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'Your Name.' to be released with English subtitles

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Makoto Shinkai’s animated film “Your Name.” continues to win over audiences in Asia, and now has its sights set on dominating North America, too. Distributor Funimation Entertainment is eyeing an April release date overseas for the anime, which centers on two teenagers who change bodies in their sleep. “It’s truly ...

Sion Sono swan dives into Shinjuku's chaos

Jan 19, 2017

Sion Sono swan dives into Shinjuku's chaos

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Celebrated abroad for films that mash up everything from extreme sex and gore to Christian imagery and classical music, Sion Sono has emerged as one of the most distinctive directors in Japanese cinema this century. His breakthrough came in 2001 with “Suicide Club,” in ...

Shinya Tsukamoto and the song of 'Silence'

Jan 18, 2017

Shinya Tsukamoto and the song of 'Silence'

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Since his early films, such as “Tetsuo: The Iron Man” (1989) and “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer” (1992), pioneered the cyberpunk genre with a crazed energy and invention, Shinya Tsukamoto has had a reputation as Japanese cinema’s outlaw. While doing the occasional work for hire, ...

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

Jan 18, 2017

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

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After spending nearly 30 years shepherding his adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s “Silence” to the screen, Martin Scorsese may be starting to feel as forsaken as the book’s Jesuit protagonist, abandoned by an uncommunicative and apparently uncaring God. The movie has been roundly ignored by ...

| Jan 18, 2017

The truth is still out there

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“The truth is out there.” This tagline to the sci-fi TV series “The X-Files” used to give me chills when it was first aired on Fox in 1993. The series touted an intriguing minimalist elegance — from its set designs to FBI agent Dana ...

China overtakes U.S. in screens but cinemas sit empty

Jan 18, 2017

China overtakes U.S. in screens but cinemas sit empty

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The brightly-decorated 3-D cinema in this town outside Beijing is showing the latest Chinese and Hollywood films, to row after row of empty red seats. So few people come to watch films here that the theater manager rents out the halls to traveling sales ...

Cliff Martinez: composing through the chaos

Jan 11, 2017

Cliff Martinez: composing through the chaos

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So much movie music sounds like just that: movie music. It’s rare these days to come across a score with character that really makes you sit up and listen. One musician who consistently manages to pull that off is punk drummer-turned-composer Cliff Martinez, whose ...

'Dirty Grandpa' is quite a stinker

Jan 11, 2017

'Dirty Grandpa' is quite a stinker

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‘Dirty Grandpa.” The un-ironic title is like a spray-painted graffiti sign warning everyone to stay away from this sewage-swilling clogged cesspit masquerading as a movie. Woe betide anyone who catches this on an airplane, they may wind up using all the airsick bags in ...