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The long, bone-chilling gaze of new director Ayumi Sakamoto

by Mark Schilling

Directors have various ways of communicating in interviews — beyond the usual talking points, that is. Koji Fukada drew me geometrical diagrams to explain the intertwining relationships in his coming-of-age drama “Hotori no Sakuko (Au Revoir l’Ete).” Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki sketched me Ghibli-esque cartoons with a suprising fluency ...

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. ...

Almost Human

Aug 13, 2014

Almost Human

by Kaori Shoji

Language: English I have a thing for dudes and a thing for cops, and “Almost Human” combines the two like mint leaves and white rum in a tall glass. Created by J. H. Wyman, “Star Trek” director J.J. Abrams is the executive producer behind ...

Grudge Match

Aug 13, 2014

Grudge Match

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Peter Segal Language: English “Grudge Match” isn’t a movie, it’s a travesty. Sylvester Stallone’s greatest moment was clearly his performance as an underdog boxer in the Oscar-winning “Rocky” (1976), and a few years later, Robert De Niro took home an Oscar as a ...

A palace fit for the queen of consumption

Aug 6, 2014

A palace fit for the queen of consumption

by Giovanni Fazio

What sort of person would decide to build the biggest house in America? Not just the biggest, but a monstrous, mega-mansion replica of the Palace of Versailles, overlooking Florida’s Walt Disney World, complete with its own bowling alley, spa, 10 kitchens, 30 bathrooms, and ...

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 ...