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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 / Stage
Sep 13, 2007
Blue Man Group: Attack of the 'Smurfs'
Butoh dance, attack art and the band Devo have all had a role in influencing Blue Man Group — which is bringing a two-month run of avant-garde theater to Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Sep 7, 2007
'Black Snake Moan'/'Hostel 2'
Some of you may have seen the poster for "Black Snake Moan"; it's pretty hard to miss. Glowering at the viewer is Samuel L. Jackson, looking pretty burly in a dirty white tank-top, holding a heavy-looking chain. All chained up is Christina Ricci, on her knees in a skimpy outfit, and throwing a meaningful...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 31, 2007
'Planet Terror'/'Death Proof'
With their double-feature project "Grindhouse," directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez seek to revive a bit of cinematic history, namely the grindhouse: the flea-pit inner-city theaters of the 1970s (think NYC's old Times Square), with dodgy clientele, that inevitably had a double-feature of...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 24, 2007
'Sicko'
In the space of merely a few years, director Michael Moore has seen his reputation morph from "the guy who made documentary films truly popular" to "the guy who plays fast and loose with the truth." His moment of greatest triumph at the box office — "Fahrenheit 9/11," which raked in some $120...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 17, 2007
'Factotum'
The work of poet/author Charles Bukowski, America's "Budweiser Baudelaire," has always had a kind of contradictory appeal. On the one hand, Bukowski, a misanthropic alcoholic, delivered a harsh, no-holds-barred account of life on the skid-row underbelly of society. And yet he did so with such prosaic...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 16, 2007
Quentin Tarantino: a B-movie badass
The Japanophile U.S. director talks about his love of trashy '70s cinema and why his latest film looks like it was put through a blender
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 10, 2007
'Ocean's 13'
Walk into a Starbucks or a McDonald's in Nagoya, New York or Nairobi, and the odds are your frothy latte or spongy burger will taste exactly the same. That's what franchise food delivers: a safe and comfortingly familiar, almost identical experience every time.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 10, 2007
Wise-guy George woos Tokyo
It's not clear whether George Clooney was in character for his Tokyo press conference (along with "Ocean's Thirteen" producer Jerry Weintraub), or whether he'd just been knocking back the hooch with lunch, but either way, he rarely answered a question straight.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 3, 2007
'Transformers'
A drinking bet made the other night involved me writing an entire review in verse. "Transformers" seemed a likely candidate, and while still nursing a good buzz, I plunged into it . . .
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Aug 2, 2007
Last words on hell from the skies
"Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 27, 2007
'Inland Empire'
A man and a woman are glimpsed, in murky black-and-white images, in a Polish hotel room, their faces mosaiced out. "You want to f*** me?" she asks. "Shut up and take off your clothes," he answers. "I'm frightened." she says. Cut to full color and a girl wrapped in a red sheet, crying, and watching TV....
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 20, 2007
'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'
A lot of times these days, I'll find myself in some summer-event movie — say, "Pirates Of The Caribbean" — and think, "Gee, I really would have loved this when I was 12." Tastes obviously change as you grow older, for better and for worse, but to try and hang onto your 12-year-old tastes...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 13, 2007
'The Fountain'
Is it possible to feel a love so great that the chains of death cannot bind it? Of course we don't know, but the feeling of love — that one, true love — can be so powerful that it's tempting to think that two souls, so united, will meet again. Whether that's in this world or the next, nobody...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 6, 2007
'Glastonbury'
As the summer festival season draws closer in Japan, now is a good time to take a moment and recall the festival that has served as an inspiration for so many others (including Fuji Rock Festival). No, I'm not talking about Woodstock, which is a great example of how to run a nonsustainable event in which...
CULTURE / Film
Jun 29, 2007
Steel sells hard story
Eric Steel is a Yale graduate who's been active in publishing and producing for some 20 years now, but has only just made his own feature debut as director with "The Bridge." Inspired by an article in The New Yorker ("Jumpers," by Tad Friend), Steel set out to record the phenomenon of suicide at the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 29, 2007
'The Bridge'
On a trip to San Francisco last month, I drove out to Marin County with a friend. We parked our car in the Vista Point parking lot, got out, and there, towering over a rise in the ground, was the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge's two, 230-meter-high towers loomed majestically, wrapped in a shroud of drifting...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 22, 2007
'Hollywoodland'
The new film noir "Hollywoodland" has a title that may leave people scratching their heads: Isn't the home of the movie studios called "Hollywood?" Well, yes and no. The original, iconic sign on the hillside read "Hollywoodland," placed there in 1923 by some real-estate developers. It lasted only until...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 15, 2007
'The Prestige'
In Hollywood, many a bright young director arrives thinking he'll make a film or two by their rules, pay the mortgage, and then use his newfound power and prestige to make the films he cares about.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 8, 2007
'Zodiac'
Newton's third law of motion tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This certainly applies to the physics of Hollywood releases: As the studios increasingly turn to bombastic, over-the-top SFX movies, the critics react by praising every studio release that still has...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 1, 2007
'300'
The long-simmering cold war between Hollywood and the critics has again flared hot with the release of "300," an effects-driven popcorn movie about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., when 300 Spartan soldiers went down fighting against a Persian horde.

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