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:

'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 ...

'Fading Gigolo'

Jul 9, 2014

'Fading Gigolo'

John Turturro is a fine actor, and can certainly do comedy when he wants to — he stole the show with the briefest of cameos in “The Big Lebowski” (1998) — so it’s hard to figure out what went wrong with “Fading Gigolo,” which ...

Before Midnight

Jul 9, 2014

Before Midnight

Director: Richard Linklater Language: English Director Richard Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have now completed a perfect trilogy: “Before Sunrise” (1995) capturing the heady rush of first love, “Before Sunset” (2004) sketching the second chance, and now “Before Midnight” showing romance ...

Babylon still trembles at Jamaica's cult classic

Jul 2, 2014

Babylon still trembles at Jamaica's cult classic

Flashback: It’s midnight at the Orson Welles Cinema, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1980. Perry Henzell’s breakthrough Jamaican film “The Harder They Come” has been playing here every weekend for nearly a decade now, but tonight it’s still a full house. As the lights go down, the ...

'Children of the Revolution'

Jul 2, 2014

'Children of the Revolution'

When asked by a comrade why the press had such intense fear and loathing of the Red Army Faction’s female members, Ulrike Meinhof replied, “Women are at the heart of human reproduction. Women are supposed to be passive, obedient, available and conciliatory. Women who ...

'The Missing Picture' (Kieta E: Khmer Rouge no Shinjitsu)

Jul 2, 2014

'The Missing Picture' (Kieta E: Khmer Rouge no Shinjitsu)

Cambodian director Rithy Panh has made a career out of documenting the brutal rule of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, which murdered something like 2 million of its own people between 1975 and 1979. With good reason: His own family was lost to the ...

'American Hustle'

Jul 2, 2014

'American Hustle'

Director: David O. Russell Language: English Near the beginning of this deliciously funny 1970s caper flick, we see Christian Bale as a small-time hustler. Right off the bat, it shows us the commitment of Bale, who is physically transformed once again (with a big ...

'Transcendence'

Jun 26, 2014

'Transcendence'

Has the digital backlash begun? Spike Jonze’s “Her” and Wally Pfister’s “Transcendence” both open this weekend, and while they’re very different films — one with a nerdy guy falling in love with his sultry-voiced operating system, the other a mind-bending thriller about uploading human ...

'Parkland'

Jun 26, 2014

'Parkland'

Oliver Stone threw just about every conspiracy theory regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy into his 1991 film “JFK.” Peter Landesman’s “Parkland,” on the other hand, includes none of them. Based on journalist (and former Manson Family prosecutor) Vincent Bugliosi’s eyewitness ...

'The East'

Jun 26, 2014

'The East'

Director: Zal Batmanglij Language: English Brit Marling plays a corporate spy who goes deep undercover (i.e., Birkenstocks and no baths) with a shadowy eco-terrorist group. Her sympathies waver as she falls under the spell of the neo-Luddite group’s culty leader (Alexander Skarsgard), while continuing ...