Urban planning

| May 20, 2015

Urban planning

“Inside Architecture — Dare mo Shiranai Kenchiku no Hanashi” is a fascinating look at the relationship between money and city planning, economy and architecture. The filmmaker behind this formidable documentary is 38-year-old Tomomi Ishiyama, a Fulbright scholar who studied at New York City University ...

As Geki×Cine raises its game, Amami goes into battle for her man

May 13, 2015

As Geki×Cine raises its game, Amami goes into battle for her man

Geki×Cine isn’t really film and it isn’t theater, but rather an intriguing blend of the two. With geki meaning “stage,” and “cine” representing film, the finished productions are shown on the big screen. So are they stage-to-screen adaptations? Most certainly not. More accurately, they ...

'Ao no Ran' is a riproaring rhapsody in blue

May 13, 2015

'Ao no Ran' is a riproaring rhapsody in blue

“Ao no Ran” is the latest in the popular Geki×Cine series. To cut a long story short, Geki×Cine is a filmed stage production, but one done so meticulously that not a single moment of relevance or emotion is lost in the translating process. What ...

Acting brings magic to otherwise flat script

May 7, 2015

Acting brings magic to otherwise flat script

“Horns” is a stewing, blood-infused cauldron of atmospheric horror — and you can expect no less from director Alexandre Aja whose track record so far is frightening (“Piranha 3D,” “High Tension”). With “Horns,” however, Aja has ventured into adaptation territory (up till now, he ...

Will Smith gets under a waterfall of money in 'Focus'

Apr 29, 2015

Will Smith gets under a waterfall of money in 'Focus'

Will Smith rarely smiles when he isn’t running around in a “Men in Black” film. Which is a shame, because comedy and Smith seem like a natural match, especially when he is paired with Tommy Lee Jones, his trusted curmudgeon buddy in the MIB ...

Tiny House documentary makes Tokyo apartments look like palaces

Apr 29, 2015

Tiny House documentary makes Tokyo apartments look like palaces

“Small is Beautiful” is a documentary about the TH (Tiny House) movement, the latest underground trend in housing and real estate in the U.S. In the next few years, though, TH could go mainstream thanks to a growing online community that shares information about ...

Ukraine's young actress in a coded world without sound

Apr 22, 2015

Ukraine's young actress in a coded world without sound

Yana Novikova is a 21-year-old Ukranian actress who was born deaf. She is one of the leads in “The Tribe,” a near-silent film starring a cast of deaf actors who communicate only through sign and body language. There are no subtitles. Helping her communicate ...

OMG, are GMOs altering our bodies?

Apr 22, 2015

OMG, are GMOs altering our bodies?

Oh, for the innocent days of old, when one could lick ice cream cones or eat cupcakes with pink icing without thinking anything except “Do I get seconds?” Nowadays, no eating experience can be defined by such blissful ignorance, unless you want to get ...

The trauma of becoming exceptional

Apr 15, 2015

The trauma of becoming exceptional

Long before it won three Oscars and was nominated for best picture, “Whiplash” — about the mesmerizing and often inexplicable relationship between a music student and his demonically obsessive teacher— had created a big stir in Japan. Media darling and California-based film critic Tomohiro ...