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Takeshi Kitano and the men who watch women sleeping

Feb 24, 2016

Takeshi Kitano and the men who watch women sleeping

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An older man, a much younger woman and a mystery that surrounds their relationship — for the Japanese, it’s a familiar story. The woman doesn’t say much, letting her youthful allure and beauty do most of the talking. The man doesn’t say much either; ...

Breaking into and out of Japanese show biz

Feb 17, 2016

Breaking into and out of Japanese show biz

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Eiji Uchida’s scabrous new comedy about the struggles of a down-and-out indie film director, “Lowlife Love” (“Gesu no Ai”), confirms what I have known for years: Japanese show business can be brutal to the weak or clueless. They end up used and discarded, like ...

'The Shell Collector' wields a healing kind of poison

Feb 17, 2016

'The Shell Collector' wields a healing kind of poison

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In English, you usually don’t want to be compared to marine life. “Cold fish,” “shark” and “whale” are not often intended as compliments, and “come out of your shell” is commonly addressed to the anti-social. Japanese have a somewhat different take on the undersea ...