Helen Pankhurst: The suffragettes were just the beginning

| Jan 25, 2017

Helen Pankhurst: The suffragettes were just the beginning

As women march to protest Donald Trump’s presidency and “Suffragette” is released in Japan, the words of Helen Pankhurst, activist and British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter, should resonate with many filmgoers. “It’s actually pretty wonderful to see your own great-grandmother in a movie,” says ...

New Year's festivities in Japan ain't what they used to be

| Jan 23, 2017

New Year's festivities in Japan ain't what they used to be

For one thing, it’s too warm. Back in mid-century Tokyo, お正月 (o-Shōgatsu, New Year’s Day) used to be so cold, according to my grandmother, that peoples’ laundry froze on the 物干し竿 (monohoshizao, bamboo drying pole). ちなみに (chinami ni, by the way), 2016 was the ...

'Doctor Strange': When seeing is not always believing

Jan 18, 2017

'Doctor Strange': When seeing is not always believing

In case you’re wondering if the entire superhero film genre is being monopolized by Marvel, it is my regrettable duty to tell you that it does look that way. There are no superhero free agents out there anymore, and if a lone wolf should ...

| Jan 18, 2017

The truth is still out there

“The truth is out there.” This tagline to the sci-fi TV series “The X-Files” used to give me chills when it was first aired on Fox in 1993. The series touted an intriguing minimalist elegance — from its set designs to FBI agent Dana ...

'Dirty Grandpa' is quite a stinker

Jan 11, 2017

'Dirty Grandpa' is quite a stinker

‘Dirty Grandpa.” The un-ironic title is like a spray-painted graffiti sign warning everyone to stay away from this sewage-swilling clogged cesspit masquerading as a movie. Woe betide anyone who catches this on an airplane, they may wind up using all the airsick bags in ...

'Nerve': For the watchers

Jan 4, 2017

'Nerve': For the watchers

Japanese millennials aren’t interested in cars, sex or marriage according to economists and business magazines such as Toyo Keizai. Yawn — so, what else is new? Every night I go to sleep hoping to wake up to a world where people go on proper ...

From Japanese horror to American intrigue

Jan 4, 2017

From Japanese horror to American intrigue

As a second-generation Japanese-American working in Hollywood, Shintaro Shimosawa stands out. Take his name for example, he prefers Shintaro over his given “American name,” Edward. “I just think Shintaro sounds really cool,” he tells The Japan Times during a recent promotional tour for his ...

Mount Meru: for those who like to aim high

Dec 28, 2016

Mount Meru: for those who like to aim high

If Mount Everest is the iconic goddess of mountains, then Meru in the Indian Himalayas is the unattainable, unknowable bad-ass rock star, beckoning to a chosen few from an impossibly remote place high in the sky. Unlike Everest, Meru isn’t famed for its legendary ...

'Stonewall': We need to talk about Danny

Dec 28, 2016

'Stonewall': We need to talk about Danny

“Stonewall” is a bit of a head-scratcher. A fictional account of the 1969 Stonewall riots — a series of events that subsequently triggered the gay rights movement in America — it’s directed by Hollywood’s resident disaster-movie specialist, Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After ...