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Van Sant plots a bleak hike through Aokigahara

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At least Arthur Brennan didn’t want sushi, an AKB48 concert or a night out on the town with a maiko (trainee geisha) on his arm. As Japan’s ranking soars on the international travelers’ destination lists, the more cliched their itineraries seem to get. But Matthew McConaughey’s Brennan of Gus Van ...

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 ...

Image Forum Festival offers some weirdness for Golden Week

| Apr 27, 2016

Image Forum Festival offers some weirdness for Golden Week

Golden Week is traditionally a time for movie studios to roll out the blockbusters, but if popcorn fodder like “Chihayafuru” and “Captain America: Civil War” don’t appeal, there are more esoteric options. Viewers of a curious disposition should investigate the Image Forum Festival, which ...

Guy Hamilton, director of four Bond classics, dead at 93

Apr 22, 2016

Guy Hamilton, director of four Bond classics, dead at 93

Movie director Guy Hamilton, who directed four hugely popular James Bond films and raised the profile of the Bond movie brand through his work with actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore, has died in a hospital on the Spanish island of Mallorca. He was ...

Lubezki achieves the extraordinary long shot

Apr 20, 2016

Lubezki achieves the extraordinary long shot

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At this year’s Oscars, while everyone was fuming about the academy’s lack of diversity, few bothered to notice an incredible achievement: Mexican cameraman Emmanuel Lubezki, also known by his nickname “Chivo,” became the first person ever to win three Oscars in a row for ...

'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 ...

'Here's Harold' sends Ikea flat-packing

| Apr 20, 2016

'Here's Harold' sends Ikea flat-packing

Call me a crank, but I’m not a fan of Ikea — not even of its famed cafeteria. So when I heard “Here is Harold” was a “Down-with-Ikea!” movie, I wanted to fly straight to Norway and shake the director Gunnar Vikene’s hand. Vikene ...

‘Spotlight’: a beacon for investigative journalism

Apr 13, 2016

‘Spotlight’: a beacon for investigative journalism

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In 1976 the film “All the President’s Men” portrayed the true story of Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford) uncovering the Watergate Scandal. It wasn’t the first time in cinema that journalists took center stage, but it ...