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Tokyo Filmex sharpens its focus

| Nov 9, 2016

Tokyo Filmex sharpens its focus

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Is Tokyo Filmex losing its raison d’etre? Opening less than a month after the Tokyo International Film Festival ends, Tokyo Filmex was once the hard-core indie antithesis of the larger, more mainstream TIFF, but the latter is now more welcoming to the kind of ...

The 'uncool' girl can still get the guy, or two

Nov 2, 2016

The 'uncool' girl can still get the guy, or two

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It’s a fantasy that many women like to give into sometimes: That you can be somewhat older, a little disheveled, not exactly fit, but still get the man of your dreams. Or make that two, or even three if you count a perfect baby ...

'Memories': Remembering the Battle of Peleliu

Nov 2, 2016

'Memories': Remembering the Battle of Peleliu

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Japanese films about the war, both fiction and nonfiction, rarely focus on the fighting between Japanese and American forces in the Pacific, though Clint Eastwood’s 2006 hit “Letters from Iwo Jima” proved the subject can make for critically acclaimed and commercially successful drama. Kenichi ...

'Inferno': Tom Hanks can hold up a franchise

Nov 2, 2016

'Inferno': Tom Hanks can hold up a franchise

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Times will change and tides will always turn, but there’s one thing you can count on: movies starring Tom Hanks. No matter what else is happening in the world, Tom Hanks is routinely waiting at the multiplex in yet another mega-budget, blockbuster vehicle that ...

'Embrace of the Serpent': Amid the poisons of colonization

Nov 2, 2016

'Embrace of the Serpent': Amid the poisons of colonization

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While Leonardo DiCaprio’s masochistic lead performance garnered greater acclaim, perhaps the most striking aspect of “The Revenant” was the diligence it showed in telling the Native American side of the story. Yet for all the scenes of authentic Arikara dialogue, the indigenous characters in ...

Kabuki actor, silent film narrator keep traditions alive

Oct 28, 2016

Kabuki actor, silent film narrator keep traditions alive

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For kabuki actor Onoe Kikunosuke and silent film narrator Ichiro Kataoka, keeping old traditions alive and sharing them with as many local and foreign fans as possible remain their mission. Kikunosuke, who performed in an onnagata female role in “Sagi Musume” (“Heron Maiden”) in ...

The digital age of relationships and filmmaking

Oct 26, 2016

The digital age of relationships and filmmaking

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Shunji Iwai has long stood on ambivalent terrain. To Western audiences he’s known as a prolific and brilliant auteur, but without the overseas cachet of others such as Takeshi Kitano. To his fans in Japan, he’s viewed as the spokesman for the socially conscious ...