• Review

    Minari

    A warm drama about the power of family in the face of adversity…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Beyond The Dream

    To say that this HK social issue indie was a surprise blockbuster and delight is quite the understatement…

    4 stars
  • Review

    All Night Long 3: The Final Chapter

    Katsuya Matsumura moves away from revenge for the third in the series, and into even nastier territory…

    4 stars
  • Review

    I Still Remember

    “Once in your life, you have to cheer for yourself!”…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Once Upon a Time in China

    Jet Li leaps into the role that had come before for others but that he was born to play!…

    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…

COMING SOON...

  • Review: Luginsky
  • Review: Tropical Malady
  • Review: Fresh Wave 2019: 3 Generations 3 Days
Focus Hong Kong

Latest news

All the latest news from Asian cinema...

  • News

    ‘Voices of Youth. Unseen Taiwanese films of the 1960s’ soon online!

    New Asian film festival Electric Shadows presents a selection of rediscovered and restored 1960s films…

  • Competitions

    Win JCVD’s latest on Blu-ray, Wake Of Death!

    Don’t miss a chance to win this limited edition, co-starring Simon Yam and Philip Tan…

  • News

    HKIFF45 is going online to showcase nearly 60 international films

    Its 45th edition will take place from 1 to 12 April…

  • News

    Focus Hong Kong launches online UK Easter Edition

    The Easter edition runs online 31 March to 6 April, screening UK premieres and much-loved classics…

  • News

    5 Asian films to watch at 2021 Berlinale

    Our picks for the summer special accessible for the public from 9 to 20 June…

  • News

    Asian Pop-Up Cinema Announces Season 12: Streaming, Drive-Ins, Oscars & more…

    Season 12 will screen more than 33 films from March 15 – May 1 2021

HKIFF45

The Hong Kong International Film Festival returns for it’s 45th edition, running from 1-12 April 2021…

  • Review

    Irradiated

    Bleak, experimental but lacking emotion…

    2 stars
  • Review

    The Edge of Daybreak

    The Fall of the House of…

    3.5 stars
  • News

    HKIFF45 is going online to showcase nearly 60 international films

    Its 45th edition will take place from 1 to 12 April…

  • Review

    Verdict

    A sincere domestic abuse drama directs the spotlight at the Philippine legal system…

    3.5 stars
  • News

    HKIFF reveals a showcase of restored Chinese language classics

    The showcase will feature landmark films throughout Chinese cinema history…

  • News

    Hong Kong International Film Festival set to celebrate Shochiku Cinema’s Centenary

    The showcase will feature a diverse selection of films from the legendary studio’s history

Focus Hong Kong

A new UK film festival celebrating the amazing cinema of Hong Kong starts its inaugural event running from 9 to 15 February…

  • Review

    Beyond The Dream

    To say that this HK social issue indie was a surprise blockbuster and delight is quite the understatement…

    4 stars
  • Review

    I Still Remember

    “Once in your life, you have to cheer for yourself!”…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Once Upon a Time in China

    Jet Li leaps into the role that had come before for others but that he was born to play!…

    5 stars
  • Feature

    Jun Li interview: “I was concerned about the safety of the whole...

    easternKicks catches up with the director of Tracey on his latest film Drifting

  • News

    Focus Hong Kong launches online UK Easter Edition

    The Easter edition runs online 31 March to 6 April, screening UK premieres and much-loved classics…

  • Review

    A Witness Out Of The Blue

    An overly ambitious film sharing many of the attributes of Hong Kong’s best crime dramas…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down

    A snapshot of contemporary Hong Kong through four short films…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    A Witness Out of the Blue

    A superb performance from Louis Koo elevates this intriguing thriller…

    3 stars
  • Interview

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

    We talk to the truly iconic actress about her career…

  • News

    Focus Hong Kong launches in the UK February 2021

    A new UK film festival celebrating the amazing cinema of Hong Kong takes place online 9-15 February…

Web Hosting

The Immortal Leslie Cheung

On the eighteenth anniversary of his death, we remember the life and career of beloved Hong Kong star Leslie Cheung…

  • Interview

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

    We talk to the truly iconic actress about her career…

  • Review

    The Bride With White Hair

    A peak moment of wuxia ‘wire-fu’ from which there was no coming back…

    5 stars
  • Feature

    The Immortal Leslie Cheung

    On the 17th anniversary of his death, we remember the life and career of the beloved Hong Kong star…

  • Review

    All’s Well Ends Well

    Ensemble cast blasts through Lunar New Year blues with classic comedy hi-jinks…

    4 stars
  • Feature

    6 Fantastic Tony Ching Siu-tung Action Scenes!

    The team at easternKicks select some of their favourite scenes from the great Hong Kong action director…

  • Review

    The Bride With White Hair

    A watershed 90s Hong Kong movie, one of the most visually striking of its kind…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Farewell my Concubine

    A true masterpiece exploring China’s history during the mid-20th century through the lives of two friends and opera stars…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Behind the Yellow Line

    A footnote from the end of one era of Hong Kong cinema, and the dawn of the next…

    2.5 stars
  • Review

    Rouge

    Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui star in one of Hong Kong cinemas finest moments. In a word, magical…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Days of Being Wild

    Leslie Cheung leads an all-star cast in Wong Kar-wai’s sophomore film…

    4 stars

Glasgow Film Festival 2021

Glasgow Film Festival goes online this year with their new online viewing platform but the same mix of films from across the globe…

  • Review

    Minari

    A warm drama about the power of family in the face of adversity…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    The Drug King

    A solid but overly familiar true-life crime drama from Inside Men director Woo Min-ho…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Back to the Wharf

    Actions from 15 years ago haunt a man returning to his hometown…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Dreams on Fire

    A luminously kinetic run through Tokyo’s street dance scene and fine vehicle for dancer Bambi; nothing more nothing less…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Spring Tide

    Acclaimed director Yang Lina’s second fiction feature explores the lives of women in modern China…

    4 stars
  • Review

    The Swordsman

    A familiar-looking Joseon drama, redeemed by fantastically overblown fight sequences…

    3 stars

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021

The winter edition programme reveals 3 Asian debuts in the Tiger Competition, cutting-edge short films and new works of emerging filmmakers…

  • Review

    The Edge of Daybreak

    The Fall of the House of…

    3.5 stars
  • Feature

    Jun Li interview: “I was concerned about the safety of the whole...

    easternKicks catches up with the director of Tracey on his latest film Drifting

  • 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…

  • Review

    Sexual Drive

    Promises sexual liberation through food, but is mostly a guy talking dirty to humiliate people…

    2 stars
  • Interview

    Aristocrats interview: “The aim was to show discrepancies between a woman’s feelings...

    We talk to the filmmakers of Aristocrats, premiered at the 2021 IFFR…

  • Review

    Pebbles

    Austere, impressive debut in which the landscape and nature dramatically dictate life…

    4 stars

The easternKicks Podcast

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

  • Podcast

    Episode 22: Tokyo Dragon Chef vs Crazy Samurai

    We discuss the latest from Yoshihiro Nishimura and Tak Sakaguchi…

  • Podcast

    Episode 21: The Woman Who Ran and Hong Sang-soo

    We discuss the Korean director’s latest film…

  • Podcast

    Episode 20: The Gift Guide

    Naughty or nice, we select the perfect gifts for every Asian film fan…

  • Podcast

    Episode 19: Spotlight on…The Bride with White Hair

    We celebrate the classic starring Brigitte Lin and Leslie Cheung..

  • Podcast

    Episode 18: Hungry Ghost Halloween!

    We rediscover some unsung horrors from the 2000s…

  • Podcast

    Episode 17: Into the Leijiverse!

    We talk to Helen McCarthy about her new book on manga legend Leiji Matsumoto…

  • Podcast

    Episode 16: A pop-up chat about Asian Pop-up Cinema!

    We talk to founder of the Chicago festival, Sophia Wong Boccio…

  • Podcast

    Episode 15: NYAFF Action Award winner Geran!

    We talk to the team behind the Malaysian martial art film taking centre stage…

  • Podcast

    Episode 14: All aboard for Peninsula!

    Does Yeon Song-ho’s sequel reach its destination, or derail the franchise…?

  • Podcast

    Episode 12: House Of Hummingbird

    We focus on the multi-award-winning debut South Korean film…

Interviews

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

  • 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…

  • Interview

    Aristocrats interview: “The aim was to show discrepancies between a woman’s feelings...

    We talk to the filmmakers of Aristocrats, premiered at the 2021 IFFR…

  • Interview

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

    We talk to the truly iconic actress about her career…

  • Interview

    Takeshi Fukunaga interview: “I wanted to carry the voices of Ainu people”

    We talk to the director of the film Ainu Mosir, which recently premiered on Netflix…

  • Interview

    Popo Fan interview: “Borders are closing, it’s even more powerful to show...

    Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer speaks about upcoming film series inspired by transcultural exchange…

  • Interview

    Thop Nazareno interview: Edward

    We talk to the director of the acclaimed Filipino coming-of-age drama…

  • Interview

    Norris Wong interview: “We’re slowly re-establishing Hong Kong filmmaking”

    My Prince Edward writer-director shares her thoughts on marriage, migration, human connection and filmmaking…

  • Interview

    Wang Jing interview: The Best Is Yet To Come

    After working as an assistant director for Jia Zhang-ke, Wang Jing makes his impressive directorial debut…

  • Interview

    Tiffany Hsiung interview: Sing Me a Lullaby

    The award-winning Asian Canadian filmmaker offers a deeply personal and revealing story about her own family in Sing Me a Lullaby…

The best in film festival coverage, year after year

Coverage of CinemAsia Film Festival 2019
Coverage of Fantasia 2019
Coverage of Chinese Visual Festival 2019
Coverage of Nippon Connection Film Festival 2019
Coverage of Five Flavours Film Festival 2018

BFI Japan 2020

A celebration of over 100 years of Japanese Cinema. Now playing on BFI Player with screenings and live events to come later in the year…

  • 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

    The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

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

    5 stars
  • Review

    Ikiru

    Takashi Shimura’s legendary performance grounds the raw humanity of this Kurosawa masterpiece…

    5 stars
  • Podcast

    Episode 9: BFI’s Japan 2020

    We pick some treats from the BFI’s celebration of over 100 years of Japanese Cinema…

  • Review

    Funeral Parade of Roses

    A must-see, one-of-kind cinematic experience you cannot miss…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    High and Low

    A deep examination of the physical and economic disparities of post-war modern societies…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Onibaba

    Kaneto Shindo’s erotic horror classic has withstood the test of time and has a thing or two to teach on the art of mood-setting…

    4.5 stars
  • News

    BFI launches Japan 2020: Over 100 years of Japanese Cinema

    Seasons coming to BFI Player from 11 May, with screenings later in the year…

  • Review

    Kwaidan

    Kobayashi’s dazzling masterpiece is back with a stunning 2K restoration…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    After Life

    A truly classic Kore-eda…

    5 stars

cineXtremes

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

  • Review

    Raped by an Angel 3: Sexual Fantasy of the Chief Executive

    The third instalment of the infamous Category III sleaze series, and the strangest yet…

    3 stars
  • Review

    All Night Long 3: The Final Chapter

    Katsuya Matsumura moves away from revenge for the third in the series, and into even nastier territory…

    4 stars
  • Review

    All Night Long 2: Atrocity

    The second part of Katsuya Matsumura’s infamous series lives up to its billing…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    All Night Long

    The first entry in one of Japan’s most notorious extreme film franchises…

    2 stars
  • Review

    Satan’s Slave

    The original Indonesian horror classic, recently remade by Joko Anwar…

    4 stars
  • Review

    The Queen of Black Magic (1981)

    The original Indonesian black magic classic, recently remade by Kimo Stamboel…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1

    ‘Crazy’ is right for a film that’s essentially a 77-minute, one-take samurai battle scene featuring Tak Sakaguchi…

    3 stars
  • 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…

  • Review

    May the Devil Take You Too

    Timo Tjahjanto follows up his 2018 horror hit with more creepy curses and Evil Dead-style shenanigans…

    3 stars
  • Review

    The Queen of Black Magic

    A group of men return to the orphanage where they grew up and fall foul of a particularly nasty curse…

    4 stars

Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits

In memory of Jō Shishido, this series looks back at 10 defining films and roles in his signature genre he had a massive impact on, from a few of his most famous to some virtually unknown in the West…

  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #1: Branded To Kill

    Joe & Suzuki both defined and redefined an era by making everything out of nothing in one of cinema’s greatest miracles…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #2: Cruel Gun Story

    A dark, riveting heist movie with Joe’s richest character figuratively. Can he score big to become it literally as well?…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #3: Youth of the Beast

    Joe and Seijun Suzuki raise the bar for yakuza cinema with sophisticated savagery and beautified brutality…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #4: Blood Feud

    Joe does it like a boss, leading a yakuza army and romancing Meiko Kaji in his most commanding role…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #5: A Colt is My Passport

    Curious yakuza/noir/new wave/western hybrid that’s nothing new individually but fresh and unique as a unit…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #6: Retaliation

    “Akira & Joe” together and against each other in their most violent, explosively macho collaboration of all…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #7: Revenge of the She-Cat Gambler

    A super-sly Joe may be saviour, undoing, or both for the She-Cat, in an unusually mellow yakuza film…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #8: Velvet Hustler

    Pimp/player/hustler Tetsuya Watari’s pursued by killer Joe in this colourful, hedonistic yakuza curiosity…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #9: New Battles Without Honor and Humanity

    Fukasaku’s seminal series loses steam on its reboot, but kept afloat by a mighty yakuza ensemble…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Joe’s Baddest Gangster Hits #10: The Boy Who Came Back

    Joe’s cinematic gang initiation while all the girls start chasing Kobayashi in Suzuki’s modest but historic early youth drama…

    3 stars

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

Filmmaker Focus: Bong Joon-ho

With various award nominations and wins, including a record-breaking six nominations for a Korean film at the Oscars, we celebrate the director’s career…

  • Review

    Snowpiercer

    Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 fantasy sci-fi thriller finally receives a proper UK Blu Ray release through Lionsgate…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Parasite (Black & White Version)

    With the Oscar-winner still in UK cinemas, a new version is already here, but do we really need it?…

    2 stars
  • News

    Parasite Makes History At 2020 Oscars With 4 Wins!

    Bong Joon-ho picks up 4 Oscars in a record-breaking history-making night

  • News

    Parasite wins at 2020 BAFTAs

    Don’t count the Bong Joon-ho favourite out of the Oscars race yet, as it swept up two awards at the BAFTAs

  • Review

    Parasite

    Bong Joon-ho’s latest is a scathing, though uneven, take on the complexities of the modern class war…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Parasite

    A smart and snappy black comedy with a surprisingly dark denouement…

    4 stars
  • Podcast

    Episode 2: A Parasite special

    In a special episode, we look at the film on everyone’s lips…

  • News

    Golden Globes 2020: Asian cinema makes big waves with 2 historic wins!

    The first Korean film to win a Golden Globe…

  • Feature

    Top 10 Films of 2019: 1 – Parasite

    Here it is, the prestigious easternKicks FILM OF THE YEAR… coming in at #1 on our Top 10 Films of 2019 is PARASITE

  • Feature

    Bong Joon-ho at BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series: “I first saw Hitchcock’s Psycho...

    The award-winning Korean filmmaker discusses screenwriting at Curzon Mayfair, London

Geonbae! the cinema of Hong Sang-soo

With The Woman Who Ran coming to Curzon cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema from 11 December, and debuting on MUBI from 20 December, we toast one of Korea’s most idiosyncratic filmmakers…

  • Podcast

    Episode 21: The Woman Who Ran and Hong Sang-soo

    We discuss the Korean director’s latest film…

  • Review

    The Woman Who Ran

    What’s left unsaid and the spaces between the conversations are what make this film so compelling…

    4.5 stars
  • News

    Hong Sang-soo’s The Woman Who Ran hits the UK December 11th

    The latest award-winning film from the acclaimed Korean auteur comes to Curzon and Curzon Home Cinema via CMC…

  • Review

    Grass

    Indie director Hong Sang-soo’s latest film is short, sparse and (bitter)sweet…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Hotel by the River

    Hong Sang-soo’s new drama sees the director defiantly changing nothing at all about his methods…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Woman is the Future of Man, Tale of Cinema: Two Films by...

    On UK Blu-ray for the first time, Hong Sang-soo’s fifth and sixth films provide a double dose of relationship missteps and woe…

    3 stars
  • Review

    The Day After

    A publisher’s adultery is revealed in surprisingly linear tale of duplicity and mistaken identity from Hong Sang-soo…

    3 stars
  • Review

    On the Beach at Night Alone

    A young actress tries to get over a break-up in this latest musing on love, etc. from Hong Sang-Soo…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Yourself And Yours

    Hong Sang-soo returns with a recognisable mix in one of his most romantic films yet…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Right Now, Wrong Then

    The master of unreliable narrative returns with a different but familiar take…

    4 stars