'Bilocation'

Jul 2, 2014

'Bilocation'

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In Mari Asato’s new shocker, a struggling artist (Asami Mizukawa) finds herself caught in a bizarre life-or-death battle with a double of herself, hived from her troubled psyche and bent on replacing the “original.” Asato constructs ...

'Kawaki (The World of Kanako)'

Jun 26, 2014

'Kawaki (The World of Kanako)'

Some parents pride themselves on knowing their teenage children, and some parents truly don’t have a clue. There is a fair amount of overlap between the two groups, especially when the teenagers try to please Mom and Dad while going their own sweet way. ...

'Petal Dance'

Jun 26, 2014

'Petal Dance'

Director: Hiroshi Ishikawa Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In this 2013 drama two college friends (Sakura Ando and Aoi Miyazaki) enlist a young stranger (Shiori Kutsuna) to drive them north to visit a former classmate (Kazue Fukiishi) who attempted suicide. The ensuing action feels ...

'Watashi no Otoko (My Man)'

Jun 19, 2014

'Watashi no Otoko (My Man)'

Based on a novel by Kazuki Sakuraba, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s “Watashi no Otoko (My Man)” is described as a film about forbidden love, which immediately raises the question of what, if anything, is “forbidden” in this day and age. In Kumakiri’s other films — such ...

'Gatchaman'

Jun 19, 2014

'Gatchaman'

Director: Toya Sato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Toya Sato’s live-action version of the 40-year-old “Gatchaman” anime features plenty of CGI action, as the five suited heros fight to save the earth from an evil organization called Galactor. This is an attempt to compete ...

'Sweet Poolside'

Jun 12, 2014

'Sweet Poolside'

Puberty is a time of physical changes that range from the wondrous to the excruciating, but once accomplished are soon forgotten. The beard that greets you in the mirror, which once seemed miraculous and strange, is now just one more morning chore. As Daigo ...

T'ora! Tora! Tora!'

Jun 12, 2014

T'ora! Tora! Tora!'

Director: Richard Fleischer Language: English, Japanese (subtitled in English) Originally a collaboration between 20th Century Fox and Akira Kurosawa, this 1970 film changed drastically when Kurosawa suffered a nervous breakdown on set. Despite Richard Fleischer’s plodding direction the film’s epic set pieces make it ...

'Sad Tea'

Jun 5, 2014

'Sad Tea'

Ensemble dramas about the ups and downs of love, and its various substitutes, are popular now — at least with indie filmmakers. (A contrast to Japan’s commercial romantic dramas, which still focus on star-crossed couples, one of whom is usually dead by the closing ...

'Koroshi no Rakuin (Branded to Kill)'

Jun 5, 2014

'Koroshi no Rakuin (Branded to Kill)'

Director: Seijun Suzuki Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Seijun Suzuki’s notorious 1967 cult-favorite film, “Koroshi no Rakuin (Branded to Kill)” may have a genre-standard plot — a hit man (Jo Shishido) bungles a job and has to go on the run — but it ...