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Ukraine's young actress in a coded world without sound

Apr 22, 2015

Ukraine's young actress in a coded world without sound

by Kaori Shoji

Yana Novikova is a 21-year-old Ukranian actress who was born deaf. She is one of the leads in “The Tribe,” a near-silent film starring a cast of deaf actors who communicate only through sign and body language. There are no subtitles. Helping her communicate ...

OMG, are GMOs altering our bodies?

Apr 22, 2015

OMG, are GMOs altering our bodies?

by Kaori Shoji

Oh, for the innocent days of old, when one could lick ice cream cones or eat cupcakes with pink icing without thinking anything except “Do I get seconds?” Nowadays, no eating experience can be defined by such blissful ignorance, unless you want to get ...

The trauma of becoming exceptional

Apr 15, 2015

The trauma of becoming exceptional

by Kaori Shoji

Long before it won three Oscars and was nominated for best picture, “Whiplash” — about the mesmerizing and often inexplicable relationship between a music student and his demonically obsessive teacher— had created a big stir in Japan. Media darling and California-based film critic Tomohiro ...

'The Search' for a reprieve from war in Chechnya

Apr 15, 2015

'The Search' for a reprieve from war in Chechnya

by Kaori Shoji

Prestigious film awards are often a kiss of death. After all the commotion and red-carpet moments of glory, the winners may fade away or become the victims of attacks launched by the media. Such is the case with Michel Hazanavicius, who bagged a totally-out-of-left-field ...

Thomas Pynchon meets The Dude in 'Inherent Vice'

Apr 15, 2015

Thomas Pynchon meets The Dude in 'Inherent Vice'

by Giovanni Fazio

“Inherent vice,” a term used in marine insurance law, means anything you can’t avoid: chocolate will melt, glass will shatter and fruit will spoil. For “Inherent Vice” the movie, the thing that can’t be avoided is a comparison to “The Big Lebowski.” Based on ...

Jidaigeki revival?

| Apr 15, 2015

Jidaigeki revival?

by Mark Schilling

The jidaigeki (samurai period drama) genre, whose films and TV series featuring sword-swinging samurai once dominated popular culture here, has long since fallen on hard times. In contrast to its 1950s peak, when jidaigeki accounted for nearly half the films in theaters, the genre ...

How do you cure an allergy to money?

Apr 8, 2015

How do you cure an allergy to money?

by Mark Schilling

When is a “multitalented” person too “multi”? Where is the line between extending your creative energies in new directions and spreading yourself thin? That question occurred to me after seeing the quirky comedy “Jinu yo Saraba: Kamuroba Mura E” (“A Farewell to Jinu”), Suzuki ...