Film Topics

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

Jul 9, 2014

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hayao Miyazaki Language: Japanese, German, Italian, French (subtitled in English) “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”) is Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film (unless he comes out of retirement) and also one of his most personal. The film is about Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of ...

Gossip Girl

Jul 9, 2014

Gossip Girl

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Various Language: English The final season of “Gossip Girl” will be available this summer for fans of that endless loop of teenage romance, sex, intrigue and … Did I mention sex? This is a chance to wear out the pause button in various ...

Before Midnight

Jul 9, 2014

Before Midnight

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Richard Linklater Language: English Director Richard Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have now completed a perfect trilogy: “Before Sunrise” (1995) capturing the heady rush of first love, “Before Sunset” (2004) sketching the second chance, and now “Before Midnight” showing romance ...

'Bilocation'

Jul 2, 2014

'Bilocation'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In Mari Asato’s new shocker, a struggling artist (Asami Mizukawa) finds herself caught in a bizarre life-or-death battle with a double of herself, hived from her troubled psyche and bent on replacing the “original.” Asato constructs ...

'Downton Abbey'

Jul 2, 2014

'Downton Abbey'

by Kaori Shoji

Directors: Various Language: English Created by Julian Fellowes “Downton Abbey” finally comes to Japan. NHK is airing the first season and DVDs will be out on rental shelves starting Aug. 6. The intricacies of English aristocratic relationships unfold in the years following World War ...

'American Hustle'

Jul 2, 2014

'American Hustle'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: David O. Russell Language: English Near the beginning of this deliciously funny 1970s caper flick, we see Christian Bale as a small-time hustler. Right off the bat, it shows us the commitment of Bale, who is physically transformed once again (with a big ...

'The East'

Jun 26, 2014

'The East'

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Zal Batmanglij Language: English Brit Marling plays a corporate spy who goes deep undercover (i.e., Birkenstocks and no baths) with a shadowy eco-terrorist group. Her sympathies waver as she falls under the spell of the neo-Luddite group’s culty leader (Alexander Skarsgard), while continuing ...

'Snowpiercer'

Jun 26, 2014

'Snowpiercer'

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Bong Joon-ho Language: English, Korean (subtitled in Japanese) Survivors of a future ice age have boarded a train called “Snowpiercer,” which endlessly circles the globe fueled by a permanent engine designed by the train’s owner, Wilford (Ed Harris). A ruthless class system prevails ...

'Petal Dance'

Jun 26, 2014

'Petal Dance'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Hiroshi Ishikawa Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In this 2013 drama two college friends (Sakura Ando and Aoi Miyazaki) enlist a young stranger (Shiori Kutsuna) to drive them north to visit a former classmate (Kazue Fukiishi) who attempted suicide. The ensuing action feels ...

Jobs (Steve Jobs)

Jun 19, 2014

Jobs (Steve Jobs)

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Joshua Michael Stern Language: English A century from now, people may look back on the first decade of the millennium and describe it with a single word: Apple. The creator/deity behind that company will also be recalled, though not always with fondness. Watch ...

'Gatchaman'

Jun 19, 2014

'Gatchaman'

by Mark Schilling

Director: Toya Sato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Toya Sato’s live-action version of the 40-year-old “Gatchaman” anime features plenty of CGI action, as the five suited heros fight to save the earth from an evil organization called Galactor. This is an attempt to compete ...

Amateur (Ai Amateur)

Jun 19, 2014

Amateur (Ai Amateur)

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Various Language: English When “Pulp Fiction” was released in 1994, Quentin Tarantino overshadowed all other U.S. indie directors at the time. Hal Hartley’s “Amateur” — an offbeat thriller — was released that same year, and it’s an absolute gem. Isabelle Huppert stars as ...