Film Topics

Female anxiety shot from every angle

Aug 13, 2014

Female anxiety shot from every angle

by Mark Schilling

The Japanese film industry used to be like much of the rest of Japanese society: male-centered and male-run. It made plenty of movies about women and for women, but their directors were all men. That began to change when Naomi Kawase won a Cannes ...

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

Aug 13, 2014

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

by Kaori Shoji

Perhaps you are aware of the tiny house movement, where people move into a teensy-tiny house with the barest of amenities, or Project 333, where people choose to dress with only 33 items for three months or longer. Both have gained significant interest over ...

Promised Land

Aug 13, 2014

Promised Land

by Giovanni Fazio

You can never be sure which Gus Van Sant you’re getting when you are about to watch a film by this stylistically promiscuous director. Will it be the sympathetic chronicler of outsider teens (“My Own Private Idaho,” “Paranoid Park”); the maker of mordantly funny ...

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

Aug 13, 2014

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

by Kaori Shoji

As the world becomes more digitized, human beings begin to seem much less physical. Sometimes it feels as though people have no clue what to do with their bodies anymore. But in Barcelona’s Gypsy community, the flame of Flamenco burns as brightly as it ...

The Queen of Versailles

Aug 13, 2014

The Queen of Versailles

by Giovanni Fazio

Pride comes before a fall, and proving that old proverb correct is “The Queen of Versailles,” a documentary tracking one obscenely wealthy couple’s attempt to build the largest mansion in America, modeled on the Palace of Versailles, no less, but with a bowling alley. ...

Danchi No Yume (Dreams of the Projects)

Aug 6, 2014

Danchi No Yume (Dreams of the Projects)

by Kaori Shoji

There is such a thing as a Japanese dream, and in many ways it’s a lot like the American dream. Japanese hip-hop artist Anarchy’s dream has to do with escape, money and, ultimately, getting to a place where he can perform in a music ...

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Aug 6, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

by Giovanni Fazio

My least favorite part of being a film critic is probably going to see Michael Bay movies. And the most horrific Michael Bay movies of all are the “Transformers” ones. So when I heard that Bay’s latest, “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” clocked in at ...

Dabba

Aug 6, 2014

Dabba

by Kaori Shoji

The Japanese may feel like they have perfected bentō (lunchbox) culture, but India has a formidable lunchbox culture of its own, in the form of the dabba. Some 6 million of these meals are delivered each day to offices in Mumbai by dabbawallahs, and ...

Homefront

Aug 6, 2014

Homefront

by Giovanni Fazio

Sylvester Stallone must really like Jason Statham, his co-star from “The Expendables” series, because in “Homefront” Sly has given him the lead in a script he had originally written for himself. Or maybe he is just feeling his age these days and slowing down. ...

Lost in a dingy maze of booze, sex and crime

Jul 30, 2014

Lost in a dingy maze of booze, sex and crime

by Mark Schilling

Golden-gai, a warren of tiny bars near Shinjuku’s Kabukicho entertainment district, has long been a refuge for writers, musicians, filmmakers and other artistic types, who congregate at drinking establishments with like-minded patrons. The area also has a seedier, less reputable side, which is graphically ...

Hope (So-won/Negai)

Jul 30, 2014

Hope (So-won/Negai)

by Kaori Shoji

It was every parent’s worst nightmare: In South Korea in 2008, an 8-year-old girl was abducted and violently raped on her way to school. The perpetrator was caught and the girl identified her attacker, but she still had to appear at a public trial ...