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New film shows Beatlemania strain on Fab Four

Sep 9, 2016

New film shows Beatlemania strain on Fab Four

A new documentary about the Beatles shows the toll that Beatlemania took on them as they became “more popular than Jesus” at the height of their fame. “Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years” — the first authorized portrait of the Fab Four in ...

Actress Nanami weighs the pros and cons of going it alone

Sep 8, 2016

Actress Nanami weighs the pros and cons of going it alone

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It has been estimated that around 1 in 10 actors are working at any given moment. For the other nine, that can make for a constant hustle — a Woody Allen character once described the film industry as being “worse than dog-eat-dog, it’s dog-doesn’t-return-other-dogs-phone-calls.” ...

Kei Ishikawa's crime mystery explores social elites in Japan

Sep 8, 2016

Kei Ishikawa's crime mystery explores social elites in Japan

Japanese director Kei Ishikawa’s first feature film, “Gukoroku,” premiered at the Venice film festival on Tuesday, exploring the dynamics of social cliques through a crime mystery story. The movie, titled “Traces of Sin” in English, tells the story of an investigative reporter named Tanaka ...

The delicate notes of 'Someone's Xylophone'

Sep 7, 2016

The delicate notes of 'Someone's Xylophone'

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Japanese directors now routinely do dozens of media interviews to publicize their new films, especially if they are on the indie end of the spectrum. The stars of said films also sit down with the press, if not as commonly, but though I have ...

'Bittersweet': A Henry Higgins of vegetarianism

Sep 7, 2016

'Bittersweet': A Henry Higgins of vegetarianism

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The idea of “love” in Japan used to be defined by literature until manga came along and changed the scenery. Now, almost everyone dips into manga to learn the ropes, and often that process starts as early as the first grade. My niece was ...

Japan's team spirit remains youthful in anime

Aug 31, 2016

Japan's team spirit remains youthful in anime

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The word “seishun” (“youth”) comprises the kanji characters for the words “blue” and “spring,” which connotes the freshness and innocence of those earlier years in life. It’s also the name of a genre of anime and manga. Even as the population ages, seishun manga ...