Forget clubbing: Outdoor festivals offer a natural alternative

May 29, 2016

Forget clubbing: Outdoor festivals offer a natural alternative

When the revised adult entertainment business law comes into effect on June 23, bringing an end to Japan’s archaic ban on all-night dance parties, it will mark the end of what has been a challenging period for the nation’s nightclubs. But beyond the major ...

'Hentai Kamen: Abnormal Crisis': Japan's pervy hero is top-crotch

May 18, 2016

'Hentai Kamen: Abnormal Crisis': Japan's pervy hero is top-crotch

If you’re craving an alternative to the self-important bluster of Hollywood’s never-ending superhero pageant, there’s no need to wait until “Deadpool” opens in Japanese cinemas next month. For a quick fix of trashy comic-book irreverence, this homegrown product should do the trick nicely. Keishu ...

Big issues in film short 'World of Tomorrow'

| May 11, 2016

Big issues in film short 'World of Tomorrow'

Given the limited options for theatrical release, short films are generally condemned to the purgatory of YouTube, which makes the case of “World of Tomorrow” especially striking. Since premiering at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, ...

Review: Worldwide Session at Studio Coast

May 6, 2016

Review: Worldwide Session at Studio Coast

Gilles Peterson has spent his entire career buoyed by gushing enthusiasm, but when the London-based DJ and record label boss declared a gig in Tokyo on May 4 to be a “career highlight,” he was probably being sincere. The Twitter outburst came during the ...

'Captain America': Civil War: Marvel shows Superman how it's done

Apr 27, 2016

'Captain America': Civil War: Marvel shows Superman how it's done

Have we reached peak superhero yet? After spending the winter months watching “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil” on Netflix, viewers can now subject themselves to a barrage of comic-book spectacle at their local multiplex. Following last month’s clattering, messy “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ...

'Youth': Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

Apr 13, 2016

'Youth': Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

“I don’t want to read any more of it, write any more of it, I don’t even want to talk about it anymore,” said the novelist Philip Roth in 2012, as he announced his retirement from literature. “I’m tired of all that work. I’m ...

3-D pornography is still pornography

Mar 30, 2016

3-D pornography is still pornography

During the heyday of Japan’s “pink films” (cinematic porn) in the 1960s and ’70s, directors were given free rein over their pictures as long as they included at least one sex scene per reel. For the late Koji Wakamatsu, perhaps the genre’s most famous ...

The Nihilist Spasm Band: 51 years later it's still chaos

Mar 13, 2016

The Nihilist Spasm Band: 51 years later it's still chaos

Japanese TV had never seen anything like it. During the final episode of irreverent variety show “Tamori’s Music is the World” in March 1996, viewers were introduced to a group of silver-haired Canadians billed as “the Rolling Stones of noise music” — a sobriquet ...

The Greek auteur who cooked up 'The Lobster'

Mar 9, 2016

The Greek auteur who cooked up 'The Lobster'

When a gifted director ditches their native tongue and starts working in English, it can be a fraught process. For every Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, there’s a Wong Kar-wai or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, whose career still hasn’t recovered since he parlayed the Oscar triumph ...