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:

Julianne Moore shines as Alzheimer's patient in 'Still Alice'

Jun 25, 2015

Julianne Moore shines as Alzheimer's patient in 'Still Alice'

Flashback to 1995 when a new actress named Julianne Moore was beginning to get noticed for her work in the Todd Haynes film “Safe,” where she played an affluent Southern California suburbanite who becomes afflicted with a mysterious environmental illness. Some 20 years and ...

Why does the surrealism in Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' fail?

May 27, 2015

Why does the surrealism in Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' fail?

‘They flooded a bunch of towns when they dammed the river. That’s why they call this Lost River,” says Rat (Saoirse Ronan), a character in actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, “Lost River.” “As soon as the last town was drowned, an evil spell was ...

Terry Gilliam back on form with 'The Zero Theorem'

May 13, 2015

Terry Gilliam back on form with 'The Zero Theorem'

Terry Gilliam’s “The Zero Theorem,” like most of his films, focuses on the all-too-thin line between sanity and insanity, reality and delusion. Its steampunk-meets-cyberpunk visual style is a wonderful jumble that’s reminiscent of his much loved “Brazil,” with touches like a computer mainframe that ...

The horrible prescience of 1974 war documentary 'Hearts and Minds'

Apr 29, 2015

The horrible prescience of 1974 war documentary 'Hearts and Minds'

The stereotype of “liberal Hollywood” was etched into stone when director Peter Davis and producer Bert Schneider took the stage at the Oscars on April 8, 1975. Receiving the best documentary award for their incendiary Vietnam War film “Hearts and Minds,” Schneider read out ...

Violence speaks louder than words in Ukrainian film 'The Tribe'

Apr 22, 2015

Violence speaks louder than words in Ukrainian film 'The Tribe'

Obscurantism; noun: The practice of being deliberately obscure or vague. If that represents a new genre in art cinema, then Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy may be its leading proponent. His film “The Tribe,” which garnered some attention at Cannes last year, features deaf actors ...

Thomas Pynchon meets The Dude in 'Inherent Vice'

Apr 15, 2015

Thomas Pynchon meets The Dude in 'Inherent Vice'

“Inherent vice,” a term used in marine insurance law, means anything you can’t avoid: chocolate will melt, glass will shatter and fruit will spoil. For “Inherent Vice” the movie, the thing that can’t be avoided is a comparison to “The Big Lebowski.” Based on ...

The murder ballads of Mexico's brutal drug war

Apr 8, 2015

The murder ballads of Mexico's brutal drug war

A group of Mexican folk musicians take the stage, guitars in hand and tuba at the back. Based on the gaudy outfits they’re dressed in — a mix of mariachi style with Vegas-era Elvis — you might think you know how they’re going to ...