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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:

Our critics in the crossfire

Dec 24, 2014

Our critics in the crossfire

The Japan Times’ three film writers got together before Christmas to discuss their top picks of movies released this year. Unusually, this year both Giovanni Fazio and Kaori Shoji agreed on their No. 1, choosing “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” Mark Schilling picked Mipo Oh’s ...

Top 10 films of 2014: the year of the brilliant bad girls

Dec 24, 2014

Top 10 films of 2014: the year of the brilliant bad girls

This was the year of the bad girl, in a manner of speaking. The best movies featured women who went outside the cinematic box of how women should behave and did all sorts of interesting and/or inexplicable things. As for men, their stories were ...

Maps to the Stars: 'Paranoia born of colossal self-obsession'

Dec 17, 2014

Maps to the Stars: 'Paranoia born of colossal self-obsession'

Can celebrities be numbingly boring? As far as “Maps to the Stars” is concerned the answer is a big fat “Yes,” but in the hands of David Cronenberg (“A Dangerous Method,” “Eastern Promises”) you hardly notice. Ennui and varying degrees of hysteria define this ...

Elena: 'A face permanently set in lines of disappointment'

Dec 17, 2014

Elena: 'A face permanently set in lines of disappointment'

A Russian friend once defined the Russian temperament with one word: “heavy.” That certainly holds for the characters in “Elena,” an excellent tale of a Russian family struggling to navigate a world defined by Western capitalism and the supposed magical powers afforded by digital ...

3 Days to Kill (Last Mission)

Dec 17, 2014

3 Days to Kill (Last Mission)

Director: McG Language: English, French, German (subtitled in English) Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA agent with cancer, desperate to reconnect with his estranged family (living in Paris) but equally hankering for a miracle drug that would extend his life. The deal is that ...

A vision of love through money and migration

Dec 10, 2014

A vision of love through money and migration

At first glance, Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo” is a familiar tale. A family in Singapore hire a Filipina maid to care for their irate 10-year-old son, an Asian brat extraordinaire. Eventually the boy bonds with the maid, and the two become closer ...

Love, Rosie: 'Astringently fresh look at teenage intimacy'

Dec 10, 2014

Love, Rosie: 'Astringently fresh look at teenage intimacy'

Bad timing, bad decisions and a whole lot of fidgeting follow the relationship trail of best friends Alex (Sam Claflin) and Rosie (Lilly Collins) — two kids in Dublin who have been holding hands since the age of 5. They share their most intimate ...