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:

Cliff Martinez: composing through the chaos

Jan 11, 2017

Cliff Martinez: composing through the chaos

So much movie music sounds like just that: movie music. It’s rare these days to come across a score with character that really makes you sit up and listen. One musician who consistently manages to pull that off is punk drummer-turned-composer Cliff Martinez, whose ...

'The Neon Demon': Demonically arty — in a good way

/ Jan 11, 2017

'The Neon Demon': Demonically arty — in a good way

With “The Neon Demon,” director Nicolas Winding Refn seems to have come to the end of a trilogy that began with “Drive” (2011) and continued through “Only God Forgives” (2013). The idea seems to be to take genre-flick styles — car action, revenge and ...

| Jan 11, 2017

'The Knick': Still gnarlier than 'The Walking Dead'

A number of auteurs have dabbled in TV series, such as David Fincher with “House of Cards” and Martin Scorsese with “Vinyl”; but with “The Knick,” Steven Soderbergh becomes the first to hands-on direct every episode of a show from beginning to end. The ...

'Wiener-Dog': Todd Solondz is always painfully funny

/ Jan 4, 2017

'Wiener-Dog': Todd Solondz is always painfully funny

Trigger warning: I am about to discuss a Todd Solondz film. Back in the 1990s, Solondz was one of a pack of up-and-coming American indie directors, along with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater and Todd Haynes. After getting hyped wildly ...

The bad year that pervaded the screens

Dec 21, 2016

The bad year that pervaded the screens

The past year has been a cursed one. It began with the death of David Bowie and proceeded to get worse on every level: political hysteria, impending ecological doom, the creeping encroach of net-connected tech into every corner of our lives, and a blurring ...

'Beep' tracks down 8-bit maestros

| Dec 14, 2016

'Beep' tracks down 8-bit maestros

Here’s one for the gamers: “Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound” interviews more than 80 composers, sound designers and voice actors in a comprehensive look at its topic. Starting with mechanical pinball bells, “Beep” moves through the bleepy 8-bit sounds of 1980s arcade ...

'Smoke': the movie that blazed a trail for indies

Dec 7, 2016

'Smoke': the movie that blazed a trail for indies

Just in time for Christmas, Yebisu Garden Cinema is reviving a film that was one of the cinema’s biggest hits in the 1990s, director Wayne Wang’s “Smoke,” in a crisp new digital remastered version. Watching it again after all these years, it’s hard not ...

'Tale of Tales': Do we need fables for adults?

/ Nov 30, 2016

'Tale of Tales': Do we need fables for adults?

The current ideological system that governs our lives — call it late capitalism, the spectacle, or just Babylon — is most devious in its ability to take any and all resistance, any deviance from the hamster wheel of consumerism, and repackage it as just ...

The diversity of religion captured on film

| Nov 30, 2016

The diversity of religion captured on film

Reflecting on the rise of a generation of Japanese that has grown up suspicious of organized religion — particularly those who came of age in the shadow of 1995’s terror attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo cult — Nihon University’s College of Art has put ...