In praise of films that refuse to follow formulas

| Dec 11, 2009

In praise of films that refuse to follow formulas

by Giovanni Fazio

After jostling through a metal detector, having my bag searched and my mobile confiscated by stern-faced blue meanies, I slump in my cinema seat, enduring head-exploding levels of volume from the coming attractions, and unwanted infrared scrutiny from guards patrolling for video-heads looking for ...

| Oct 9, 2009

Osamu Dazai: genius, but no saint

by Mark Schilling

Major Japanese cultural figures often become subjects of films when big birth or death anniversaries roll around. The hero (far more rarely, the heroine) is usually portrayed as a sainted genius, tragic or otherwise. Osamu Dazai, however, was one such figure who didn’t fit ...

| Oct 2, 2009

Yamagata's doc feast

by Philip Brasor

Launched in 1989 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Yamagata, a city of 250,000 situated in the agricultural heart of Japan’s northern Tohoku region, the biannual Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival was established by the late Shinsuke Ogawa, a resident of ...

War as wisdom and gore

| Nov 6, 2008

War as wisdom and gore

by Kaori Shoji

A prominent example of how modern technology altered the world is seen in the way men wage war. In John Woo’s battle extravaganza “Red Cliff,” set in China in 208, armies fight with spears and shields and bare hands; they traverse deserts and treacherous ...