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If you haven’t seen Argo yet, you are missing one of the most riveting and compelling movies of 2012.  Starring and directed by Ben Affleck, the movie delivers an arresting portrayal of six Americans trying to escape Iran in 1979.  Argo is easily one of the most dramatic of last year’s crop which is a testament to the script and… Read more »

22 January 2013 | Features, Guest Posts, Reviews

  I just heard the shocking news that one of the most prominent Japanese film director Nagisa Oshima passed away several hours ago. I have only seen 8 of his films, and fell in love with his works after watching the Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties Eclipse Set from Criterion Collection. Most people know Oshima’s name from films like In the Realm… Read more »

15 January 2013 | Cinema Masters, Features

Rating: ★★★★★ Hong Kong auteur Wong Karwai’s new film The Grandmasters started 2013 with a bang. It not only marks Wong’s return to Chinese-language films, but more importantly, celebrates the maturest work of the director so far. For any Wong Karwai fan, the comeback of the old and familiar Wong cinema is good news.   The Plot Before The Grandmasters,… Read more »

12 January 2013 | Features, Reviews

Today marks the 84th birthday of Italian director Sergio Leone, whose name was mostly associated with the Spaghetti Western genre. As one of the most famous slow directors in cinema history, Leone only made seven movies in his 25-year career. Sergio Leone established his distinctive visual style since his second movie – A Fistful of Dollars, since then he made five… Read more »

03 January 2013 | Features, Other Lists

2012 has been a terrific year for me in terms of classic movie watching, American movies is a big part of it.  As an american DVD company, Criterion Collection helped a lot select 10 from a hundred American titles I’ve seen last year, six out of the ten below are from their catalog. Let’s take a look at my best… Read more »

01 January 2013 | Features, Film Lists

When I heard that today is famous French actor Michel Piccoli‘s 87th birthday, my first reaction was “What? He’s that old?”. Then I remembered that he had a cameo in the most controversial film of the year – Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, he played the boss who only appeared very briefly in a limousine scene, it was hard to recognize him if… Read more »

27 December 2012 | Cinema Charmers, Features

Things are getting tough today, I have to choose 10 from the 70 plus European films I’ve seen this year. Ask me tomorrow, it would be a different list. 10. Naked    dir. Mike Leigh A one-word title will suffice to describe this bleak and brutal London underbelly tale. I instantly fell in love with the David Thewlis character, Johnny, and felt… Read more »

26 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists

Today I will look back at the 10 best Asian movies I’ve watched in 2012. No Chinese movies will be included since I just composed a list yesterday. 10. Secret Sunshine  dir. Lee Chang-dong According to Lee in the interview, the movie is not about religion but about the struggle of an ordinary person who fails in her attempt to be… Read more »

22 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists

From today I will embark upon my 2012 roundup series that will include all the terrific films I have watched in the calender year of 2012. Hopefully these roundup lists would be useful for you as good recommendations. Let’s begin with the best Chinese movies I saw this year. After watching 20-plus Chinese movies within in the year, I have… Read more »

20 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists

Since I’m gonna do a 2012 roundup series on this blog for the rest of December, the film recommendation of this month’s edition is earlier than last month.BUT I have more good film to recommend this time. ★★★★★   Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters This is a film Paul Schrader was born to make, a real life self-born self-destructive… Read more »

18 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists

I made a top 100 favorite film list back in March this year to mark my 50th post. Now nine months have passed, and the posts on Taste of Cinema have reached 200,it is the time to adjust this “ever-changing” epic list. Ten changes have been made from the old list, that’s ten films dropped from the list and another… Read more »

15 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists

  Today marks the 80th birthday of the legendary Japanese actor Tatsuya Nakadai, who was most famously known as the leading man of Akira Kurosawa’s late films like Ran and Kagemusha. Unlike another well-known Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, who was criticized as “only being able to act Samurai well”, Nakadai has a wider range in his performances. Very similar to Marcello Mastroianni… Read more »

13 December 2012 | Cinema Charmers, Features

Today marks the 109th birthday of great Japanese auteur Yasujirô Ozu, it also means this master of cinema has left us for 49 years(Ozu was born and died on the same day). This year, his most important film Tokyo Story was voted as the best film in the Sight & Sound top 100 films of all time directors poll.Current filmmakers are… Read more »

12 December 2012 | Cinema Masters, Features

Today is American independent film pioneer John Cassavetes‘ birthday, I want to dedicate this post to one of the most fearless and passionate directors I’ve ever known.     “Most people don’t know what they want or feel. And for everyone, myself included, It’s very difficult to say what you mean when what you mean is painful. The most difficult thing… Read more »

09 December 2012 | Cinema Masters, Features

I  recommended 7 awesome films that I watched this month in my previous post,  here comes another 7: Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville ,1969 ) Perhaps this is French auteur Jean-Pierre Melville’s best film in his career. Army of Shadows told a story of the struggle and self-sacrifice of a French Resistance army during their glorious mission in WWII. On the… Read more »

09 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists

In November I watched 23 films,20 for the first time and 3 for the second time. Like always,  Criterion-released movies were highly prioritized, accounting for nearly half. Others include 4 Woody Allen  films made in the 1970’s and 80’s, 2 current theater releases,1 Master of Cinema title,1 British Period Drama,1 Classic Hollywood,1 Spaghetti Western and 1 Classic Chinese-language film.  I… Read more »

06 December 2012 | Features, Film Lists