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:

'Amy': Remembering the star the right way

/ Jul 13, 2016

'Amy': Remembering the star the right way

Back in 1969, John Lennon — then on his media-hounded honeymoon with Yoko Ono — penned “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” with the chorus, “The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me.” It seems a bit over-the-top, until you recall how his ...

'Brooklyn': Romance is not dead, it's just dull

/ Jul 6, 2016

'Brooklyn': Romance is not dead, it's just dull

Given its title, you’d be forgiven for thinking that “Brooklyn” was a movie about lumbersexual hipsters, all named Zach, opening a single-origin, gluten-free artisanal mac-and-cheese shop in Fort Point, and the zany complications that arise when they realize two bathrooms are inadequate to serve ...

| Jun 22, 2016

'Nina' is still worth watching

The “politically correct”(PC) left is often no better than the Christian right when it comes to looking for ways to be offended by movies. The latest victim of PC backlash is “Nina,” the film based on legendary jazz and blues singer and civil-rights icon ...

'Citizenfour': Big Brother has always been with us

/ Jun 15, 2016

'Citizenfour': Big Brother has always been with us

The tele-screen received and transmitted simultaneously. … There was of course no way of knowing when you were being watched. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual was guesswork. At any rate they could plug in to ...

The topic of AI always raises HAL and more

Jun 8, 2016

The topic of AI always raises HAL and more

An astronaut in deep space finishes up some repairs to the parabolic antenna on his spacecraft’s exterior. Through his helmet’s microphone, he commands the ship’s controlling supercomputer, HAL 9000, “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” A second later he gets a calm, cold response ...

'Ex Machina': When the machine has its own ghost

/ Jun 8, 2016

'Ex Machina': When the machine has its own ghost

When the histories are written years from now, our era will be defined by information technology in much the same way that the 1960s were defined by rock ‘n’ roll and social protest, or in the U.S., the ’20s by Prohibition. People will look ...

The EU is on firm ground when it comes to film

| Jun 1, 2016

The EU is on firm ground when it comes to film

The European Union might be teetering on the brink of collapse politically, but culturally it’s still presenting a united front. EU Film Days, a showcase of movies from Portugal to Lithuania, Finland to Greece, is entering its sixth year in Japan, with daily screenings ...

'Cartel Land' uncovers little hope and no glory

May 11, 2016

'Cartel Land' uncovers little hope and no glory

The debate over border policy in the United States has reached levels of nonsense worthy of Lewis Carroll. On the right, you have presidential candidate Donald Trump tarring all immigrants from south of the Rio Grande as “rapists and murderers,” and pledging to build ...

'Hail, Caesar!': The Coen brothers miss a few pins

/ May 11, 2016

'Hail, Caesar!': The Coen brothers miss a few pins

The Coen Brothers have always been critical darlings, but their 17th film, the 1950s Hollywood-set comedy “Hail, Caesar!” has shown an unusually wide gap between critical raves and tepid audience response. This despite a star-studded cast that includes George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, ...