Giovanni Fazio

Giovanni Fazio has been The Japan Times’ resident film crank since 1993. When not at the movies, he is busy recording and playing live with his band Makyo and running the independent electronica label Dakini Records.

For Giovanni Fazio's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Vampire Academy

Jul 30, 2014

Vampire Academy

Knock-off; noun: a copy or imitation of something popular. Knock off; transitive verb: to do hurriedly or routinely. Meeting both definitions is “Vampire Academy,” a tween-targeted novel franchise penned by Richelle Mead, which has been adapted to the big screen as a lazy, deja-vu-inducing ...

Mea Culpa (Tomoyo, Saraba to Iou)

Jul 30, 2014

Mea Culpa (Tomoyo, Saraba to Iou)

People often talk about French films as if they were nothing but talky and arty, but the French have a fine tradition of policiers: tough, hardboiled cop and crime movies such as “Le Cercle Rouge” (1970) or “Un Prophete” (2009). “Mea Culpa” is one ...

Palestine Stereo

Jul 30, 2014

Palestine Stereo

Director: Rashid Masharawi Language: Arabic (subtitled in English) Sami and Stereo (Salah Hannoun, Mahmoud Abu-Jazi) are brothers trying to leave Gaza for Canada after an Israeli bombing. Stereo runs a rental sound system to save the $10,000 needed to get them into Canada. Gaza-born, ...

Godzilla

Jul 23, 2014

Godzilla

The old Godzilla movies made by Japan’s Toho studio between 1954 and 2004 were B-grade monster movies. They were cheesy and primitive, for the most part, but displayed the charm of inventive filmmakers who were trying to transcend the limitations of budget and technology ...

Rewind This!

Jul 23, 2014

Rewind This!

Presumably, Josh Johnson’s amusing documentary “Rewind This!” is a trawl through the cultural history of the video tape and the people who are still attached to this format. But, more than that, it’s a portrait of a certain type of otaku fanboy: those obsessed ...

Robbery

Jul 23, 2014

Robbery

Director: Peter Yates Language: English Director Peter Yates’ 1967 heist flick, “Robbery,” appears on DVD this week and it’s well worth a look. Set in 1963, it’s a hard-edged account of the so-called Great Train Robbery in which a 15-man South London gang rousted ...

Enemy

Jul 16, 2014

Enemy

Very few directors have picked up the gauntlet thrown down by David Lynch’s films such as “Lost Highway” and “Mulholland Drive.” These are films steeped in mysteries so deep that Lynch himself is positively daring audiences to wrap their heads around them; they are ...

Blood Ties

Jul 16, 2014

Blood Ties

“Blood Ties” feels a lot like a film made by someone who grew up on a diet of gritty 1970s crime flicks set in New York, made by the likes of William Friedkin, Sidney Lumet, and Martin Scorcese. Clive Owen, making a spotty attempt ...

Orgasm Inc.

Jul 16, 2014

Orgasm Inc.

Director: Liz Canner Language: English There’s money to be made telling healthy people they’re sick. That’s the lesson you’ll walk away with from “Orgasm Inc.,” a documentary that looks at an attempt by Big Pharma to brand a new “disease” — female sexual dysfunction ...

'The Dance of Reality'

Jul 9, 2014

'The Dance of Reality'

Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky blew people’s minds with two of the hippie era’s most esoteric movies: “El Topo” (1970) and “The Holy Mountain” (1973). They were midnight-movie megahits, praised to the heavens by the likes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and it seemed ...