• Podcast

    Episode 32 – Spotlight on… A Tale of Two Sisters

    A look back at a Korean horror classic…

  • Interview

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

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

  • Review

    Blind Beast

    Yasuzo Masumura’s infamous Edogawa Rampo adaptation gets a new Blu-ray release courtesy of Arrow…

    2.5 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

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Asian-led superhero film is great, and Tony Leung makes it infinitely better…

    4 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

COMING SOON...

  • Review: Don’t Click
  • Review: Duel to the Death
  • Evan Jackson Leong interview: “The underdog becomes a role model and an icon”
FEFF 2020

Latest news

All the latest news from Asian cinema...

  • News

    Asian films coming to BFI London Film Festival 2021

    The BFI LFF has announced their programme…

  • News

    Asian Pop-Up Cinema announces Season 13

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

  • News

    Discover rarely seen queer cinema at Queer East Film Festival

    Queer films from East and Southeast Asia will be screened in cinemas across London, from 15 to 26 September…

  • News

    Asian films screening at TIFF 2021

    A preview of all the Asian films screening at the 2021 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival…

  • News

    Electric Shadows will be running its first Asian film festival

    An extensive range of Asian films will be screened from 2 to 5 September…

  • News

    ‘Who’s Sonny Chiba?’

    We pay tribute to the legendary action star with truly global appeal…

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

    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
  • 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

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

  • Review

    The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

    Ozu turns his eye towards marriage in a quietly reflective film of contrasts and changes facing post-war Japan…

    4 stars
  • 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

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

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
HKIFF 2021

The easternKicks Podcast

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

  • 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…

  • Podcast

    Episode 23: Indonesian Folk Horror special

    We chat to Kimo Stamboel about The Queen Of Black Magic…

The best in film festival coverage, year after year

Coverage of New York Asian Film Festival 2019
Coverage of Five Flavours Film Festival 2018
Coverage of Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2019
Coverage of CinemAsia Film Festival 2019
Coverage of BFI London Film Festival 2019

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…

  • 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

  • Review

    Barbarian Invasion

    Everything is film…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Hand Rolled Cigarette

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

    4 stars

cineXtremes

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

  • Review

    Possessed

    A religion-themed 2009 Korean horror that offers something more substantial than the ghost flicks of the time…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Blind Beast

    Yasuzo Masumura’s infamous Edogawa Rampo adaptation gets a new Blu-ray release courtesy of Arrow…

    2.5 stars
  • Review

    A Tale of Two Sisters

    Kim Jee-woon’s 2003 classic chiller gets an extras-packed new Blu-ray from Arrow…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Yamagata Scream

    Undead samurai cause whacky havoc in this bizarre Japanese horror comedy…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Hong Kong Horror Stories

    An old-school 2011 Hong Kong supernatural two-hander from Wong Jing and Patrick Tong…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Alone (2007)

    Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom follow their hit Shutter with more ghostly goings-on…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Midnight

    A serial killer pursues a deaf woman through the streets of Seoul in this fast-paced thriller…

    4.5 stars
  • Review

    Bedevilled

    A look back at one of the most brutal Korean revenge thrillers in recent memory…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Traffickers

    Organ smugglers target an unfortunate woman on a cruise ship while her husband tries to track her down…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Limbo

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

    4 stars

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

    The Way We Keep Dancing

    Dancers, stars and influencers participate in a publicity stunt to transform an area into a “Dance street”…

    2.5 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

HKIFF45

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

  • Review

    Yellow Cat

    Quirky sweet fun with a bitter ending…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Me and the Cult Leader

    A life-affirming take on a difficult subject…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

    In between coincidences and fate…

    4 stars
  • Review

    Radiograph of a Family

    An evocative and poignant look at family…

    5 stars
  • Review

    Underdog

    Take shows that the heroism of boxing lies in the subjective meaning that propels jabs, hooks and uppercuts…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Luginsky

    Bizarre yet mesmerising experimental animation…

    3 stars
Asian Cinema Education

Interviews

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

  • 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…

  • 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…

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
HKIFF 2021

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

    Everything Is Cinema

    What starts out as an ethnographic documentary turns into a study of a failing marriage during Covid lockdown…

    3 stars
  • Review

    Decameron

    Hong Kong endures a global pandemic and a trampling of rights, but has survived tragedies before…

    3.5 stars
  • Review

    Time

    A stylishly melancholic, surprisingly funny elegy to Hong Kong cinema…

    4 stars
  • News

    10 Asian films to watch at the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam...

    The summer edition stuns with Asian film premieres, mid-length features and a selection of mainstream and art-house titles…

  • 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

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