Ilo Ilo (2013)

Release Date: 19 May 2013 Directed by: Anthony Chen Country: Singapore Ilo Ilo is a movie about a boy who is neglected by his parents as they’re both busy with work, and hence this mother hires a maid to look after him and help out with the household chores. The film opens during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, when…

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Release Date: 16 April 1988 Directed by: Isao Takahata Country: Japan Let me just start off by saying that I’ve always been a huge fan of Studio Ghibli films, their movies are often deep, moving and full of meaning. Their soundtracks are also amazingly beautiful, it never fails to make me cry. Grave of the Fireflies recounts the…

Still Life 三峡好人(2006)

Release Date: 4 September 2006 Directed by: Jia ZhangKe 贾樟柯 Country: China Another Jia ZhangKe film and it seems like he has a knack for making movies that reflect the problems Chinese citizens face by the government’s social and economic policy changes. The movie starts off with SanMing, who returns to FengJie in search of his wife who had ran away…

The World 世界 (2004)

Release Date: 4 September 2004 Directed by: Jia ZhangKe 贾樟柯 Country: China The World or Shi Jie (as it’s pronounced in Chinese) tells the story of multiple characters that work at a theme park in BeiJing called “World Park”. The movie mainly focuses on the development of Tao and TaiSheng’s relationship but unlike normal films, The World felt more like a…

Infernal Affairs (2002)

Release Date: 12 December 2002 Directed by: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak Country: Hong Kong Infernal Affairs focuses on a police officer named Chen Wing-Yan who is sent to infiltrate the triads and gradually finds his loyalties eroding under pressure of the lie he is forced to live, and Lau Kin-Ming who joins the police as a spy for the triads, rising…

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Release Date: 6 July 2000 Directed by: Ang Lee Country: China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, U.S. The movie stars Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang ZiYi. The plot centers around a talented female warrior named Jen Yu who is discovered after she steals an accomplished swordsman’s, Li Mu Bai’s legendary Green Destiny sword. One of the key concepts I’ve…

Ju Dou (1990) 

Release Date: 7 September 1990 Directed by: Zhang YiMou Country: China Ju Dou is a woman bought by Yang Jin Shan, an owner of a cloth-dye business, to be his third wife. She and Yang Tian Qing (Jin Shan’s adoptive son) eventually fall in love and begins an affair which results in their love child Tian Bai….

Hero (2002)

Release Date: 24 October 2002 Directed by: Zhang YiMou Country: China The movie is set in ancient China before the unity of the kingdom. It’s about a Nameless warrior who visits the Qin Palace claiming that he has slain three notorious assassins that have been aiming for the Qin Emperor’s head. The movie is told in a narrative…

Om Shanti Om (2007)

Release Date: 9 November 2007 Directed by: Farah Khan Country: India This romantic musical is about hero Om Prakesh who falls in love with the famous movie superstar Shanti Priya. He then witnesses her murder by chance but failed to rescue her, dying the process and when reincarnated into Om Kapoor (O.K.), he decides to avenge…

The Maid (2005)

Release Date: 18 August 2005 Directed by: Kelvin Tong Country: Singapore The plot centers around Rosa Dimaano, a Filipino maid who has come to Singapore to work for the Teo family, hopeful and optimistic. Cinematography: The way the movie was filmed and edited was pretty bad and as someone who is afraid of watching horror movies, The…

The Host (2006)

Release Date: 27 July 2006 Directed by: Bong Joon Ho Country: South Korea This thriller is about a monster found in the Han River, Korea which decides to prey on humans. The story centers around the Park family who run a small business near the Han River. What I really like about the main characters…