Category Archives: Films & Television

City of Life and Death (2009)


The Nanking Massacre is well known as a rallying call for Chinese nationalism and a sore point of contention in Sino-Japanese relations. Given the prickliness of Chinese pride in recent years, it was always doubtful that China could be capable of producing an even-handed account of the tragedy. City of Life and Death however has been excellent reviews by a number of foreign critics so I thought it might be worth watching.

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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)


The Coen brothers have a mixed track record for me. I included No Country for Old Men in one of my lists of favourite films, thought Raising Arizona and Burn After Reading were great fun, but couldn’t really connect with O Brother, Where Art Thou? Since Inside Llewyn Davis is another music film, I guess it’s not too surprising that I ended up not liking it very much either.

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The Wind Rises (2013)


Since The Wind Rises is not only a Studio Ghibli release but also supposedly Hayao Miyazaki’s last film (though this is doubtful since he has repeatedly announced his retirement and then reneged on it), there was zero doubt that we would eventually watch this. This film has also attracted considerable controversy since it could be interpreted as being laudatory towards a man who helped build Japan’s war machine during the Second World War. This of course only makes it even more of a must watch.

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Ilo Ilo (2013)


This film was Singapore’s submission for the 2013 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category. It is also the first Singaporean film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival, bagging the Camera d’Or award meant for début directors. This makes it the highest profile Singaporean film of recent years. I was particularly curious about how it stacks up compared with The Journey, arguably its closest Malaysian equivalent.

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