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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:

Werner Penzel's art therapy for the soul

| Jun 29, 2016

Werner Penzel's art therapy for the soul

The documentary “While We Kiss the Sky” (Japanese title “Kofuku wa Hibi no Naka Ni”) opens nationwide this weekend, and it proffers a lot of hope and optimism for the future of Japanese society. Directed by German filmmaker Werner Penzel (“Step Across the Border”) ...

Mary Reynolds says gardeners should take a walk on the wild side

Jun 25, 2016

Mary Reynolds says gardeners should take a walk on the wild side

Both horticulturalists and casual gardeners will be enthralled by “Dare to be Wild” (“Flower Show!” in Japan), a film based on the life of landscape designer Mary Reynolds. In 2002, at age 28, Reynolds became the first Irish and then-youngest-ever contestant to win gold ...

'Extraction': Mourning the career of Bruce Willis

/ Jun 22, 2016

'Extraction': Mourning the career of Bruce Willis

Will Bruce Willis ever make it back to the fold of respected Hollywood action stars? Judging from his antics in his latest outing, “Extraction,” the short answer to that is a huge “No.” The long answer involves a private eulogy to an illustrious action ...

The 'Silvered Water' of 'Syria Mon Amour'

Jun 15, 2016

The 'Silvered Water' of 'Syria Mon Amour'

“Syria Mon Amour,” the Japan title of “Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait,” is a direct homage to Alan Resnais’ 1959 classic antiwar movie “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and reflects a desire on the part of the two-person distribution team to put the film in a Japanese ...

'Irrational Man': The muddled world of Woody Allen

/ Jun 15, 2016

'Irrational Man': The muddled world of Woody Allen

In the manner of Captain Renault in “Casablanca,” I was shocked — shocked! — to find so much dialogue in a modern-day movie. But then “Irrational Man” is a Woody Allen venture and, apparently, Allen is unaware, or has chosen to ignore, that couples ...

'Money Monster': Jodie Foster's thrilling investment

/ Jun 8, 2016

'Money Monster': Jodie Foster's thrilling investment

Money is the new sex at the movies. Actually, if we’re honest, maybe it was also the old sex. Whatever — in our overly consumerist society, money is on everyone’s mind and more filmmakers are discovering the excitement that a stock chart can generate. ...

'Southpaw': Boxing that lacks punching power

/ Jun 1, 2016

'Southpaw': Boxing that lacks punching power

Just because you’ve seen this story before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it again … I think. “Southpaw” is an excessive, some may even say maniacal, retread of boxing movie classics such as the “Rocky” franchise, “The Fighter” and “Raging Bull. But it’s so ...

A little 'je ne sais quois' from Eric Rohmer

| May 25, 2016

A little 'je ne sais quois' from Eric Rohmer

Everything we know about French films, we learned from Eric Rohmer. At least for Japanese cinema lovers, that’s what it felt like, especially in the late 20th century. Until his death at age of 89 in 2010, Eric Rohmer directed 53 films and every ...