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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:

'Inside Out' shows the emotional confusion of growing up

Jul 22, 2015

'Inside Out' shows the emotional confusion of growing up

‘Inside Out,” the new Pixar-Disney animation destined to be a classic, charts the emotional journey of 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias). It’s not just about how she feels, it’s about how Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black) and Fear ...

| Jul 22, 2015

In search of male 'members' great and small

Iceland has everything that matters. There’s Bjork, of course. There’s Skyr yogurt, widely acknowledged to be the best on the planet. And they’ve got a place called The Icelandic Phallological Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to the penis, run by Sigurour Hjartarson. For ...

It's time to send 'The Terminator' back to the future

Jul 15, 2015

It's time to send 'The Terminator' back to the future

It’s a sad day when an empire falls, but as history reminds us, often the fall of an empire has been in the works for some time — it’s only the headlines that feel sudden. In this case, the empire is the “Terminator” sci-fi ...

Iranian Kurdish film 'Rhino Season' is a poetic tale of lust and loss

Jul 15, 2015

Iranian Kurdish film 'Rhino Season' is a poetic tale of lust and loss

Unlike Iranian film giants Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi is little known outside Iran and the European film-festival circuit. But that’s a huge loss to the movie world, as every single one of his works are unforgettable animals, leaving permanent ...

Kendo can bring Japan's passive smartphone zombies back to life

| Jul 6, 2015

Kendo can bring Japan's passive smartphone zombies back to life

When I visited the Nippon Budokan (日本武道館) to watch the Kokusai Kendo Senshuken (世界剣道選手権大会, World Kendo Championships), an unexpected surge of joy coursed through my veins. This is probably how Brazilians feel when watching a soccer match between their national team and anyone else: ...

Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer gazes long into the abysses of Asia

Jul 1, 2015

Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer gazes long into the abysses of Asia

In a world bent on looking only at the future, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer weaves his documentaries from memories and lives that are long gone. He astonished the film world in 2012 with his Oscar-nominated documentary “The Act of Killing,” whose central character, Anwar Congo, ...

Horror of 'Child 44' is bogged down by Soviet era bureaucracy

Jul 1, 2015

Horror of 'Child 44' is bogged down by Soviet era bureaucracy

The recurring line in “Child 44″ is, “there is no murder in paradise.” It’s a reflection of the political image projected in the Soviet Union during the Stalin era — these were a paradisal states, free from Western ills like poverty and crime, and ...

Apocalyptic desert sci-fi and the drying Hollywood landscape

| Jul 1, 2015

Apocalyptic desert sci-fi and the drying Hollywood landscape

Apocalypse now, in the desert — that’s the mood in American sci-fi films these days, as the epic Californian drought continues. Desert landscapes have always provided wonderful backdrops for doomsday movies — including “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the “Mad Max” series, and even HBO’s ...