Film Topics

Hero Mania: Japanese heroes are keeping it real

May 4, 2016

Hero Mania: Japanese heroes are keeping it real

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Why don’t Japanese audiences turn up in big numbers for Hollywood superhero movies? The rare success in Japan of the Spider-Man series suggests one answer: Japanese like superheroes just fine, as long as they’re flawed humans as well as heroic fighters for justice. Another ...

Backtrack: Haunted by other people's pasts

May 4, 2016

Backtrack: Haunted by other people's pasts

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These days, according to a New York Times Opinionator article by Richard Brouillette (March 16, 2015), the psychotherapist’s job is on shifting ground. Doctors are now dealing less with relationships and family problems and treating more patients suffering from workplace trauma and financial stress. ...

Victoria: One girl, one city, one take, one dud

May 4, 2016

Victoria: One girl, one city, one take, one dud

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Shortly after finishing a column the other day where I focused on Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and the beauty and power of his long single-take shots, I sat down to watch arty suspense flick “Victoria,” which was shot entirely in one take. If films ...

Terraformars: Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

Apr 27, 2016

Terraformars: Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

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Now that voyages to Mars seem likely in the next generation or so, films about the red planet are moving beyond the “John Carter” (2012) space-opera stage. But for every reality-based “The Martian,” there is still a “Terraformars,” Takashi Miike’s latest extreme entertainment. The ...

'I Am a Hero': Japanese zombies pick up the pace

Apr 20, 2016

'I Am a Hero': Japanese zombies pick up the pace

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Horror films here have traditionally featured vengeful female ghosts, but Japanese filmmakers do also take cues from Hollywood, where zombies have long flourished since George Romero’s seminal “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and “Dawn of the Dead” (1978). Even so, Japanese zombie films, ...

'The Revenant': Revenge is less sweet than bloody

Apr 20, 2016

'The Revenant': Revenge is less sweet than bloody

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With last year’s “Birdman,” it became clear that director Alejandro G. Inarritu no longer just wanted to make good films, he aimed to make great ones. Every scene, every shot in that film seemed designed to surpass the conventional. Inarritu’s latest, “The Revenant”, shares ...

Okita keeps every hair in place

Apr 13, 2016

Okita keeps every hair in place

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Millions of Japanese have come from the countryside to find their fortunes in Tokyo, with most arriving in the postwar boom when jobs were everywhere and the future looked bright. But many, like the punk rocker hero of Shuichi Okita’s offbeat, warm-hearted family comedy ...

Youth: Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

Apr 13, 2016

Youth: Sorrentino gets extra sentimental

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“I don’t want to read any more of it, write any more of it, I don’t even want to talk about it anymore,” said the novelist Philip Roth in 2012, as he announced his retirement from literature. “I’m tired of all that work. I’m ...