CJ Sheu

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CJ Sheu, an Assistant Professor of Applied English at Ming Chuan University, is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved, Taipei-based film critic for The News Lens.

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2022/03/21 | CJ Sheu

‘The Dawn of Everything’ Is a (Qualified) Masterpiece

‘The Dawn of Everything’ not only shows that there are alternatives to neoliberal patriarchal settler capitalism. It tells a compelling story of how we “got stuck” where we are now.

2022/01/04 | CJ Sheu

‘Being the Ricardos’ Turns ‘I Love Lucy’ into the Nicole Kidman Show

‘Being the Ricardos’ has divided critics on everything but one point: Nicole Kidman is a revelation.

2022/03/29 | CJ Sheu

What’s in a Slap?

Smith was wrong to slap Rock, in public or in private. And Rock and ABC were wrong for approving the joke. But commentators are also wrong for treating this incident the same as they would had all three people involved been White.

2022/08/19 | CJ Sheu

‘Formosa Betrayed’ Barely Scratches the Surface of Taiwan’s History

‘Formosa Betrayed’ tries to build a political thriller around a mystery in an unknown land ruled with an iron fist. It’s empty didacticism — and less than thrilling.

2022/05/26 | CJ Sheu

‘Ink & Linda’ Celebrates Artistic Kismet

Two completely dissimilar people bond over a common project. The result is a radical story of artistic creation.

2022/04/23 | CJ Sheu

Zhang Yimou Crafts an Unusual Propaganda Film with ‘Snipers’

‘Snipers’ is an unapologetic Chinese patriotic melodrama. It’s not for everyone, but there were times that it was able to hint at a more multifaceted story.

2022/11/16 | CJ Sheu

2022 Golden Horse Asian Cinema Observer Report: Part 2

Our film critic CJ Sheu was at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival to review nominees for the Asian Cinema Observer Recommendation Prize. Here he gives the second of a two-part survey of the films: a Singaporean-Korean production along with films from Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

2022/06/22 | CJ Sheu

‘After Yang’ Is Infused With Asian Americanness

‘After Yang’ is a sci-fi grounded in a plausible future history, conveying an uncanny sense of frisson familiar to Asian Americans, American Asians, or indeed anyone caught between two cultures in hard-to-delineate ways. The film is part of the 2022 Taipei Film Festival.

2022/11/15 | CJ Sheu

2022 Golden Horse Asian Cinema Observer Report: Part 1

Our film critic CJ Sheu was at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival to review nominees for the Asian Cinema Observer Recommendation Prize. Here he gives the first of a two-part survey of the films, including entries from Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

2022/10/28 | CJ Sheu

‘August at Akiko’s’ Calmly Reflects on Hawai‘i’s Colonial Trauma

Trauma and dispossession are at the heart of ‘August at Akiko’s’. But a soaring jazz score and sweeping cinematography suggest new directions and the possibility of moving on.

2022/09/15 | CJ Sheu

‘Mama Boy’ Is an Excellent Film With the Wrong Tone

A talented cast with an intriguing story of a sex worker and her client is undermined by a rmismatched tone of romantic fantasy.

2022/02/19 | CJ Sheu

Boredom Gives Rise to Experimentation in ‘The Cloud in Her Room’

Films in the quarter-life crisis genre often treat the drifting ennui of young adulthood as an aberration, or at most a regrettable rite of passage. But what if the ennui itself is what gets you through?

2022/11/17 | CJ Sheu

Co-winner ‘Autobiography’ Complexly Explores the Corrosions of Power

Indonesian film ‘Autobiography’, the co-winner of the 2022 Golden Horse Asian Cinema Observer Recommendation Prize, explores relationships defined by power, both historical and intimate.