Film Topics

Hayao Miyazaki Collection

Oct 29, 2014

Hayao Miyazaki Collection

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hayao Miyazaki Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Now that 73-year-old Hayao Miyazaki has retired from directing feature animations (die-hard fans still hope that his “never” means “maybe”), the time has come for career summations. One comes in the form of the Hayao Miyazaki ...

Divergent

Oct 29, 2014

Divergent

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Neil Burger Language: English If you’re a teenager in this film’s futuristic society and you don’t fit into one of the five factions (each representing a different human virtue) that divide up the population, then you’re a “divergent” and potentially harmful to everyone ...

Return to Homs

Oct 29, 2014

Return to Homs

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Talal Derki Language: Arabic (subtitled in English) It’s easy to forget that the war in Syria began when peaceful protests against the Assad dictatorship were met by a harsh military crackdown. This harrowing and unforgettable documentary follows 18-year-old Basset, a goalkeeper for the ...

Kiyosu Kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)

Oct 22, 2014

Kiyosu Kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Koki Mitani Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) A historic 1582 conference to decide the fate of the shogunate following warlord Oda Nobunaga’s death may not sound like the stuff of comedy, but Koki Mitani extracts laughs from the schemes and foibles of the ...

Winter's Tale (New York Fuyu Monogatari)

Oct 22, 2014

Winter's Tale (New York Fuyu Monogatari)

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Akiva Goldsman Language: English Fairy tales set in New York City are almost always dicey, but this one is particularly so. Colin Farrell plays 19th-century burglar Peter, who falls in love with the ailing heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay) in the mansion he is ...

The Borgias (Season Three)

Oct 22, 2014

The Borgias (Season Three)

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English If you can’t get enough of the power politics in “Game of Thrones,” Irish director Neil Jordan’s “The Borgias” is your next addiction. The third season of this series on Renaissance Italy’s most diabolical family — they make the Corleones look like ...

Chisaii Ouchi (The Little House)

Oct 15, 2014

Chisaii Ouchi (The Little House)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Yoji Yamada Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Veteran director Yoji Yamada’s drama about an upper-middle-class family in 1930-40s Tokyo is deeply informed by Yamada’s own acquaintance with the era, from its social mores to its domestic arrangements. Told from the perspective of a ...

Hummingbird

Oct 15, 2014

Hummingbird

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Steven Knight Language: English This is almost “Old Boy” remade in London, with Jason Statham in the lead role. Statham is spot-on as an ex-special forces soldier on the run from a court martial. He ducks into the sleazy dreck of London’s underworld ...

Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)

Oct 8, 2014

Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Takashi Shimizu Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Horror-meister Takashi Shimizu’s live-action film based on same book as of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1989 animation about a young witch’s apprenticeship attempts a visually and psychologically darker approach than Miyazaki’s classic. But a spirited performance as the ...

Angel Heart

Oct 8, 2014

Angel Heart

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Alan Parker Language: English Back in the dark 1980s, this was a scary, scary film and touted as one of Mickey Rourke’s finest performances. Rourke was slim, smooth and effortlessly sexy in this 1987 story about blood lust and voodoo, serial murders and ...

Hannibal

Oct 8, 2014

Hannibal

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English American TV drama “Hannibal” revives the iconic serial killer from Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” and “The Silence of the Lambs” novels. Mads Mikkelsen stars as the cultured cannibal, while Hugh Dancy plays a highly empathic criminal profiler with Asperger’s syndrome, and Laurence ...