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'Nekoatsume House': The cat's meow of Japanese comedy

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Japanese audiences never seem to tire of movies about dogs and cats. The millions of devoted pet owners here are certainly one reason, though the Brits, also known for their animal worship, do not express it as often in films. Masatoshi Kurakata’s delightful, blood-pressure-lowering “Nekoatsume House” suggests another reason for ...

'Jackie': More pomp than circumstance

/ Mar 22, 2017

'Jackie': More pomp than circumstance

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There’s a scene near the end of “Jackie” where the just-widowed first lady Jacqueline Kennedy (played by Natalie Portman) is talking with her priest (John Hurt) about the meaning of life and asks, somewhat bitterly, “Is that all there is?” In my head, all ...

'Passengers': Futuristic, but the same old fairy tale

/ Mar 22, 2017

'Passengers': Futuristic, but the same old fairy tale

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A lot of feminists hate Morten Tyldum’s “Passengers,” and for good reasons. Though it’s set in a bright, high-tech future where luxury space travel is the norm, where women are concerned the story’s underlying sentiments hail straight from the Middle Ages. On the other ...

Marty Gross and 'The Lovers' Exile'

| Mar 22, 2017

Marty Gross and 'The Lovers' Exile'

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At various times and places in his four-decade career, Canadian native Marty Gross has been a potter, art teacher, film director and a producer, with most of his personal and professional roads leading back to Japan. On March 24, Gross will present an English-subtitled ...

The unintentional causes of 'abandonment'

Mar 15, 2017

The unintentional causes of 'abandonment'

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Six years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the Tohoku region, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing, and triggering meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant that has left a deeply embedded mistrust of nuclear ...