Film Topics

'Winter's Tale'

May 15, 2014

'Winter's Tale'

by Kaori Shoji

There’s something Shakespearean about “Winter’s Tale.” Perhaps it’s the way everyone talks in British or Irish accents, faked or genuine; or how the emotions seem to fester in the depths of a hot caldron; or the grandiose gestures and sweeping statements that are often ...

'After the Dark'

May 15, 2014

'After the Dark'

by Kaori Shoji

Rather than a gem, John Huddles’ “After the Dark” (original titled “The Philosophers”) is a diamond in the rough — but there’s more rough here than diamond. Still, the premise is intriguing, and so is the setting: an international school in Jakarta on the ...

'Disconnect'

May 15, 2014

'Disconnect'

by Giovanni Fazio

Nicholas Carr, in his eye-opening book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” has poignantly observed how “When we’re online, we’re often oblivious to everything else going on around us. The real world recedes as we process the flood of symbols ...

'Post Tenebras Lux'

May 15, 2014

'Post Tenebras Lux'

by Giovanni Fazio

If you wanted to make a parody of the modern art film, you’d have a hard time making it more ridiculous than Carlos Reygadas’ glacially paced, obtuse, festival-focused film “Post Tenebras Lux,” which somehow won him Best Director at Cannes in 2012. Poetic long-take ...

'Momose, Kocchi wo Muite (My Pretend Girlfriend)'

May 8, 2014

'Momose, Kocchi wo Muite (My Pretend Girlfriend)'

by Mark Schilling

First love, or hatsukoi, is a big topic in Japanese teen films, as well as almost everywhere else in popular culture. It’s attractive because of its innocence and purity, as well as the almost inevitable fleetingness of the relationship — if indeed, it is ...

'My Little Princess (Violetta)'

May 8, 2014

'My Little Princess (Violetta)'

by Giovanni Fazio

When we talk about revenge flicks, they’re usually violent and involve someone like Charles Bronson, or Uma Thurman with a samurai sword. But there is another type of revenge flick: the autobiographical one, in which the whole raison d’etre of the film is the ...

'Blue Jasmine'

May 8, 2014

'Blue Jasmine'

by Kaori Shoji

We love watching rich people be rich and happy, but maybe we love it more when the cash stops flowing. There’s a Japanese phrase for that, and roughly translated, it goes like this: “The unhappiness of others tastes of honey.” In that vein, Woody ...

'We Are What We Are'

May 8, 2014

'We Are What We Are'

by Giovanni Fazio

The set design and cinematography are certainly more artfully composed than in your average knockoff, and director Jim Mickle has assembled a potent cast, including Hal Hartley regular Bill Sage and some bright new talent in the form of Ambyr Childers from “The Master” ...

'The Secret Children'

May 8, 2014

'The Secret Children'

by Kaori Shoji

Hiroshi Nakajima is one of the few Japan-born directors working in Hollywood, and his second feature, “The Secret Children,” opens tomorrow. Exploring the issue of human clones with an all-American cast, “Children” has the uminstakable sheen of a made-in-the-USA sci-fi thriller. That said, Nakajima’s ...

'Seven Psychopaths'

May 8, 2014

'Seven Psychopaths'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Martin McDonagh Language: English, Vietnamese “Seven Psychopaths” is an off-the-wall meta-flick that follows alcoholic screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) as he works on a generic film (about murderers) he doesn’t believe in, and his aspiring actor friend Billy (Sam Rockwell), who moonlights as a ...

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

May 8, 2014

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Francis Lawrence Language: English Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is back for another round of the Hunger Games in a futuristic world controled by dictator President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Once again, a group of teenagers from different “districts” are ordered to fight each other ...

'Gomennasai (Ring of Curse)'

May 8, 2014

'Gomennasai (Ring of Curse)'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Mari Asato’s 2011 “Gomennasai (Ring of Curse)” stars three members of the idol group Buono! It begins with a standard-issue “bully the strange girl in class” story line, but takes a scarily fresh turn when the ...