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All about AV, but no sex in 'Makeup Room'

May 13, 2015

All about AV, but no sex in 'Makeup Room'

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Films that take the audience inside Japan’s huge and diverse porn industry have been appearing for decades. In the 1991 “Skinless Night,” Rokuro Mochizuki told a semi-autobiographical story about a porn director’s desperation to escape the business (an aim that the widely praised film ...

'Ao no Ran' is a riproaring rhapsody in blue

May 13, 2015

'Ao no Ran' is a riproaring rhapsody in blue

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“Ao no Ran” is the latest in the popular Geki×Cine series. To cut a long story short, Geki×Cine is a filmed stage production, but one done so meticulously that not a single moment of relevance or emotion is lost in the translating process. What ...

Terry Gilliam back on form with 'The Zero Theorem'

May 13, 2015

Terry Gilliam back on form with 'The Zero Theorem'

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Terry Gilliam’s “The Zero Theorem,” like most of his films, focuses on the all-too-thin line between sanity and insanity, reality and delusion. Its steampunk-meets-cyberpunk visual style is a wonderful jumble that’s reminiscent of his much loved “Brazil,” with touches like a computer mainframe that ...

Daniel Radcliffe gets devilish in 'Horns'

May 7, 2015

Daniel Radcliffe gets devilish in 'Horns'

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There are few actors who can enjoy the kind of success that Daniel Radcliffe has enjoyed at his age. At 10, he became the face of the multibillion-dollar “Harry Potter” franchise, which became a cultural phenomenon. As the series drew to a close in ...

Acting brings magic to otherwise flat script

May 7, 2015

Acting brings magic to otherwise flat script

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“Horns” is a stewing, blood-infused cauldron of atmospheric horror — and you can expect no less from director Alexandre Aja whose track record so far is frightening (“Piranha 3D,” “High Tension”). With “Horns,” however, Aja has ventured into adaptation territory (up till now, he ...

Is there life after death for Japan's aging women?

Apr 29, 2015

Is there life after death for Japan's aging women?

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When Katsumi Sakaguchi quit working as a documentary filmmaker in the spring 2008 to look after his mother Suchie, he thought he was doing the right thing. Then 78, Suchie was suffering from what Sakaguchi describes as “mental confusion” following the death of her ...

Takeshi Kitano's gang of nursing-home yakuza

Apr 29, 2015

Takeshi Kitano's gang of nursing-home yakuza

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Takeshi Kitano has had some of his biggest critical and commercial successes with gangster films, beginning with his 1993 international breakthrough “Sonatine” and continuing through to his 2012 hit “Outrage Beyond” (“Beyond Outrage”), which screened in competition at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. But ...