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Mujin Chitai (No Man's Zone)

Mar 4, 2015

Mujin Chitai (No Man's Zone)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Toshi Fujiwara Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) As the anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown of March 11, 2011, approaches, Toshi Fujiwara’s documentary is a useful reminder of what the Tohoku region suffered. With actress Arsinee Khanjian’s solemnly intoning commentary, ...

Hercules

Mar 4, 2015

Hercules

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Brett Ratner Language: English My mom told me never to trust guys named Dwayne, but we’re going to have to make an exception in the case of “Hercules”: The titular hero is played by none other than muscle man Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. ...

Frank

Mar 4, 2015

Frank

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Leonard Abrahamson Language: English Michael Fassbender stars in this funny but sad portrait of cult musician Frank Sidebottom, aka real-life Manchester musician/performance artist Chris Sievey. The film contrasts Frank’s creative intensity with his band’s completely uninspired careerist keyboard player, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson). It’s ...

Japan's Academy Prizes — the fix is in?

Feb 25, 2015

Japan's Academy Prizes — the fix is in?

by Mark Schilling

Comedian, actor and director Takeshi Kitano had some scathing things to say about the Japanese film industry at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, where he was given a career achievement award. One target he singled out was the Japan Academy Prizes — the ...

Waking up and smelling the roasted coffee

Feb 25, 2015

Waking up and smelling the roasted coffee

by Mark Schilling

Thomas Wolfe’s posthumous novel “You Can’t Go Home Again” was published in 1940, and critics and readers have been debating the truth of its title ever since. Wolfe himself had no doubt: His autobiographical writings, with their biting, thinly disguised portraits, made him persona ...