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:

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Feb 3, 2016

An unforgiving look at 'Unbroken' in Japan

Flashback to 1983: Director Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” set during World War II in a Japanese-run POW camp in Java, is opening in theaters across Japan. It starred David Bowie with two huge local stars: comedian Beat Takeshi and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. ...

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

Jan 27, 2016

Johnny Depp as a sociopathic crime lord in 'Black Mass'

‘Black Mass” may sound like a classic horror film featuring Vincent Price or Barbara Steele, but it’s actually a modern crime film about a gangster nicknamed “Whitey,” played by Johnny Depp. Confusing? Yes, even more so when you examine its promo photos of a ...

| Jan 15, 2016

The man who sold the world on music

The Starman has departed for his home planet. I can’t imagine a world without David Bowie, but the strange thing is, he never was in my world, at least physically. So why do I feel the loss as dearly as I would my closest ...

The darker side of young adulthood

Jan 13, 2016

The darker side of young adulthood

The opening shot of “Little Birds” tells us all we need to know about its heroine Lily, a 15-year-old stuck in a deader-than-dead-end town. As she lies in the bath, the camera pans across the pale white skin of her legs until it lands ...

Top 10 films of 2015: Like finding a needle in a haystack

Dec 23, 2015

Top 10 films of 2015: Like finding a needle in a haystack

Finding alternatives in 2015 to big-budget blockbusters and beard-stroking festival films wasn’t easyIt has been a lean year. All too often, it felt like you had seen the movies of 2015 before — each new release seemed to be the shadow of a shadow ...

'Heaven Knows What' paints a grim picture of drug addiction

Dec 16, 2015

'Heaven Knows What' paints a grim picture of drug addiction

“You just gotta see that junk is just another nine-to-five gig in the end,” wrote Jim Carroll in “The Basketball Diaries” way back in 1978. Perhaps no film about heroin has captured that grinding routine of score-shoot-nod-hustle-score as well as “Heaven Knows What” — ...