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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
Apr 17, 2014
'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
Captain America was a comic-book superhero inherently tied to old-school American nationalism. Born as an anti-Nazi symbol in the unified America of the 1940s he was literally clad in the Stars and Stripes. For a time it seemed he wouldn't survive the post-Watergate cynicism of the '70s, at one point...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 17, 2014
'The Past'
Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) is returning from Tehran to Paris after an absence of four years to meet his estranged wife, Marie (Berenice Bejo, from "The Artist"), who has asked to finalize a divorce. He stays at her home, but any thought of patching things up dissipates when Marie's new man, Samir (Tahar Rahim,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 17, 2014
'Who Pays the Price? The Human Cost of Electronics'
Director: Heather White, Lynn Zhang
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 10, 2014
Flamboyant descent into the heart of darkness
He's been on the road promoting his film for about a year now, but that doesn't mean Joshua Oppenheimer is any less passionate about his Oscar-nominated documentary, "The Act of Killing." Ask the Texas-born, Denmark-residing director a question about his work and it may be a good 10 minutes before he...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 10, 2014
'The World's End'
"The World's End" seems a lot like director Edgar Wright's attempt to repeat the success of his 2004 cult hit "Shaun of the Dead." Where "Shaun" was basically a comfortably numb stoner dropped into a very British version of "Night of the Living Dead," "The World's End" stars an immature alcoholic dropped...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 10, 2014
'The Act of Killing'
Movies arrive so late here in Japan that they often come burdened with the weight of expectation. In the case of "The Act of Killing," it comes in the wake of near universal critical acclaim, including a No. 1 spot on Sight & Sound magazine's critics poll and an Academy Award nomination for best...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 10, 2014
'Hunger'
Director: Steve McQueen
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 3, 2014
'Blue is the Warmest Color'
Remember being a teen. Remember the gossip amongst your friends about who had a thing for you, the awkward dates, the stolen kisses. Remember the crushes that came and went all too easily, and then recall the arrival of something else entirely: first love. Remember the overwhelming feeling of getting...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 3, 2014
'Brian Wilson: Songwriter 1962-1969'
...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 3, 2014
'Barbed Wire Dolls'
Director: Jess Franco
Japan Times
LIFE
Mar 29, 2014
Marcus Luttrell: a 21st-century war hero
Shake the hand of Marcus Luttrell, and there's no mistaking the grip of someone who spent many a year holding a weapon. A former U.S. Navy SEAL, Luttrell is your 21st-century war hero, with a book and movie deal relating his near-fatal experiences in Afghanistan. He was in Tokyo recently to promote "Lone...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 27, 2014
'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'
Ah, Hollywood — who else could take a lean, two-page short story and turn it into a bloated $90-million mega-production?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 27, 2014
'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'
Comparisons to Terrence Malick are unavoidable with "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," which takes its Southwestern milieu and feckless outlaw couple from "Badlands" but filters it through the more mystical lensing and languid pacing of "Tree of Life." And just like Malick, director David Lowery's weak point...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 27, 2014
'Dark Days'
One of the last decade's best documentaries never opened in Japan, but now you can catch it on Vimeo.com. 'Dark Days,' shot in haunting black and white, explores the literally underground homeless community that existed hidden in New York train tunnels, shrouded in perpetual darkness.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 20, 2014
When fictional bands move from screen to stage
"The Broken Circle Breakdown" is undoubtedly one of the best films you'll see this or any year — passionate, joyous and heartbreakingly sad — but it's also remarkable for being one of those rare music films where a fictional on-screen band goes on to actual off-screen fame.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 20, 2014
'The Lego Movie'
...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 20, 2014
'Lone Survivor'
The French have Camerone, the British Isandlwana, the Greeks Thermopylae, but Americans seem particularly enamored of heroic last stands, from the Alamo and Custer's Last Stand through the "Black Hawk Down" debacle in Somalia. Add a new name to that list: Operation Red Wings, where four Navy SEALs operating...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 20, 2014
Twice Born (Aru Ai e to Tsudzuku Tabi)
Director: Sergio Castellitto
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 13, 2014
'Don Jon'
The elephant in the room of almost any relationship in the age of Web 2.0 is, undoubtedly, Internet porn. Guys watch it, and their women either know or suspect they do, but nobody really wants to talk about it because, yo, it's nasty!
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 13, 2014
'The Motel Life'
Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff play brothers Frank and Jerry Lee, who live on the margins in low-rent, dead-end Nevada carrying the weight of childhood trauma well into dysfunctional middle age. So far, so typically U.S.-indie. Their mother died when they were still kids, then Jerry Lee lost a leg in...

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