Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The best Asian films in 2023.. Japan as a strong competitor to Western cinema | Art

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Asian cinema has its own charm because its films not only reflect the culture of the rest of the world, but present a different perspective to many of the assumptions imposed by Western culture in general and American and European cinema in particular.

With the continent at large, a large number of Asian films are released each year, and it is difficult to collect the best of them in a single list, especially with the superiority of some countries, such as Japan, which offered two in 2023. The best films of the year so far.

Below we review the most important Asian movies that are showing and worth watching in 2023:

1- “Monster” (Japan)

Japanese director Hirokazu Koreda, who won the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival for his wildly popular film “Shoplifters,” left his country to make two films, the first French and the second South Korean. He received critical acclaim and won a few awards, but his fans persisted… they were waiting for his return to Japanese cinema.

In fact, Koreita returned to Japan in 2023 with the movie “Monster”, during which he returned to his favorite themes of torn families, whose members do not know much about each other's secrets, although they seem very interconnected at first glance.

The events of the movie “Wash” revolve around a violent fight between a student and a teacher, which worries the mother so much that she tries to investigate the incident and its cause. Then she found out what she didn't know. Nothing about the person she considers close to her.

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“Monster” competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the award for best screenplay, reflecting its most significant strengths, in addition to the acting and soundtrack of the late Ryuichi Sakamoto in his last work. He died two months before the release of the film.

“Monster” competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and won Best Screenplay (Source: IMDb)

2- No Evil (Japan)

Japanese cinema has seen a great expansion beyond its borders in recent years, with its films being screened at the most important international festivals and winning the most prestigious awards. He returned in 2023 with a film that won the Lion Award, the Silver Award at the Venice Film Festival, titled “No Evil”.

The film also won FIPCI Award, International Film Critics Awards and Jury Award and Best Film Award at the London Film Festival.

Hamaguchi's films focus on the highly dynamic Japanese society against the individual, and in “No Evil,” Harsao, a single father, lives with his daughter in an isolated area among trees and mountains, a life that seemed ideal until capitalism brutally destroyed it. A construction company decided to exploit the area regardless of vandalism. What you do has an impact not only on the lives of residents but also on the environment.

The film's screenplay was written by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, which, like his previous works, is elegant and quiet in weaving the characters and the world around them. Despite its approach to a topic widely presented in cinema, it proves this. Usually, the magic is not in the title, but in the way it is handled.

No Evil (Japan) Source: imdb
“No Evil” won the Fibrazi and Jury Prizes and the Best Film Award at the London Film Festival (IMDB).

3- “Dream and Death” (Singapore)

The emergence of a new film director in 2023 is expected to shine brightly in the coming years as a new pioneer of Asian cinema. He is Nelson Yeo, whose first film, “Dreaming & Dying” premiered in Locarno. Film Festival, and won the Golden Leopard Award as well as the Best Film Award.At first, the work then traveled between various film festivals.

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Only 3 actors appear in the film “Dream and Death”, which begins with a meeting between childhood friends, two of whom are married, and the third is not. The meeting, initially dominated by confusion and fun, is the beginning of an unusual recovery of memories. The director blends reality and myth to create a mixture of dream and death as befits his name. He reveals that his three heroes have lived wrong lives or lives they didn't want. There was an alternate life in the dream world.

The film “Dream and Death” is narrated in its unconventional and poetic style, and is distinguished by its smooth transition between past and present, reality and fantasy, and subtle and captivating dialogue and acting.

Dream and Death (Singapore) Source: imdb
“Dream and Death” was distinguished by its unconventional and poetic style and smooth transition between past and present (IMDB).

4- “If Only I Could Hibernate” (Mongolia)

Mongolia's first film to compete at the Cannes Film Festival was “If Only I Could I Could Hibernate”, which was screened during the “Un Certain Regard” competition and competed for the Camera d'Or award for best photography. Then it was shown. Among many festivals, the most recent of which was the El Gouna Film Festival, where the film's hero won the Best Actor award.

“If Only I Could I Could Hibernate” is directed and written by Zoljargal Porvdash and stars Patsug Ortsikhe. Its events take place in Mongolia, where a family lives in Mongolia, where there is a deceased mother and 4 sons, the eldest of whom is a teenager and studying. In a secondary school.

The poverty of a family living in a tent on the outskirts of a city besieged by hunger and cold shocks the viewer at first glance.

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Teenager Olsey bears most of the responsibility for the family, which represents an unbearable burden, especially as he sets his sights on the dream of winning a national physics competition, which qualifies him for a scholarship to university, and hopes to save him. and the loss of his siblings and a life of continuous poverty for generations.

Through a simple scene with no twists or surprises, and especially through the excellent performances of the children, the audience gets to enjoy this family as they seek to reach safety.

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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