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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
May 25, 2007
'Borat'
There must be a way to make people laugh without resorting to scatology, homophobia, racial stereotypes or onanism — but Mars may well be colonized before Hollywood works it out.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 18, 2007
'Fur'
There's a scene in "Fur" where photographer Diane Arbus, played by Nicole Kidman, is having sex with her husband, Alan (Ty Burrell), during a turbulent period in their marriage. His frustrations come to the fore, and he slams her head into the sofa, forcefully pinning her as he takes her from behind....
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 17, 2007
Wong's mood a delicious match for Jones' melancholy
You can be sure organizers of the Cannes Film Festival had knotted stomachs ahead of Wednesday night's scheduled screening of Wong Kar-wai's "My Blueberry Nights." WKW films are always born in chaos, and he's delivered a few wet prints to Cannes in the past: "In The Mood For Love," which won two prizes...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 11, 2007
'Just for Kicks'
It's funny how sometimes a film will think it's one thing when actually it's something else entirely. Take, for example, "Just For Kicks." This MTV-affiliated documentary directed by Thibaut de Longeville is under the impression that it's about sneakers, sneaker mania and hip-hop. But anyone who watches...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 4, 2007
'Tsotsi'
...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 20, 2007
'2:37'
A moment of stillness -- that's what "2:37" chooses for its opening shot, the camera pointed skyward, a canopy of green leaves framed against the gray sky beyond. It doesn't last long. Soon the camera moves earthward, and we enter an Australian high school where the calm is soon shattered when a student...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 20, 2007
From near-death to a dream
It's enough of an achievement for a director to win an award at Cannes for his debut film, but to do so at age 19, that is truly remarkable. Yet that is exactly what Australian director Murali K. Thalluri did with "2:37," which picked up the Un Certain Regard award at last year's Cannes.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 13, 2007
'The Queen'
"The Queen" is, in one sense, a film like so many others these days, trading in the currency of celebrity, using the hook of quality actors doing fine impersonations of famous people to show its pedigree. This is a successful and award-winning proposition for films -- see "Ray," "Capote," et al. -- but...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 6, 2007
'Everyone Stares/The Police Inside Out'
It's been more than 20 years since Stewart Copeland ended his tenure as drummer for The Police after a string of platinum albums and era-defining singles. The band members went their separate ways: Sting, to a solo career and mainstream celebrity; guitarist Andy Summers, to the relative obscurity of...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 6, 2007
'All the King's Men'
Producing a serious political thriller is a rare enough achievement these days, so one is tempted to excuse the flaws in Steven Zaillian's "All the King's Men," a film loosely based on the rise and fall of Louisiana's populist governor Huey P. Long. Nevertheless, the film feels like it lost several crucial...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 30, 2007
'Une aventure'
When reviewing a movie, critics tend to trawl through the elements that made it work, things like clever plotting, intense performances, lavish set design and the like. But we often seem to overlook one of the most essential elements of cinema: sex appeal.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 23, 2007
'Black Book'
When Stephen Spielberg resurrected the World War II war movie back in 1998 with "Saving Private Ryan," he did so by upping the level of battlefield intensity and perceived realism. One thing he didn't lose though, was the moral certainty that has long been a staple of the genre -- it's hard not feel...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 23, 2007
Home sweet Hollandafter Hollywood hell
Director Paul Verhoeven is living, breathing proof of that old Hollywood adage, "You're only as good as your last film."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 16, 2007
'Perfume'
"Perfume" is a film that comes to us with impeccable art-house credentials: It's a story about aestheticism, the appreciation of smells, and thus bathed in sensuality. Its director, Tom Tykwer, is responsible for the art-house hit "Run Lola Run," as well as an ethereal adaptation of a Krzystof Kieslowski...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 15, 2007
'Crossing the Bridge'
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Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Mar 15, 2007
Baba Zula: from the belly of the beats
Underground music maniacs, the real hardcore otaku (obsessed fans), have long raved about the Turkish psychedelic music of the 1960s and '70s -- crazy reverb-drenched, twangy-guitar tracks that sounded like The Ventures if they'd been a belly-dancer backing band with a taste for hashish and quarter-tone...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 9, 2007
'Paradise Now'
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CULTURE / Film
Mar 9, 2007
From Nazareth to Amsterdam
Director Hany Abu-Assad grew up in Nazareth before moving to Amsterdam to study at college with the goal of becoming an engineer. His route to filmmaking began as a boast. Trying to impress a girl he liked, he told her he was a director. He wasn't, but the seed was planted. With "Paradise Now" he received...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 2, 2007
'The Last King of Scotland'
If you're thinking that "The Last King Of Scotland" is some kind of fantasy-sequel to "Braveheart," well, guess again. The "king" of the film's title is 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada, who was a former barracks boy with the King's Highlanders, and liked to boast that his defiance of Uganda's British...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Feb 23, 2007
'A Prairie Home Companion'/'Bobby'
Director Robert Altman checked out of this world last November at age 81, and he was working right up till the end. His last film, "A Prairie Home Companion," is a cinematic spinoff of the popular show on American public radio, and while it's not up there with Altman's best -- "Short Cuts" or "Nashville"...

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