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James Hadfield

For James Hadfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Hany Abu-Assad: Making strong voices heard

Sep 21, 2016

Hany Abu-Assad: Making strong voices heard

Ever since the first series of “Pop Idol” screened on British TV in 2001, the televised music competition has become practically inescapable, with franchises springing up everywhere from Macedonia to the Maldives. Given how cannily stage-managed these “reality” shows really are, though, it almost ...

'The Red Turtle': Studio Ghibli takes an intriguing turn

Sep 14, 2016

'The Red Turtle': Studio Ghibli takes an intriguing turn

Two years ago the English-speaking internet world was shaken by the news that Japan’s most beloved animation house, Studio Ghibli, would be closing its doors for good. The story, which originated from a fan blog and was picked up by a variety of more ...

'Gods of Egypt': What an ungodly mess

Aug 31, 2016

'Gods of Egypt': What an ungodly mess

In the latest issue of Kinema Junpo, Japan’s most venerable film magazine, you can read a lengthy tribute to Gaga, the dogged independent movie distributor that’s marking its 30th anniversary this year. The occasion is certainly worth commemorating: This is the company that released ...

Koenji's Awa Odori festival celebrates 60 years

Aug 25, 2016

Koenji's Awa Odori festival celebrates 60 years

For the past few weeks, visitors and residents in Koenji have been haunted by a song — a plaintive, pentatonic melody that seems to circle endlessly, never quite resolving. You can hear it playing over speakers on the station platform just before the train ...

Sukiyaki Meets the World music festival thinks global and acts local

Aug 21, 2016

Sukiyaki Meets the World music festival thinks global and acts local

In his classic polemic against modern Japan, “Dogs and Demons,” Alex Kerr described how a system of government loans and subsidies in the 1980s spurred a nationwide outbreak of grandiose construction projects. Today, the Japanese countryside is littered with oversized, underused cultural centers, many ...

Superhero films need to reach beyond the geeks

Aug 17, 2016

Superhero films need to reach beyond the geeks

Where superhero movies are concerned, you should never trust a critic. When David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” opened to a barrage of negative press in the U.S. earlier this month, some fans responded by lashing out at film journalists online. One even launched a petition ...

'Song of the Sea': Seals, fairies and ancient folk songs

Aug 17, 2016

'Song of the Sea': Seals, fairies and ancient folk songs

When Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” lost out to “Big Hero 6” in the competition for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards last year, it was a reminder of how thoroughly 3-D computer animation has eclipsed more traditional techniques. In the ...

'The Jungle Book': Darker yet infinitely more beautiful

Aug 10, 2016

'The Jungle Book': Darker yet infinitely more beautiful

After decades spent wrestling with the logistics of international shoots, Hollywood seems to be coming full circle. It’s like the early days of cinema again, when exotic locales were evoked within the confines of a movie studio, though today’s filmmakers aren’t so reliant on ...