Author: Angel Cruz

The Infinite Comfort of Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters Francesca Zappia HarperCollins May 30, 2017 I’ve not made a secret of my hesitation when it comes to books about fandom. More often than not, they’ve been hit or miss for me. When they’re a hit, they’re a real hit. And when they miss? I’d rather just avoid talking about them. It’s with these qualms that I approached Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I hoped very much to love this quiet novel about a webcomic artist, and I got my wish and much more. Eliza Mirk is a deeply introverted teen, something that...

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NYAFF 2017 Short Reviews: Southeast Asian Films

Town in a Lake (Matangtubig) Director: Jet Leyco Cast: Amante Pulido, Dylan Talon, Miles Kanapi North American premiere: July 6, 2017 We meet Matangtubig in the darkness, shadows swallowing up what little light peeks through the windows of a moving car. Inside the car, two schoolgirls cower beside each other, bookended by two imposing men in dark clothes. We know this story will not have a happy ending. Whether or not it has an ending at all is up for debate, even as the credits roll. Jet Leyco’s cinematography experience serves him incredibly well in his fourth film, set in the...

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Yoshihiro Nakamura Draws Back the Curtain for Mumon – The Land of Stealth

As present (and misinterpreted) as ninjas are in global pop culture references, few of us probably consider the origin of these warriors. Yoshihiro Nakamura has found a way to share new perspectives to their tales, tying their existence to what has become modern Japan in his new film Shinobi no Kuni. Fresh off projects like The Magnificent Nine and The Snow White Murder Case, Nakamura brings his unique eye to ninja lore, injecting humour, heart, and incredible action into the film. Mumon (Satoshi Ohno) is the self-proclaimed “greatest ninja in Iga,” and his reputation often precedes him in skirmishes with fellow...

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Poetry Becomes Her in Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku

Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku (Part 1) Director: Norihiro Koizumi Original screenplay: Yuki Suetsugu (manga), Norihiro Koizumi (screenplay) Cast: Suzu Hirose, Shuhei Nomura, Mackenyu, Mone Kamishiraishi North American premiere: June 10, 2017 (Canada) 花さそふ (It entices the flowers—) あらしの庭の (the storm—but through the garden’s white) 雪ならで (it is not snow) ふりゆくものは (and what it is that’s scattering) わが身なりけり (are, in fact, the years of my life!) – Poem 96, translated by Joshua S. Moscow When you think of poetry competitions, it’s easy to conjure up images of school contests and literary magazines. Poetry isn’t something that we tend to associate with cutthroat...

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Two Great Minds: A Joint Review of Defy The Stars

Defy The Stars Claudia Gray Little, Brown Books for Young Readers April 4th 2017 There’s nothing quite like falling headlong into an author’s entire catalogue. I should know. I’m deep in a Claudia Gray haze these days, and I’m still not sure how that happened. Scratch that. I picked up Lost Stars, Gray’s Star Wars novel, on the intense recommendation of artist and friend Wendy Xu. It was a good decision and one that’s led me to read through Gray’s backlist and her newest novel Defy the Stars. In Defy the Stars, we meet Noemi Vidal, a fighter pilot for...

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