Kohei Oguri's 'Foujita' struggles to win over foreign audiences

Nov 18, 2015

Kohei Oguri's 'Foujita' struggles to win over foreign audiences

Veteran auteur Kohei Oguri’s first film in 10 years, “Foujita” is a biopic of artist Tsuguharu “Leonard” Foujita. The toast of prewar Paris for his elegantly drawn women and cats, Foujita radically switched styles on his return to a militarized Japan and his propaganda ...

Fukada's 'Sayonara' captures android intimacy

Nov 18, 2015

Fukada's 'Sayonara' captures android intimacy

‘We all die alone” is a thought voiced by the famous (Hunter S. Thompson and Orson Welles among them), but it seems to state the obvious. We also all have toothaches alone, do we not? In Koji Fukada’s “Sayonara” a terminally ill young woman ...

Ryosuke Hashiguchi's inspired drama about love and loss

Nov 11, 2015

Ryosuke Hashiguchi's inspired drama about love and loss

Watching recent Japanese films, I often have the feeling that their makers need an imagination injection, or simply need to get out more. It’s not just that few, especially at the commercial end of the spectrum, work from original scripts. Plenty of great movies ...

'Unbroken' finally gets a break in Japan

| Nov 4, 2015

'Unbroken' finally gets a break in Japan

For the better part of a year, “Unbroken” has been unwatchable in Japanese theaters. Angelina Jolie’s biopic of Olympic athlete and World War II POW Louis “Louie” Zamperini was originally set for release here by distributor Toho-Towa, following its world premiere in Australia in ...

Tokyo film festival ups its domestic fare

Oct 22, 2015

Tokyo film festival ups its domestic fare

The 28th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival, which began yesterday, is the biggest event on the Japanese film calendar. And like any such event, TIFF has had its share of critics over the years. One frequently heard complaint has been about the ...

Androids and the avant-garde: The best Japanese films screening at TIFF

Oct 21, 2015

Androids and the avant-garde: The best Japanese films screening at TIFF

The Tokyo International Film Festival offers a once-a-year chance to see Japanese movies, both new and classic, with English subtitles. Getting tickets, however, especially for the films in the Competition and Special Screenings sections, may not be easy. With that caveat, here are my ...