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'Snow Woman': chillingly modern

/ Mar 1, 2017

'Snow Woman': chillingly modern

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The Japanese folklore story of the “Snow Woman” has been told in many places, in many ways, and in many versions, but best-known is that of Lafcadio Hearn, the Greek-Irish writer who published it in his 1904 collection, “Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange ...

Kanji Furutachi: Reacting to Japan's film industry

Feb 22, 2017

Kanji Furutachi: Reacting to Japan's film industry

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Over the years I’ve heard many complaints about the bad acting in Japanese films, from the hammy emoting of over-indulged veterans to the amateurish turns of “idols” cast more for their agency connections than any perceptible talent. I’ve added to this chorus of negativity, ...

'Man Down': War injuries go beyond the battlefield

/ Feb 22, 2017

'Man Down': War injuries go beyond the battlefield

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‘Man Down” is an indictment of war, and its message is one that focuses on its terrible lingering consequences — specifically, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With many ending up homeless, suffering mental difficulties or becoming suicidal, PTSD is a real issue. ...

Asian Film Festival unspools in Osaka

| Feb 22, 2017

Asian Film Festival unspools in Osaka

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Why go to Osaka to see films? I may sound like an insufferable Tokyo snob asking this, but given all the hundreds of movies on offer in the nation’s capital, it’s worth answering to justify the shinkansen ticket. One excellent reason to go is ...

'La La Land': Sometimes we need a trip to la-la land

/ Feb 22, 2017

'La La Land': Sometimes we need a trip to la-la land

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La-la land: the mental state of someone who is not aware of what is really happening, and a nickname for the American entertainment industry centered on Los Angeles. These two meanings bleed into each other in director Damien Chazelle’s multi-Oscar-nominated musical, “La La Land,” ...