• Review

    The Battle at Lake Changjin

    Three directors combine for three hours of patriotic warfare in the latest Chinese military propaganda blockbuster…

    2 stars
  • Review

    Prisoners of the Ghostland

    Visually arresting with an explosive Nic Cage/Sion Sono combo…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Full Alert

    Ringo Lam’s classic 1997 crime thriller gets a new UK Blu-ray release…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Shanghai Triad

    A less-talked-about addition to Zhang Yimou’s oeuvre, with visual elegance and playful approach to genre conventions…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Limecrime

    Making sense of their own name is but one of many challenges from school to the streets for two aspiring rappers…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    That Demon Within

    A look back at Dante Lam’s final hard-boiled HK thriller before he moved into propagandist Mainland blockbusters…

    4 stars

COMING SOON...

  • Review: Chinatown Kid
  • Review: Dirty Ho
  • The Story of Southern Islet
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Latest news

All the latest news from Asian cinema...

  • News

    Close-Up on Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

    Close-Up Film Centre presents a season dedicated to the director of Drive My Car and Happy Hour

  • News

    Asian Pop-Up Cinema Announces Free Chinese Cinema Fall Screenings

    Including a Chinese retrospective series on Xie Fei…

  • News

    London Korean Film Festival has announced its full programme

    Screenings will be back in the cinemas, from 4th to 19th November…

  • News

    Cloudy Mountain Is Out Now In UK & Ireland Cinemas!

    Check out one of the best Chinese films of the year from the 8th of October in a cinema near you!

  • News

    Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh returns with in-person and digital screenings

    The screenings for Taiwanese cinema of 20th and 21st century taking place from 25th to 30th October…

  • News

    Asian films coming to BFI London Film Festival 2021

    The BFI LFF has announced their programme…

Five Flavours Asian Film Festival 2021

The 15th edition of Poland’s premier Asian film festival is back with a hybrid format, returning to Warsaw cinemas with a range of films including a retrospective of Wong Kar Wai…

▶︎ Visit Five Flavours site

  • Review

    Dear Tenant

    A superb drama exploring LGBTQ equality against traditional gender roles…

    4 stars
  • Review

    The Medium

    Na Hong-jin (The Wailing) and Banjong Pisanthanakun (Shutter) combine forces, but is it anything new?…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

    A refreshing throwback to 1980s kung-fu cinema with a socially conscious subtext…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Last of the Wolves

    A new rogue cop faces a new rogue yakuza amidst intrigue in both of their ranks for an ultraviolent sequel…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    As We Like It

    Fun and bright adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the original play…

    3.5 stars
  • Feature

    Ko Chen-Nien interview: “The most complex relationship is the battle between good...

    We talk to the director Ko Chen-Nien about her powerful cinematic debut, The Silent Forest

  • Review

    Money Has Four Legs

    A cynical but realistic drama that uses cinema as a metaphor for society…

    4 stars
  • Review

    The Silent Forest

    Hard-hitting real-life drama with a powerful message…

    4 stars
  • Interview

    Cornelio Sunny talks Death Knot and new directions in horror

    Exploring Indonesian horror with a unique debut film…

  • Podcast

    Episode 28 – The World of Wong Kar-wai

    We chat to Bede Cheng of L’Immagine Ritrovata Asia about the restoration process…

Close-Up on Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

To tie in with the UK release of Drive My Car, and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Close-Up Film Centre London presents the first UK retrospective of the writer-director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi…

  • Review

    Drive My Car

    Could Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Murakami adaption be his best yet?

    5 stars
  • News

    Close-Up on Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

    Close-Up Film Centre presents a season dedicated to the director of Drive My Car and Happy Hour

  • Review

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Three vignettes about the lies we tell ourselves and each other…

    4.5 stars
  • Interview

    How Ryusuke Hamaguchi turns fantasy into reality

    An experimental anthology that portrays the stories of three unconventional women who discover something about themselves…

  • Review

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    In between coincidences and fate…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Asako I & II

    Girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl meets boy’s doppelgänger – but who loves who the most?…

    3.5 stars
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London Korean Film Festival 2021

The LKFF returns to cinemas from 4 to 19 November, with a special focus on 2021 Academy Award winner Youn Yuh-jung…

  • Review

    In Front of Your Face

    The master of the mundane continues his current interest in female protagonists…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Limecrime

    Making sense of their own name is but one of many challenges from school to the streets for two aspiring rappers…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Climbing

    Paranoia reigns supreme in a visually striking debut feature…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Aloners

    A slow-burning drama offering engaging character study and meditation on social isolation…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Recalled

    Waking up after an accident, an amnesiac woman is haunted by disturbing visions of the near future…

    2.5 stars
  • News

    London Korean Film Festival has announced its full programme

    Screenings will be back in the cinemas, from 4th to 19th November…

  • Review

    The Book of Fish

    An exiled civil servant finds meaning in composing a new book on marine life in Korea…

    2 stars
  • Review

    Canola, aka Grandmother Gye-choon

    A wayward girl returns to live with her doting grandmother on Jeju Island…

    3 stars
  • Review

    The Bacchus Lady

    Youn Yuh-jung stars in E J-Yong’s comedy drama about elderly sex workers…

    4 stars
  • Review

    A Good Lawyer’s Wife

    A well-played and very open study of a modern dysfunctional family falling apart…

    4 stars

The easternKicks Podcast

A regular magazine programme about East Asian film, with the latest news, reviews and interviews.

  • Podcast

    Episode 34 – The horror of Hong Kong!

    A Halloween special on modern HK horror, from the 80s to now…

  • Podcast

    Episode 32 – Spotlight on… A Tale of Two Sisters

    A look back at a Korean horror classic…

  • Podcast

    Episode 31 – Spotlight on… Daimajin

    We unravel Daiei Film Studios very particular take on Kaiju…

  • Podcast

    Episode 30 – The best of NYAFF 2021

    We look at the New York Asian Film Festival line up, including an extended chat about Raging Fire

  • Podcast

    Episode 29 – PTU and Johnnie To’s crime drama years

    We revisit one of the director’s classics…

  • Podcast

    Episode 28 – The World of Wong Kar-wai

    We chat to Bede Cheng of L’Immagine Ritrovata Asia about the restoration process…

  • Podcast

    Episode 27: Time & Tide & Tsui

    We revisit Tsui Hark’s 2000 action classic, and the JCVD US films that came before it…

  • Podcast

    Episode 26: One-Armed Jimmy

    We look back on kung fu classic One Armed Boxer and star Jimmy Wang Yu…

  • Podcast

    Episode 25: Cliff Walkers and Zhang Yimou

    We review the director’s latest film and look back on his work…

  • Podcast

    Episode 24: Spotlight on… Battle Royale

    We revisit Kinji Fukasaku’s classic…

The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown

In honour of the forthcoming release of the late Benny Chan’s Raging Fire, we look back on his career and the genre for which he was best known.

  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Final Part: Raging Fire

    Benny Chan’s final film defies expectations with his most hard-edged, hard-hitting action…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 10: The White Storm

    Cementing his status as custodian and vanguard of Classic HK Action Cinema…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 9: Invisible Target

    A kung fu conscious cast for a police flick overflowing with excellent action and suspense…

    4 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 8: Divergence

    Looks great and draws you into its world and story, but ends up all dressed up with nowhere to go…

    3 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 7: New Police Story

    The two great Chans on either side of the camera in their most explosive collaboration, even if literally so…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 6: Heroic Duo

    Straight police action peppered with a quirky driving plot device showcases both sides of Chan well…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 5: Gen-Y Cops

    Say what you will about the actual content, but this was an auspicious success for HK and even the world. Ask Paul Rudd!…

    1.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 4: Gen-X Cops

    Chan and HK’s trendiest cops gave a big boost to their film industry when it needed it the most…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 3: Big Bullet

    Hits all its targets from every angle at the bullseye, even if it doesn’t find any new places to target…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    The Benny Chan Cops & Robbers Rundown Part 2: Man Wanted

    More notable for length and violence than narrative strength or cohesion, there’s still a lot of classic HK packed here…

    2.5 stars
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BFI London Film Festival 2021

London’s premier international film festival returns retaining the hybrid format of last year, from 6 to 17 October…

  • Review

    Hellbound

    Will Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho’s new streaming horror series be the next Squid Game?

    3.5 stars
  • Interview

    Lav Diaz interview: “Existence is a euphemism for compromise. Period.”

    The auteur on Philippines tragic history, his fascination for vaudeville and the need for artists to compromise…

  • Review

    History of Ha

    A profound exploration of the purpose of art and the quest to find a meaning of life when everything seems lost…

    4 stars
  • Review

    The Medium

    Na Hong-jin (The Wailing) and Banjong Pisanthanakun (Shutter) combine forces, but is it anything new?…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

    A refreshing throwback to 1980s kung-fu cinema with a socially conscious subtext…

    4 stars
  • News

    Asian films coming to BFI London Film Festival 2021

    The BFI LFF has announced their programme…

The best in film festival coverage, year after year

Coverage of Five Flavours Film Festival 2018
Coverage of BFI London Film Festival 2019
Coverage of Fantasia 2019
Coverage of New York Asian Film Festival 2019
Coverage of Nippon Connection Film Festival 2019

Asian Pop-Up Cinema: Season 13

Chicago’s Asian film festival returns with 30 films including Women In Film, Humanitarian Themes, Thrillers, Martial Arts Classics and more…

  • News

    Asian Pop-Up Cinema announces Season 13

    Women In Film, Humanitarian Themes, Thrillers, Martial Arts Classics and more…!

  • Review

    Just 1 Day

    A sugar-coated story about conservation in a fast revolving metropolitan city…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Hand Rolled Cigarette

    Gordon Lam dazzles again in a movie that unites the disparate elements in Hong Kong contemporary cinema…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Escape From Mogadishu

    Ryoo Seung-wan manages to make pulse-pounding popular cinema out of peculiar politics and extraordinary true events…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Escape From Mogadishu

    Energetic and totally gripping…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Hand Rolled Cigarette

    A gritty HK noir following an ex-solider working for the triads reluctantly protecting a South Asian immigrant…

    4 stars
  • Interview

    How Anima echoes director Cao’s hope for homelands

    Chinese director Cao Jinling’s debut is an impassioned plea for nature…

  • Review

    The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill

    Kan Eguchi delivers a satisfying sequel…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Drifting

    A surprise stellar cast tell a story of Hong Kong’s downtrodden in arguably the industry’s most poignant film in years…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Limbo

    Soi Cheang returns to Hong Kong for a hardcore noir crime thriller, shot in stunning monochrome…

    4 stars

BFI Japan 2021

A celebration of over 100 years of Japanese Cinema. Coming to big screens UK-wide this autumn…

  • News

    Close-Up on Ryûsuke Hamaguchi

    Close-Up Film Centre presents a season dedicated to the director of Drive My Car and Happy Hour

  • News

    BFI Japan comes to big screens UK-wide this autumn

    Highlights include a cinema re-release of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and a major two-part season…

  • Review

    Ichi the Killer

    Takashi Miike’s blood-soaked 2001 manga adaptation remains a milestone in extreme Japanese cinema…

    5 stars
  • Podcast

    Episode 24: Spotlight on… Battle Royale

    We revisit Kinji Fukasaku’s classic…

  • Review

    Battle Royale

    Kinji Fukasaku’s classic returns with a new edition nearly 20 years after it was first released in the UK…

    5 stars
  • Review

    The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On

    A war veteran’s single-minded search for truth in this seminal documentary…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Black Rain

    Imamura’s film is, without a doubt, one of the most important films about the atomic bomb ever made…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    A hostess approaching 30 sees fewer days ahead in a male-dominated world, in Mikio Naruse’s understated kitchen sink drama…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Akira

    The gorgeous 4K remaster of Katushiro Otomo’s animated sci-fi classic hits UK screens…

    5 stars
  • Review

    The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

    Rigidity and sentimentality meet in a quiet Tokyo household in Yasujiro Ozu’s superb drama…

    5 stars

cineXtremes

Celebrating the excesses of Hong Kong Category III, Asian extreme and exploitation cinema…

  • Review

    The Mighty Peking Man

    The Shaw Brothers’ ambitious take on King Kong remains one of their most far-out and fun films of the 1970s…

    5 stars
  • Review

    The Duel Project: Aragami / 2LDK

    A double bill of high concept actioners that resulted from a drunken 2003 bet between Ryuhei Kitamura and Yukihiko Tsutsumi…

    4 stars
  • Review

    That Demon Within

    A look back at Dante Lam’s final hard-boiled HK thriller before he moved into propagandist Mainland blockbusters…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Frantic

    Frustrated actors take a theatre audience hostage in the latest from Shugo Fujii…

    4 stars
  • Feature

    The Halcyon Horrors of Hong Kong

    With Hong Kong horror in dire straits, we look back at some offbeat shockers from the last few decades…

  • Review

    Naked Soldier

    The third instalment in Wong Jing’s ‘Naked’ series featuring more nonsense around leather-clad female assassins…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Maid

    A young maid finds herself haunted by the ghost of her predecessor after taking a job for a rich family…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Evil Twin

    A 2007 Korean horror starring Park Shin-hye offers something a little different thanks to a Joseon-era backdrop…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Heirloom

    A familiar 2005 Taiwanese take on the usual post-Ringu ghost themes from director Leste Chen…

    2.5 stars
  • Review

    Don’t Click

    Another Korean take on the Ringu formula, this time with an online twist…

    3.5 stars
1on1 Events

New York Asian Film Festival 2021

From 6th till 22nd August the festival takes on a hybrid form featuring over 60 latest Asian films in the programme…

  • Review

    Office Royale

    Office gang warfare amid colourful backdrops is the order of the day for vaguely feminist, frivolous fun…

    3.5 stars
  • Interview

    Evan Jackson Leong interview: “The underdog becomes a role model and an...

    A film that took more than 14 years to make explores the world of human smugglers in NYC’s Chinatown underworld…

  • Interview

    Takahiro Horie interview: “The root of revenge is love”

    We talk to the Sensei, Would You Please Sit with Me? director…

  • Review

    Last of the Wolves

    A new rogue cop faces a new rogue yakuza amidst intrigue in both of their ranks for an ultraviolent sequel…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Sensei, Would You Please Sit with Me?

    An irresistibly quirky and inventive examination of the challenges of marriage and/or adultery thru manga…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Snakehead

    Cold hard facts and fiction mingle in a moody crime indie echoing modern immigration issues…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Coffin Homes

    Take satire, mix in buckets of gore, add a heavy dose of social commentary, and you get… well, something…

    2.5 stars
  • Review

    Office Royale

    Japanese office ladies battle for supremacy in this whacky manga-style brawler…

    4 stars
  • Review

    As We Like It

    Fun and bright adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the original play…

    3.5 stars
  • Feature

    Ko Chen-Nien interview: “The most complex relationship is the battle between good...

    We talk to the director Ko Chen-Nien about her powerful cinematic debut, The Silent Forest

Udine Far East Film Festival 2021

FEFF returns for its 23rd edition in 2021, with both physical and online screeings…

  • Review

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    Three vignettes about the lies we tell ourselves and each other…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Fan Girl

    A coming-of-age drama meets the concept of fandom from a subtle feminist viewpoint…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Just 1 Day

    A sugar-coated story about conservation in a fast revolving metropolitan city…

    4 stars
  • Review

    My Missing Valentine

    A post office worker is waiting for her Mr Right but then things go (slightly) wrong on Valentine’s Day…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Hand Rolled Cigarette

    A gritty HK noir following an ex-solider working for the triads reluctantly protecting a South Asian immigrant…

    4 stars
  • Interview

    How Anima echoes director Cao’s hope for homelands

    Chinese director Cao Jinling’s debut is an impassioned plea for nature…

  • Review

    Madalena

    The first film from Macau to premiere in Udine’s Far East Film Festival. And no, it’s not about gambling and casinos…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Blue

    A heartfelt and astute depiction of the lives of three friends in and out of the boxing ring in Japan…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Limbo

    Soi Cheang returns to Hong Kong for a hardcore noir crime thriller, shot in stunning monochrome…

    4 stars
  • Interview

    Cornelio Sunny talks Death Knot and new directions in horror

    Exploring Indonesian horror with a unique debut film…

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Shaw Brothers Classics

With the 88 Films ongoing release of Shaw Brothers classic horrors and martial arts on Blu-ray, we look at some of the finest films to come out of the Hong Kong’s world famous studio…

  • Review

    The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter

    The swansong of Shaw Brothers is a true martial arts masterpiece…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Masked Avengers

    A later Venoms mob film missing some regular faces but with a superb performance from Phillip Kwok, plus a bucketload of blood…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Flying Guillotine

    Kung fu craziness with a mad emperor, villainous traitors and batsh*t insane weapon…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    The Oily Maniac

    Classic exploitation howler where a man transforms to enact revenge upon those who have unwisely wronged him…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Five Superfighters

    Clash of the Titans kung fu style or a Hong Kong Dirty Almost half-a-dozen…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    The Seeding of a Ghost

    One of the Shaw Brothers’ most infamous and sleazy shockers finally gets the rerelease it deserves…

    5 stars
  • Review

    The Angry Guest

    The “iron triangle” attempts to work its magic with a different approach, but falls pretty flat…

    2.5 stars
  • Review

    Heroes of the East

    A softer version of the Chinese vs Japanese theme in this classic from director Lau Kar-Leung…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    The Killer Snakes

    A downtrodden young man finds he can communicate with snakes, and uses them to take gruesome revenge…

    2 stars
  • Review

    House Of Traps

    Chang Cheh’s action packed, and completely impractical, solution to simple home security! Definitely not sponsored by Ikea…

    4 stars

Interviews

Our interviews with filmmakers, directors, actors, composers and much more besides from the world of Asian film…

  • Interview

    Lav Diaz interview: “Existence is a euphemism for compromise. Period.”

    The auteur on Philippines tragic history, his fascination for vaudeville and the need for artists to compromise…

  • Interview

    Evan Jackson Leong interview: “The underdog becomes a role model and an...

    A film that took more than 14 years to make explores the world of human smugglers in NYC’s Chinatown underworld…

  • Interview

    Takahiro Horie interview: “The root of revenge is love”

    We talk to the Sensei, Would You Please Sit with Me? director…

  • Interview

    Ann Hui interview: “I tried to find work whenever I could. I...

    We chat to the celebrated Hong Kong filmmaker about her career and the documentary Keep Rolling

  • Interview

    How Anima echoes director Cao’s hope for homelands

    Chinese director Cao Jinling’s debut is an impassioned plea for nature…

  • Interview

    Cornelio Sunny talks Death Knot and new directions in horror

    Exploring Indonesian horror with a unique debut film…

  • Interview

    Soi Cheang trains his cameras on a city in Limbo

    ‘Everyone is abandoned … and looking for redemption,’ says Hong Kong director…

  • Interview

    How Ryusuke Hamaguchi turns fantasy into reality

    An experimental anthology that portrays the stories of three unconventional women who discover something about themselves…

  • Interview

    Taiki Sakpisit interview: “She’s fighting her way from death back to being...

    Director Taiki Sakpisit spoke to easternKicks about his award-winning feature debut film…

  • Interview

    Kimo Stamboel interview: “Joko and me were friends, but this was the...

    The director chats about The Queen of Black Magic and the popularity of Indonesian folk horror…

The wonderful world of Wong Kar-wai

With Criterion Collection’s new release of restored Wong Kar-wai classics, also coming to UK cinemas including BFI Southbank, we immerse ourselves in the auteur’s work…

  • Podcast

    Episode 28 – The World of Wong Kar-wai

    We chat to Bede Cheng of L’Immagine Ritrovata Asia about the restoration process…

  • Review

    Fallen Angels

    Wong Kar-wai’s oneiric and vivacious journey to the Hong Kong underworld…

    4 stars
  • Review

    2046

    An absolute onslaught of narratives, styles, and structures makes for an infinitely rewarding opus from Wong Kar-wai…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Happy Together

    Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Leslie Cheung star masterpiece of melancholia…

    4 stars
  • Review

    In The Mood For Love

    Unrequited love never looked so good in this new version of a timeless classic…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Days of Being Wild

    Wong Kar-wai submerges us in his dream of Hong Kong and its lovers, killers, and lonely hearts…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Chungking Express

    Chance encounters in love are never quite as they seem…

    5 stars
  • Review

    In The Mood For Love (Original Soundtrack)

    Set the mood with a sultry cinematic soundscape perfect for the last days of lockdown longing…

  • Interview

    Brigitte Lin interview: “I totally forgot what I had said. Was it...

    We talk to the truly iconic actress about her career…

  • Review

    As Tears Go By

    Love and violence in the neon lit streets of Hong Kong…

    3.5 stars