Film Topics

Eien no 0 (The Eternal Zero)

Nov 5, 2014

Eien no 0 (The Eternal Zero)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Takashi Yamazaki Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Takashi Yamazaki’s 2013 film about World War II kamikaze pilots generated both big box-office receipts and major controversy. Boiled down, it’s about one pilot’s wish to return home alive, despite being branded a coward by his ...

Blue Jasmine

Nov 5, 2014

Blue Jasmine

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Woody Allen Language: English A woman who has it all is not often a happy creature, but a woman who once had it all and lost everything can be dangerous to mankind. Cate Blanchett won an Oscar for her role as Jasmine, an ...

The Queen of Versailles

Nov 5, 2014

The Queen of Versailles

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Lauren Greenfield Language: English Lauren Greenfield sought to make a documentary on real-estate mogul David Siegel and his trophy wife, Jackie — a couple whose lifestyle defines “filthy rich.” Halfway through shooting, the 2008 financial meltdown occurs, and the Siegels find themselves at ...

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 ...