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Homeland

Dec 3, 2014

Homeland

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English Hulu.jp strengthens its roster with the welcome addition of Showtime series “Homeland,” now in its fourth season. “Homeland” focuses less on clock-ticking cliffhangers and more on psychologically complex characters and deep layers of paranoia and suspicion. Claire Danes, in the best performance ...

Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

Dec 3, 2014

Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

by Mark Schilling

Directors: Kentaro Otani, Keiichi Sato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Based on Yana Toboso’s best-selling manga, this Kentaro Otani fantasy/action film stars Hiro Mizushima as a demon who becomes a butler to the cheeky teenage heir (Ayame Goriki) to a toy-company fortune. Suave, but ...

Modern Family

Dec 3, 2014

Modern Family

by Kaori Shoji

Language: English This Emmy Award-winning TV series, now in its sixth season, is available for viewing on hulu.jp. Ed O’Neill stars as Jay Pritchett, the head of a diverse and sprawling family whose members have minds of their own and attitudes to match. It’s ...

Documentaries at the margins of modern life

Nov 26, 2014

Documentaries at the margins of modern life

by Kaori Shoji

There is no film festival in Japan quite like the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF). Going against the current of easy entertainment and mind-numbing CGI, the festival is a solid, seriously cinematic event held in Yamagata every two years. From its inception in ...

Yokudo: Lingering but confused gaze of indie director

Nov 26, 2014

Yokudo: Lingering but confused gaze of indie director

by Mark Schilling

Major film festivals, with their hurry-hurry schedules, are places to polish your sound bites, not launch into nuanced disquisitions. People want your opinion in 25 words or less. When someone asked me what I thought of Kiki Sugino’s “Yokudo (Taksu)” after a screening at ...

Monica Z: 'Shaky rise of Sweden's best-loved chanteuse'

Nov 26, 2014

Monica Z: 'Shaky rise of Sweden's best-loved chanteuse'

by Kaori Shoji

Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund was her country’s best-loved chanteuse, but she wanted more. And the one thing that gave her a chance at global stardom? She could sing in English without a European accent. “Monica Z” (International Title: “Waltz For Monica”) tells the ...

Dhoom 3: 'Bollywood and Hollywood in equal portions'

Nov 26, 2014

Dhoom 3: 'Bollywood and Hollywood in equal portions'

by Kaori Shoji

The first “Dhoom” (2004) was more Bollywood than serious action movie, and then “Dhoom: 2″ (2006) upped the ante by bringing in some A-list actors and easing off the dancing. Now, with the third edition to the series, it seems director/co-writer Vijay Krishna Acharya ...