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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
Nov 12, 2014
Tatsumi: Godfather of alternative manga is reborn on film
Manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has always enjoyed a certain level of fame in his home country, where he's known as the originator of gekiga, a hard-boiled style of manga from the 1960s-'70s. Overseas, however, it's only since 2009 that his reputation has risen meteorically, after an English-language...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 12, 2014
Boyhood: 'Never has the passage of time on screen seemed so real or poignant'
The only reason I hesitate to give Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" five stars is that you will be expecting a masterpiece. And a "masterpiece" these days is all too often a film that is trying very hard for that status, weighted with its own self-importance. (Dare I cite "There Will be Blood" or "The Tree...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 12, 2014
Tatsumi: 'Alternative noir histories from Japan's postwar period'
The stories of comic-book artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi — an originator of the gekiga (literally, "dramatic pictures") style — reach the screen in this intriguing compilation film by Singaporean director Eric Khoo.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 12, 2014
Twin Sisters
Director: Mona Friis Bertheussen Language: English, Norwegian (subtitled in English)
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 5, 2014
The Double: 'A doppelganger in a suffocating, Pyongyang-like city'
The first line of dialogue in Richard Ayoade's first film as a director, "Submarine," is "Most people like to think of themselves as individuals." The last line in his follow-up, "The Double," is "I like to think I'm unique." In both cases, these statements are left hanging as open questions.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 5, 2014
The Guest: 'Outlandish plotting and an ever-increasing body count'
The first half of "The Guest" feels inspired by "The Return of Martin Guerre" (1982) or its Hollywood remake, "Sommersby" (1993), but set in a post-Gulf War milieu.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 5, 2014
The Queen of Versailles
Director: Lauren Greenfield Language: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 29, 2014
The antichrist, melancholia and nymphomania according to Lars von Trier
Depression is damn near impossible to understand for those not suffering from it. They'll say, "Cheer up, pull yourself together, look at all the blessings in your life," as if someone caught in a downpour will feel cheered by the fact that the sun will come out tomorrow. But what if the rain doesn't...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 29, 2014
Son of a Gun: 'Gritty prison realism replaced with impossibly glamorous molls and heavy-firepower heists'
'Son of a Gun" begins in a prison in Perth, Australia, with 19-year-old JR (Brenton Thwaites) facing his first incarceration for a minor crime. He realizes, from the sight of a terrorized and sodomized cellmate, that things are going to get ugly pretty quickly. He cuts his pretty-boy hair and keeps his...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 29, 2014
Nymphomaniac Vol. II: 'Overflowing with philosophy, digressions, religious visions, sex and even some humor'
While "Nymphomaniac: Vol. I" largely followed its heroine, Joe (played by Stacy Martin), as she developed her omnivorous sexual appetite and wielded her sexual power with impunity, "Vol. II" is where the bill comes due.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 29, 2014
Return to Homs
Director: Talal Derki Language: Arabic (subtitled in English)
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 22, 2014
A Most Wanted Man: 'Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performance'
Much-loved character actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's sudden death due to a heroin overdose back in February this year was a shock, one of those things that no one saw coming. But look hard at his final performance in "A Most Wanted Man" and behind the role you can see it in his eyes — that funk,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 22, 2014
WTF: 'offensive and extreme hidden camera put-ons'
You could call prankster Remi Gaillard the Johnny Knoxville of France. The videos he uploads to YouTube — offensive and extreme hidden camera put-ons, often involving enraging people with some outrageous stunt — certainly have that "Jackass" feel to them. But it would be unfair to say one influenced...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 22, 2014
The Borgias (Season Three)
Language: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 15, 2014
Greetings From Tim Buckley: 'The burden of celebrity-parent expectations'
The problems with "Greetings From Tim Buckley" begin with the title. The film isn't really about 1960-70s singer-songwriter Tim Buckley — who died from an overdose in 1975 — so much as his son, Jeff, who produced a single hit album in 1994, "Grace," before drowning in the Mississippi River...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 15, 2014
Minuscule: 'A refreshingly different approach to animation'
Most children's animation these days is motor-mouthed to the extreme and larded with snarky pop-culture gags, but French film "Minuscule" takes a refreshingly different approach. Filmmakers Helene Giraud and Thomas Szabo honed their skills on animated shorts over the past decade and now drop a full-length...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 15, 2014
The World's End (World's End: Yopparai ga Sekai wo Suku!)
Director: Edgar Wright Language: English
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 8, 2014
Let's be 'Frank' about mental illness and music
Imagine a band where the singer is so painfully shy and awkward that he must wear a giant papier-mache puppet head — not only on stage, but pretty much all the time. That's the premise of "Frank," starring Michael Fassbender under the mask; a story loosely based on the beyond-cult indie musician...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 8, 2014
Nymphomaniac Vol 1: ‘A labyrinth of intellectual and sensual digressions’
‘Nymphomaniac”: The title itself is a provocation, not that we should expect anything less from Lars von Trier, the director who has specialized in nothing but.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Oct 8, 2014
A Million Ways to Die in the West: 'If a movie this uninspired can make money at the box office, we're doomed'
If a movie as lazy and uninspired as "A Million Ways to Die in the West" can get horrible press, bad word of mouth and still make its money back at the box office, then we're doomed. "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane's follow-up to his debut film "Ted" is basically another vehicle for his usual borderline-offensive...

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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