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Kaori Shoji

Kaori Shoji writes about movies and movie-makers for the Film Page, plus takes a turn at the Bilingual Column. Biggest mistake of her career: taking the very dignified Nagisa Oshima to McDonald’s for an iced coffee.

For Kaori Shoji's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

She came, she stole and she conquered

Aug 28, 2014

She came, she stole and she conquered

In my family of many brothers, the “Lupin III” animated TV series was the only program we could agree to watch. Once the electric guitar riffs of the Yuji Ohno-penned theme song began, a blissful peace descended on our living room. The fighting stopped ...

Farewell to Taiwanese cinema, but not to love

Aug 27, 2014

Farewell to Taiwanese cinema, but not to love

If Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang threw a dinner party, it’s easy to guess who would be invited. Tsai has staunchly and consistently worked with the same small cluster of actors from his 1992 debut film “Rebels of the Neon God” through to “Stray Dogs,” ...

The Finishers (Great Days! Yume ni Idonda Chichi to Ko)

Aug 27, 2014

The Finishers (Great Days! Yume ni Idonda Chichi to Ko)

Boys can be creatures of sheer wonder. That’s the takeaway conviction after watching “Des Toutes Nos Forces (released in English as “The Finishers”). By boys, I mean young (or young at heart) men with pure minds and high ideals, willing to push themselves to ...

Lucy

Aug 27, 2014

Lucy

“Lucy” is a big movie with a narrow mind; it speaks of all that used to work in a Luc Besson film and doesn’t anymore because we’re no longer in 1989. Besson ignores that, but he’s kept up with current times in other ways. ...

Riddick (Riddick: Galaxy Battle)

Aug 27, 2014

Riddick (Riddick: Galaxy Battle)

Director: David Twohy Language: English Even if you hate Vin Diesel, perhaps there’s a tiny, dark part of you that secretly likes him? Liking Vin Diesel (even a tiny bit) is one of the prerequisites for sitting through the “Riddick” series, since he plays ...

The Great Beauty

Aug 20, 2014

The Great Beauty

‘The Great Beauty” recalls two other films set in Rome: “La Dolce Vita” and “Roman Holiday.” The former takes huge bites out of the city’s decadence and debauchery in much the same way as “The Great Beauty.” The latter takes a mere lick at ...

Sacro GRA

Aug 20, 2014

Sacro GRA

“Sacro GRA” takes the all-roads-lead-to-Rome adage one step further by telling us that one of those roads is actually sacred — the 65-odd-km GRA (Grande Raccordo Anulare). It’s Italy’s most expensive highway, circling Rome in one big loop. Documentarian Gianfranco Rosi took his camera ...

Lee Daniels' The Butler (originally released as 'The Butler)

Aug 20, 2014

Lee Daniels' The Butler (originally released as "The Butler)

Director: Lee Daniels Language: English “The Butler” is based on the real-life story of an African-American butler who worked in the White House and served eight presidents before retiring in 2008. The film combines the unsavory history of American racism with various vignettes of ...

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

Aug 13, 2014

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

Perhaps you are aware of the tiny house movement, where people move into a teensy-tiny house with the barest of amenities, or Project 333, where people choose to dress with only 33 items for three months or longer. Both have gained significant interest over ...

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

Aug 13, 2014

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

As the world becomes more digitized, human beings begin to seem much less physical. Sometimes it feels as though people have no clue what to do with their bodies anymore. But in Barcelona’s Gypsy community, the flame of Flamenco burns as brightly as it ...