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 Giovanni Fazio

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Giovanni Fazio
Giovanni Fazio has been The Japan Times' resident film crank since 1993. When not at the movies, he is busy recording and playing live with his band Makyo and running the independent electronica label Dakini Records.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 27, 2014
Lone Survivor
Director: Peter BergLanguage: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 20, 2014
In the ethnographic realm of the senses: An interview with Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor
You may think you know what a documentary film is — "Life as it is," as Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov once put it — but you probably haven't seen any documentaries like the ones being produced by the filmmakers at Harvard University's experimental Sensory Ethnography Lab.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 20, 2014
Zulu (Cape Town)
Any movie with Orlando Bloom in it is getting an extra star this month because he recently did what so many of us have longed to do: He took a swing at Justin Bieber. Hell, I'd give him five stars if he had landed that punch, but the Beaver was saved by his entourage before "manning up" and taking the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 20, 2014
Leviathan
One reviewer jokingly suggested that the alternative title of "Leviathan" could be "David Lynch, Gone Fishin', " and there's some truth to that: While the film is a documentary of a New Bedford fishing trawler working the North Atlantic, the disorienting, woozy aesthetic and soundtrack of industrial...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 20, 2014
Orphan Black
Language: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 13, 2014
Promised Land
You can never be sure which Gus Van Sant you're getting when you are about to watch a film by this stylistically promiscuous director. Will it be the sympathetic chronicler of outsider teens ("My Own Private Idaho," "Paranoid Park"); the maker of mordantly funny black comedies ("Drugstore Cowboy," "To...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 13, 2014
The Queen of Versailles
Pride comes before a fall, and proving that old proverb correct is "The Queen of Versailles," a documentary tracking one obscenely wealthy couple's attempt to build the largest mansion in America, modeled on the Palace of Versailles, no less, but with a bowling alley.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 13, 2014
Grudge Match
Director: Peter SegalLanguage: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 6, 2014
A palace fit for the queen of consumption
What sort of person would decide to build the biggest house in America? Not just the biggest, but a monstrous, mega-mansion replica of the Palace of Versailles, overlooking Florida's Walt Disney World, complete with its own bowling alley, spa, 10 kitchens, 30 bathrooms, and an entire wing for the kids....
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 6, 2014
Transformers: Age of Extinction
My least favorite part of being a film critic is probably going to see Michael Bay movies. And the most horrific Michael Bay movies of all are the "Transformers" ones. So when I heard that Bay's latest, "Transformers: Age of Extinction," clocked in at nearly three punishing hours filled with fireballs,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 6, 2014
Homefront
Sylvester Stallone must really like Jason Statham, his co-star from "The Expendables" series, because in "Homefront" Sly has given him the lead in a script he had originally written for himself. Or maybe he is just feeling his age these days and slowing down. Not likely, but this film is classic 1980s...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 6, 2014
The Lego Movie
Directors: Chris Miller, Phil LordLanguage: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 30, 2014
Vampire Academy
Knock-off; noun: a copy or imitation of something popular. Knock off; transitive verb: to do hurriedly or routinely. Meeting both definitions is "Vampire Academy," a tween-targeted novel franchise penned by Richelle Mead, which has been adapted to the big screen as a lazy, deja-vu-inducing mess. Director...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 30, 2014
Mea Culpa (Tomoyo, Saraba to Iou)
People often talk about French films as if they were nothing but talky and arty, but the French have a fine tradition of policiers: tough, hardboiled cop and crime movies such as "Le Cercle Rouge" (1970) or "Un Prophete" (2009). "Mea Culpa" is one such film that packs a mighty kick: It's the type of...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 30, 2014
Palestine Stereo
Director: Rashid MasharawiLanguage: Arabic (subtitled in English)
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 23, 2014
Godzilla
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 by having a guy in a rubber lizard...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 23, 2014
Rewind This!
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 with B-grade movie schlock. The documentary...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 23, 2014
Robbery
Director: Peter YatesLanguage: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 16, 2014
Enemy
Very few directors have picked up the gauntlet thrown down by David Lynch's films such as "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Drive." These are films steeped in mysteries so deep that Lynch himself is positively daring audiences to wrap their heads around them; they are the cinematic equivalent of an M.C....
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 16, 2014
Blood Ties
"Blood Ties" feels a lot like a film made by someone who grew up on a diet of gritty 1970s crime flicks set in New York, made by the likes of William Friedkin, Sidney Lumet, and Martin Scorcese.

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