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'Survival Family': Soft-pedaling through dystopia

/ Feb 8, 2017

'Survival Family': Soft-pedaling through dystopia

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To Hollywood, “dystopian future” usually means invading aliens, exotic technology and gigantic explosions. Shinobu Yaguchi’s “Survival Family” posits an alternative, more mundane cause of civilizational collapse: Japan’s electric grid suddenly freezes up, like a laptop that’s been doused with hot coffee. Televisions go blank, ...

'Suffragette': The strength of women

/ Jan 25, 2017

'Suffragette': The strength of women

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Believe it or not, “Suffragette” is the first feature film out of Britain to focus exclusively on the suffragette movement. What took the country so long? Completed last year, it has finally made it to Japan, and in the light of all that’s happening ...

'Snowden': Making a hero of the 'robot nerd'

/ Jan 25, 2017

'Snowden': Making a hero of the 'robot nerd'

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Just the other day, there was President Barack Obama on the telly, giving his farewell address to the American people. “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted,” he said gravely. “It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous ...

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

/ Jan 18, 2017

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

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After spending nearly 30 years shepherding his adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s “Silence” to the screen, Martin Scorsese may be starting to feel as forsaken as the book’s Jesuit protagonist, abandoned by an uncommunicative and apparently uncaring God. The movie has been roundly ignored by ...