'Sion Sono: The Whispering Star'

Apr 12, 2016

'Sion Sono: The Whispering Star'

by

April 3-July 10 As a multi-talented director, Japanese filmmaker and poet Sion Sono has been a regular participant of international film festivals, garnering critical acclaim for his dark and expressive films such as “Noriko’s Dinner Table” (2006), “Cold Fish” (2011) and “Why Don’t You ...

'April Fools' gets the wrong end of the practical-joke schtick

Apr 2, 2015

'April Fools' gets the wrong end of the practical-joke schtick

by

The Japanese film industry has themed many movies around that imported holiday, Christmas, or, more specifically, Christmas Eve, which has become Japan’s date night of date nights. Even those outside the local film industry now celebrate special days that originated elsewhere, including Halloween, Valentine’s ...

Japan's Academy Prizes — the fix is in?

Feb 25, 2015

Japan's Academy Prizes — the fix is in?

by

Comedian, actor and director Takeshi Kitano had some scathing things to say about the Japanese film industry at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival, where he was given a career achievement award. One target he singled out was the Japan Academy Prizes — the ...

Present For You: Baffling but pioneering stop-motion film

Feb 4, 2015

Present For You: Baffling but pioneering stop-motion film

by

Stop-motion animation, in which objects are photographed frame by frame to achieve the illusion of motion, is nearly as old as the movies. But as recent films by Nick Park (“Chicken Run”), Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”), Tim Burton (“Frankenweenie”) and Wes Anderson ...

Back to the love hotel for ex-pink film director

Jan 28, 2015

Back to the love hotel for ex-pink film director

by

Interviews with people you know well can turn awkward if you try to be the probing questioner instead of the coffee-shop companion. No such worries with 61-year-old Ryuichi Hiroki, the former pink film (i.e., soft pornography) director who made his commercial and critical breakthrough ...