Marty Gross and 'The Lovers' Exile'

| Mar 22, 2017

Marty Gross and 'The Lovers' Exile'

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At various times and places in his four-decade career, Canadian native Marty Gross has been a potter, art teacher, film director and a producer, with most of his personal and professional roads leading back to Japan. On March 24, Gross will present an English-subtitled ...

| Mar 15, 2017

Looking back on the 'trial of the century'

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Everywhere you look these days, it feels like it’s just Trump, Trump and even more Trump. It’s worth taking a moment to recall that 23 years ago many people were just as sick of O.J. Simpson when the amiable American football star-turned-TV/movie celebrity became ...

Fukada's filmmaking a breath of fresh air

| Mar 10, 2017

Fukada's filmmaking a breath of fresh air

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Koji Fukada’s black comedy “Hospitalite” (“Kantai”) won best film in the Tokyo International Film Festival’s Japanese Eyes section in 2010 and since then he has become accustomed to stepping up on stages to receive prizes for his work. Fukada is part of a new ...

Asian Film Festival unspools in Osaka

| Feb 22, 2017

Asian Film Festival unspools in Osaka

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Why go to Osaka to see films? I may sound like an insufferable Tokyo snob asking this, but given all the hundreds of movies on offer in the nation’s capital, it’s worth answering to justify the shinkansen ticket. One excellent reason to go is ...

| Feb 8, 2017

'Do Not Resist': The consequences are high

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Armored personnel carriers prowl the streets as bulky stormtroopers with automatic weapons and body armor batter down doors. Light aircraft and drones cruise the skies above, monitoring the movements to and from individual dwellings 24/7. Afghanistan? Nope, this is the troubling image of white-picket-fence ...

Hiroki Matsukata: a gangster farewell

| Feb 1, 2017

Hiroki Matsukata: a gangster farewell

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Hiroki Matsukata, who died at age 74 on Jan. 21, may have been born into an acting family — his father was jidaigeki (historical drama) actor Jushiro Konoe — but in his yakuza films for the Toei studio in the 1960s and ’70s, Matsukata’s ...

Helen Pankhurst: The suffragettes were just the beginning

| Jan 25, 2017

Helen Pankhurst: The suffragettes were just the beginning

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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 ...

| Jan 18, 2017

The truth is still out there

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“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 ...