of the Joneses

Jean of the Jones is a multi-generation comedy centred around the women of a Brooklyn family. At the heart of it is Jean, a young writer fresh from a break-up who, together with her mother, aunts, and grandmother, must contend with a buried chapter of their past when a long estranged family member shows up at the door one day and then promptly dies. What we have here is some fresh and hilarious family dysfunction. More adult coming-of-age than feminist-themed despite its predominant female cast, it features a natural lead performance from Taylour Paige in the role of Jean....

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Reel Asian 2016 Review: Tsukiji Wonderland

The Tsukiji Fish Market is renown as being the biggest fish market in the world, a well deserved title but some feel that doesn’t even properly describe Tsukiji as it is in many aspects one of a kind. In Tsukiji Wonderland we get an in-depth look at the market and its inner-workings, from the 14,000 people that play various roles working within the market, to chefs who reap the benefits of their expertise, to researchers and archivists looking to encapsulate into words the magic that exists within this institution. Much of Tsukiji Wonderland feels like it’s dedicated to the...

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EUFF 2016 Review: A Noble Intention

Kicking off the European Union Film Festival for 2016 is Joran Lursen’s A Nobel Intention, based on events from the book “Publieke Werken” (Public Works) by Thomas Rosenboom about the troubles encountered during the construction of the famed Victoria Hotel in Amsterdam. The story is told from the perspective of cousins Vedder, a cabinet turned violin maker, and Anijs, a chemist overstepping his bounds in his medical practices.  When each of the two men encounter their own set of troubles, Vedder with negotiating the sale of his house on the site of the future Victoria Hotel, and the threat...

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Reel Asian 2016 Review: Soul Mate

The Reel Asian Film Festival kicks off Tuesday, November 8, 2016 with Derek Tsang’s Soul Mate. A moving tale of friendship between two young women that is put to the test when a young man enters their life, soon followed by other harsh realities that growing up can bring. This is the story of 20 years portraying the ebb and flow of a relationship between two women. Ansheng and Qiyue become friends amidst a moment of mischief in the schoolyard when they are 13 and form a bond that will connect them for better or worse throughout their lives, in...

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Cinéfranco 2016 Review: Rebellious Girl

Laila is no stranger to activist causes at home in Morocco, but when she decides to help support her family by taking a job in Belgium as a migrant working on Andre’s pear and apple farm, she discovers a new fight as she strives for fair treatment and better working conditions for herself and her fellow labourers in a foreign land. Laila rallies her peers and brings out their fierce spirit, and she unites them in a battle to stand up for themselves. Jawad Rhalib’s sophomore film is rooted in realism and deftly ties together two nations dealing with...

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