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R-18 to G: Are pink films losing their potency?

Jul 30, 2014

R-18 to G: Are pink films losing their potency?

by Mark Schilling

Yuji Tajiri and Shinji Imaoka were two of the “Seven Lucky Gods of Pink” — a group of young pinku eiga (erotic film) directors who were hailed as the genre’s hope after they rose to prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s. That hope ...

The Scottish song heard around the world

Jul 23, 2014

The Scottish song heard around the world

by Kaori Shoji

“Sunshine on Leith” was a much-loved stage musical, featuring the songs of Scottish band The Proclaimers, that ran from 2007 to 2013. But when Dexter Fletcher signed on to direct the film adaptation of the musical, he had never seen it. “People kept asking ...

Love beyond the realms of erotic cinema

Jul 23, 2014

Love beyond the realms of erotic cinema

by Mark Schilling

The varieties of love are many: From the chaste and platonic, to the sexually uninhibited and emotionally obsessed. In a long career as a pinku eiga (pink film) director Yuji Tajiri has concentrated on the latter end of the scale, but in his latest ...

Sunshine on Leith

Jul 23, 2014

Sunshine on Leith

by Kaori Shoji

Who wouldn’t want a man that walks 500 miles (and 500 more) just to be with you? In 1988 the Scottish band The Proclaimers released their album “Sunshine on Leith” featuring the song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” which had all the buoyant freshness ...

Godzilla

Jul 23, 2014

Godzilla

by Giovanni Fazio

The old Godzilla movies made by Japan’s Toho studio between 1954 and 2004 were B-grade monster movies. They were cheesy and primitive, for the most part, but displayed the charm of inventive filmmakers who were trying to transcend the limitations of budget and technology ...

Attila Marcel

Jul 23, 2014

Attila Marcel

by Kaori Shoji

French animation director Sylvain Chomet debuted in 2003 with “The Triplets of Belleville,” a five-course meal of a film, rich with a surreal visual style and Gallic wit, and followed it up with “The Illusionist,” a gorgeous adaptation of a Jacques Tati film. Now ...

Rewind This!

Jul 23, 2014

Rewind This!

by Giovanni Fazio

Presumably, Josh Johnson’s amusing documentary “Rewind This!” is a trawl through the cultural history of the video tape and the people who are still attached to this format. But, more than that, it’s a portrait of a certain type of otaku fanboy: those obsessed ...

New Directors From Japan

Jul 23, 2014

New Directors From Japan

by Mark Schilling

Directors: Nagisa Isogai, Hirobumi Watanabe, Kosuke Takaya Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) This innovative project from Third Window Films has been successfully crowd-funded through Kickstarter. The DVD/Blu-ray package will include four films by three new Japanese directors and having seen films by Nagisa Isogai ...

Frozen (Ana to Yuki no Jo)

Jul 23, 2014

Frozen (Ana to Yuki no Jo)

by Kaori Shoji

Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee Language: English, Icelandic If you’re a parent who took your kid to see “Frozen” about 15 times, here’s a chance to see it again — at home! This film shows Disney in a somewhat subversive mood. Princess Anna seeks ...

Robbery

Jul 23, 2014

Robbery

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Peter Yates Language: English Director Peter Yates’ 1967 heist flick, “Robbery,” appears on DVD this week and it’s well worth a look. Set in 1963, it’s a hard-edged account of the so-called Great Train Robbery in which a 15-man South London gang rousted ...

The man who lives for the art of dying

Jul 16, 2014

The man who lives for the art of dying

by Mark Schilling

Interviewing Seizo Fukumoto, the star of Ken Ochiai’s backstage drama “Uzumasa Limelight,” I wished I had brought a video camera, instead of my voice recorder and notepad. As he talks, this veteran kirare-yaku — an actor whose forte is being cut down with a ...

Reflections on the dark side of a tropical island

Jul 16, 2014

Reflections on the dark side of a tropical island

by Mark Schilling

Naomi Kawase was once Japan’s best-known female director abroad; now she is one of its most internationally prominent directors, regardless of gender. This change is largely due to her long association with the Cannes film festival, where her first fiction feature, “Moe no Suzaku ...