Film Topics

Top 10 films of 2014: in search of originality

Dec 24, 2014

Top 10 films of 2014: in search of originality

by Giovanni Fazio

The longer you go on watching and writing about film, the more you start to feel like one of those jaded vampires in Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive.” It’s as though art’s power to surprise and amaze you is nowhere near what it ...

Top 10 films of 2014: made in Japan, for Japan

Dec 24, 2014

Top 10 films of 2014: made in Japan, for Japan

by Mark Schilling

Are Japanese films in decline? Not at the box office, where they still beat the Hollywood competition (with the huge exception this year of “Frozen”), but what about international festival invitations, awards and critical buzz? The answer depends on your perspective. For overseas festivals ...

A Promise: 'It's hard to care about these doomed lovers'

Dec 17, 2014

A Promise: 'It's hard to care about these doomed lovers'

by Giovanni Fazio

‘A Promise” seeks to be an intensely intimate portrait of repressed desire; a European “In The Mood For Love” set in pre-Great War Germany, with enough attentive butlers, elegant interiors and Sunday-finest promenades to make any Merchant-Ivory fan swoon. Based on the novel “Journey ...

Elena: 'A face permanently set in lines of disappointment'

Dec 17, 2014

Elena: 'A face permanently set in lines of disappointment'

by Kaori Shoji

A Russian friend once defined the Russian temperament with one word: “heavy.” That certainly holds for the characters in “Elena,” an excellent tale of a Russian family struggling to navigate a world defined by Western capitalism and the supposed magical powers afforded by digital ...

Night Boat

Dec 13, 2014

Night Boat

by Iain Maloney

“Night Boat” is Alan Spence’s second novel set in Japan, but his first to deal entirely with Japanese characters and situations. Night Boat, by Alan SpenceCanongate Books, Fiction. The novel sees him sail into more risky waters than “The Pure Land,” but it’s a ...