October 2013
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'Kiyosu Kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)'

Oct 31, 2013

'Kiyosu Kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)'

by Mark Schilling

Koki Mitani is one of those very Japanese conundrums: Considered a master of comedy and a box-office king at home, he remains little known abroad — despite a career that spans three decades and includes work as a playwright and scriptwriter, as well as ...

'Venuto al Mondo'

Oct 31, 2013

'Venuto al Mondo'

by Giovanni Fazio

So many films these days seem to be trying their hardest to be the same, their connect-the-dots three-act narratives all carved from the same stone. Then there’s “Venuto al Mondo” (released in English as “Twice Born”), which features a story that flows like a ...

'Behind the Candelabra'

Oct 31, 2013

'Behind the Candelabra'

by Giovanni Fazio

When Steven Soderbergh shopped around his Liberace biopic project, practically every studio in Hollywood took a pass on it, causing the director to publicly renounce the movie biz and say he was moving to TV, where he made the film for cable network HBO. ...

'42'

Oct 31, 2013

'42'

by Kaori Shoji

In America today, black players can be found in every sport. But back in 1946 there were no black athletes, especially not in baseball, the “white man’s sport.” Director Brian Helgeland (“A Knight’s Tale”) zeroes in on the African-American player who kicked down the ...

Electronica artist Blake nabs Mercury

Oct 31, 2013

Electronica artist Blake nabs Mercury

Electronica singer-songwriter James Blake won Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize on Wednesday for his second album, “Overgrown.” The 25-year-old art school graduate beat off competition from bookmaker favorite Laura Mvula, legendary singer/songwriter David Bowie and Sheffield rockers Arctic Monkeys to claim the £20,000 ($32,000) prize ...

Oct 31, 2013

Coldest place in universe found

The coldest place in the universe — measured at just 1 degree Celsius above absolute zero, the temperature at which all atoms cease to move — is the Boomerang Nebula, astronomers in Chile said Wednesday. It is about 5,000 light-years away in the constellation ...

Oct 31, 2013

Dollar ekes out small rise to ¥98.32

The dollar was capped at levels around ¥98.30 in Tokyo trading Thursday, pressured by profit-taking and a fall in stock prices. At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥98.32-35, up from ¥98.26-28 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.3699-3700, down from ...

Oct 31, 2013

Private-sector advisers urge budget cuts

Private-sector members of a key government panel are proposing that some ¥3 trillion in spending be cut from the requested amount of the fiscal 2014 budget and that planned social security outlays possibly be reconsidered, sources said Thursday. The four members of the Council ...

Oct 31, 2013

Seoul holding off on treaty to share defense info

South Korea has no plans to seek a treaty with Japan on exchanging confidential military information, South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday. “There has been no progress made in discussing the signing of a treaty on exchanging confidential military information with Japan, and ...

Oct 31, 2013

Osaka warns of dire Nankai quake toll

The disastrous earthquake expected to occur in the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast could cause more than 130,000 deaths in Osaka alone, the prefectural government said Wednesday. If people do not act promptly to escape the tsunami spawned by the quake, the death ...

Waseda students teach you how to have fun

Oct 31, 2013

Waseda students teach you how to have fun

by Edan Corkill

University festivals are probably not the first place foreign residents in Japan would seek out entertainment, but as evidence of the existence — despite many reports to the contrary — of a certain joie de vivre among the nation’s young, they are hard to ...