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From Japanese horror to American intrigue

Jan 4, 2017

From Japanese horror to American intrigue

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As a second-generation Japanese-American working in Hollywood, Shintaro Shimosawa stands out. Take his name for example, he prefers Shintaro over his given “American name,” Edward. “I just think Shintaro sounds really cool,” he tells The Japan Times during a recent promotional tour for his ...

'Tampopo' has blown back to our screens

| Jan 4, 2017

'Tampopo' has blown back to our screens

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Released in 1985, Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo” was famously a flop in Japan, but a hit abroad, especially in the United States, where it became the second-highest-earning Japanese film ever. This “noodle Western” about a rough-hewn truck driver (Tsutomu Yamazaki) who helps a spunky widow ...

Mount Meru: for those who like to aim high

Dec 28, 2016

Mount Meru: for those who like to aim high

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If Mount Everest is the iconic goddess of mountains, then Meru in the Indian Himalayas is the unattainable, unknowable bad-ass rock star, beckoning to a chosen few from an impossibly remote place high in the sky. Unlike Everest, Meru isn’t famed for its legendary ...

'Rogue One': On the Dark Side of reanimation

/ Dec 28, 2016

'Rogue One': On the Dark Side of reanimation

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How much do you want a new “Star Wars”? When J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” opened to enormous fanfare last December, it felt like watching a beloved rock band making its comeback tour after a long hiatus. Sure, the original members couldn’t quite muster ...

'Stonewall': We need to talk about Danny

/ Dec 28, 2016

'Stonewall': We need to talk about Danny

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“Stonewall” is a bit of a head-scratcher. A fictional account of the 1969 Stonewall riots — a series of events that subsequently triggered the gay rights movement in America — it’s directed by Hollywood’s resident disaster-movie specialist, Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “The Day After ...

'Ruined Heart': a belated release

| Dec 28, 2016

'Ruined Heart': a belated release

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When you’re covering a film fest, sometimes you crave a quick jolt. I’m still not sure how Khavn’s “Ruined Heart” (Japan title: “Kowareta Kokoro”) snuck into the main competition section of Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014, but watching it at the time felt ...

Japanese movies may set ties with China in motion in 2017

Dec 24, 2016

Japanese movies may set ties with China in motion in 2017

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Japanese movies have the potential to give fresh impetus to efforts by Tokyo and Beijing to warm political relations in 2017, as evidenced by the recent smash-hit animation “Your Name.” in China. Yoji Yamada, a prominent Japanese film director whose latest comedy’s remake is ...