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Meryl Streep pipes up on doing what you love

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One of the best lines uttered in Stephen Frears’ film “Florence Foster Jenkins” comes from Meryl Streep in the role of Florence — which the actress gracefully repeats for me during her interview for The Japan Times. “Florence said, ‘People can say she couldn’t sing, but no one can say ...

'Smoke': the movie that blazed a trail for indies

Dec 7, 2016

'Smoke': the movie that blazed a trail for indies

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Just in time for Christmas, Yebisu Garden Cinema is reviving a film that was one of the cinema’s biggest hits in the 1990s, director Wayne Wang’s “Smoke,” in a crisp new digital remastered version. Watching it again after all these years, it’s hard not ...

'Freeheld' stirs talk of minority rights in Japan

Nov 30, 2016

'Freeheld' stirs talk of minority rights in Japan

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What’s wrong with gay marriage? Absolutely nothing, as the United States finally acknowledged in 2015. Up until then, however, gay people had to fight for the same rights that heterosexual couples took for granted. “Freeheld” is a testament to that struggle, recounting the story ...

'Florence Foster Jenkins': Not quite a nightingale

Nov 30, 2016

'Florence Foster Jenkins': Not quite a nightingale

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‘Florence Foster Jenkins” is a fairy tale of glorious optimism and unclouded love. The titular lady (a real-life New York heiress and socialite during the 1940s) goes chasing after her dream of becoming an opera singer with a mountain of passion but zero talent. ...

'Tale of Tales': Do we need fables for adults?

Nov 30, 2016

'Tale of Tales': Do we need fables for adults?

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The current ideological system that governs our lives — call it late capitalism, the spectacle, or just Babylon — is most devious in its ability to take any and all resistance, any deviance from the hamster wheel of consumerism, and repackage it as just ...