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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
Jun 9, 2004
Where still waters run deep
Hejar Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Handan Ipekci Running time: 120 minutes Language: Turkish, Kurdish Opens June 12 at Tokyo-to Shashin Bijitsukan in Ebisu [See Japan Times movie listings] Turkish director Handan Ipekci's "Hejar" is a small, quiet film, about a small, quiet...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 2, 2004
Insatiable appetite for destruction
The Day After Tomorrow Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Roland Emmerich Running time: 124 minutes Language: English Opens June 5 [See Japan Times movie listings] Stership Troopers 2 Rating: * * * (out of 5) Director: Phil Tippett Running time: 92 minutes Language: English Opens...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jun 2, 2004
He spins a top tale
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu made quite a splash with his 2000 debut, "Amores Perros," which put Mexican cinema back on the map. With his followup, "21 Grams," the former radio DJ and commercial director proves that was no fluke, fashioning a film that's every bit as intense and structurally innovative...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 26, 2004
The hits that the house band built
Standing in the Shadows of Motown Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Paul Justman Running time: 108 minutes Language: English Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] Musicians are always getting screwed. If it isn't their record label cheating them out of royalties, the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 19, 2004
Troy story: hollywood vs. homer
Troy Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Wolfgang Petersen Running time: 163 minutes Language: English Opens May 22 [See Japan Times movie listings] As the first major war of the 21st century rages on, continuing to dominate our collective consciousness, cinema takes us back to the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 19, 2004
Achilles battles the flu
As the price of making grandiose blockbusters creeps ever higher, so does the need to secure big openings in every market. In the case of "Troy" -- one of the most expensive films ever made, weighing in at around $175 million -- this is particularly true. Thus, when Brad Pitt sneezes, Warner Bros. catches...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 12, 2004
Ozon playing God
Just a few years back director Francois Ozon was one of France's enfants terribles, his films like "Sitcom" (1998) or "Criminal Lovers" (1999) often mentioned in the same breath as those of Gaspar Noe or Catherine Breillat. These days, though, Ozon is better known for his sensitive, subtly perceptive...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 12, 2004
O brothers, what happened?
The Ladykillers Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Joel Coen Running time: 104 minutes Language: English Open May 22 [See Japan Times movie listings] The Coen brothers take a massive Hollywood home-run swing with their latest, "The Ladykillers," and you can almost hear the sound of...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
May 5, 2004
Dead man walking
The Passion of the Christ Rating: * * (out of 5) Director: Mel Gibson Running time: 127 minutes Language: Aramaic, Latin Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] "There's enough torture in life without having to inflict it for no good reason." -- Mel Gibson, interviewed by...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 28, 2004
Selling oneself short in the South
Sonny Rating: * * (out of 5) Director: Nicholas Cage Running time: 110 minutes Language: English Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] There was a time when one could relish seeing Nicholas Cage's name in a film's credits, a fertile period that encompassed 1991's "Wild at...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 28, 2004
Winning charm points with Mum and Kurosawa
The demands of stardom are not easily ignored: When Jude Law failed to show for a Tokyo press conference in early April with director Anthony Minghella and co-star Renee Zellweger, the disappointment was palpable -- not just among his many female fans, but also that of the film's distributor, who is...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 21, 2004
The brush never lies
Girl With a Pearl Earring Rating: * * * * (out of 5) Director: Peter Webber Running time: 100 minutes Language: English Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] What's in a gaze? It's impossible to view Johannes Vermeer's most beloved work, "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (aka...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 21, 2004
Le Odd Couple, going through the motions
L'homme du train Rating: * * * (out of 5) Director: Patrice Leconte Running time: 90 minutes Language: French Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] A lot of filmmakers like to work in a way that could best be called "cast first." That is, they decide who they want to work...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 14, 2004
Coen bros.' latest just makes the cut
In the Cut Rating: * * (out of 5) Director: Jane Campion Running time: 119 minutes Language: English Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] Intolerable Cruelty Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Joel Coen Running time: 102 minutes Language: English Currently...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 14, 2004
Shooting at the top
Another reason to love Sofia Coppola: She had the good sense (and stubbornness) to refuse to do any more interviews while in Japan. Judging by her news-conference comments, she is better at making her films than talking about them -- no crime, that -- so it was a smart move to delegate the explaining...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 7, 2004
Life lessons in cross-cultural chaos
L'Auberge Espagnole Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Cedric Klapisch Running time: 122 minutes Language: English with some French, Spanish, etc.; subtitles in Japanese and English Currently showing [See Japan Times movie listings] After two years at a rural New England college...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 31, 2004
Hey mom! Just grow up
Laurel Canyon Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 5) Director: Lisa Cholodenko Running time: 104 minutes Language: English Open April 3 [See Japan Times movie listings] Used to be, not so long ago, that the sure-fire way to rebel against your parents, teachers and other adult authority was as...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 24, 2004
Columbine, sanitized for your protection
Elephant Rating: * (out of 5) Director: Gus Van Sant Running time: 81 minutes Language: English Open March 27 at saison Shibuya [See Japan Times movie listings] Gus Van Sant's latest film is called "Elephant," and no, it's not about Babar, or Hannibal's epic crossing of the Alps. It...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 17, 2004
Welcome to the phonyverse
When interviewing the codirectors of "Party Monster" -- Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, along with James St. James, author of the book on which the movie's based -- the hardest thing was to get them to hype their own film. After fielding questions on kosu-purei ("costume play") and bars in Shinjuku's...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 10, 2004
Under the Taliban's shadow
Osama Rating: * * * * (out of 5) Japanese title: Afghan Zero-Nen Director: Siddiq Barmak Running time: 83 minutes Language: Dari, Pashtu Opens March 13 at Tokyo Shashin Bijitsukan, Yebisu Garden Place [See Japan Times movie listings] Of all the repression that the Taliban inflicted on...

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Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world