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Animation Features Live Action Movies

The Glassworker
(Sheesha Gar,
شیشہ گ)

Director – Usman Riaz – 2024 – Pakistan, Spain – 98m

*****

The son of a pacifist glassblower learning his father’s trade falls for the violin-playing daughter of an army colonel in wartime – complex anti-war drama from the 2024 Annecy International Animation Festival in the Contrechamps section, released in Pakistan on Friday, 26th July 2024

If you knew nothing about this animated film beforehand, you’d assume it to be Japanese. Love it or hate it, most animation made in Japan falls within very distinctive, stylistic, visual parameters. According to the press blurb, director Riaz is an admirer of Studio Ghibli directors Miyazaki and Takahata as well as more recent directors Mamoru Hosoda and Satoshi Kon. Visually, the film feels more like a Miyazaki than anything else, and of comparable quality too. Yet it’s also highly original, and Riaz, here directing his first feature after a number of shorts, clearly has his own voice.

It opens with a frame story about youthful glassblower Vincent Oliver (voice: Sacha Dhawan) who, with the help of his father, is preparing for the opening of his debut glassware exhibition. He rereads a letter from a girl which his father (voice: Art Malik) had told him years ago to destroy in their workshop’s furnace.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Joy Ride

Director – Adele Lim – 2023 – US – Cert. 15 – 95m

***1/2

A Chinese-American corporate lawyer visiting China to close a business deal for her boss finds herself on a road trip with three friends which turns into a search for her birth mother – raunchy, gross-out comedy is out in UK cinemas on Friday, August 4th

TL;DR: good fun and occasionally hilarious – provided you don’t watch the trailer first.

White Hills, Seattle. Little girl Audrey Sullivan (Lennon Yee), a Chinese adoptee with white parents, hits it off with new girl in town of the same age Lolo Chen (Chloe Pun) when at a local playground, the latter sees off a white racist boy bully on her behalf. Growing up, the pair become inseparable, yet they are very different characters, with Audrey being the school yearbook’s “most likely to succeed” while Lolo is “most likely to be arrested”. Five minutes into the film, Audrey (Ashley Park) is a highly regarded and highly paid corporate lawyer on the verge of being while Lolo (Sherry Cola) is a struggling artist making sex-positive art (i.e. it centres around representations of male and female genitalia). Audrey is letting the impoverished Lolo stay at her upmarket house.… Read the rest