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:

It's all about the humans in 'Arrival'

/ May 17, 2017

It's all about the humans in 'Arrival'

With "Arrival," director Denis Villeneuve takes a very familiar alien invasion scenario and tries to put a new twist on it. While everyone from H. G. Wells in "War of the Worlds" to Roland Emmerich in "Independence Day" has envisioned a swarm of spacecraft ...

New documentary turns the lens on photographer Robert Frank

Apr 26, 2017

New documentary turns the lens on photographer Robert Frank

In 1957, aspiring photographer Robert Frank met Jack Kerouac at a party for the writer's recently published novel "On the Road." Frank himself had just come back from his own road trip, an eerily similar journey into the real heart of America. Funded by a ...

Eco-blockbuster 'Deepwater Horizon' bypasses a bigger issue

/ Apr 19, 2017

Eco-blockbuster 'Deepwater Horizon' bypasses a bigger issue

With "Deepwater Horizon," Hollywood attempts the difficult maneuver of having its cake and eating it too. It's certainly possible to make a rabble-rousing liberal issue movie, and it's even easier to make any sort of film that involves lots of CGI explosions, but it's ...

'Moonlight' provides two parts intrigue, one part tedium

/ Apr 5, 2017

'Moonlight' provides two parts intrigue, one part tedium

After 242 award nominations and 186 wins — including three Oscars and a near-perfect rating on Metacritic.com — we finally get to see "Moonlight" here in Japan with all the burdens of raised expectations. Can any film possibly live up to all that hype? Drum ...

| Mar 29, 2017

'Trump: What’s The Deal?': you can finally find out

"Trump: What's The Deal," a documentary completed in 1991, was meant to be the first in a series on the celebrity businessmen who characterized the greed-is-good 1980s. It was never released as Donald Trump threatened to sue any broadcaster or distributor who handled it. Thanks ...

'Jackie': More pomp than circumstance

/ Mar 22, 2017

'Jackie': More pomp than circumstance

There's a scene near the end of "Jackie" where the just-widowed first lady Jacqueline Kennedy (played by Natalie Portman) is talking with her priest (John Hurt) about the meaning of life and asks, somewhat bitterly, "Is that all there is?" In my head, all I ...

| Mar 15, 2017

Looking back on the 'trial of the century'

Everywhere you look these days, it feels like it's just Trump, Trump and even more Trump. It's worth taking a moment to recall that 23 years ago many people were just as sick of O.J. Simpson when the amiable American football star-turned-TV/movie celebrity became ...

A dystopian future set in the present aftermath

Mar 8, 2017

A dystopian future set in the present aftermath

With "Homo Sapiens", director Nikolaus Geyrhalter paints a haunting dystopian vision of civilization minus its creators. This unique documentary consists of nothing but steady, perfectly framed wide-shots of abandoned structures and wastelands. Imagine Wes Anderson doing location shots for "The Walking Dead" and you'll ...