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.

For Giovanni Fazio's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'Wiener-Dog': Todd Solondz is always painfully funny

/ Jan 4, 2017

'Wiener-Dog': Todd Solondz is always painfully funny

Trigger warning: I am about to discuss a Todd Solondz film. Back in the 1990s, Solondz was one of a pack of up-and-coming American indie directors, along with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater and Todd Haynes. After getting hyped wildly for ...

The bad year that pervaded the screens

Dec 21, 2016

The bad year that pervaded the screens

The past year has been a cursed one. It began with the death of David Bowie and proceeded to get worse on every level: political hysteria, impending ecological doom, the creeping encroach of net-connected tech into every corner of our lives, and a blurring ...

'Beep' tracks down 8-bit maestros

| Dec 14, 2016

'Beep' tracks down 8-bit maestros

Here's one for the gamers: "Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound" interviews more than 80 composers, sound designers and voice actors in a comprehensive look at its topic. Starting with mechanical pinball bells, "Beep" moves through the bleepy 8-bit sounds of 1980s arcade ...

'Smoke': the movie that blazed a trail for indies

Dec 7, 2016

'Smoke': the movie that blazed a trail for indies

Just in time for Christmas, Yebisu Garden Cinema is reviving a film that was one of the cinema's biggest hits in the 1990s, director Wayne Wang's "Smoke," in a crisp new digital remastered version. Watching it again after all these years, it's hard not ...

'Tale of Tales': Do we need fables for adults?

/ Nov 30, 2016

'Tale of Tales': Do we need fables for adults?

The current ideological system that governs our lives — call it late capitalism, the spectacle, or just Babylon — is most devious in its ability to take any and all resistance, any deviance from the hamster wheel of consumerism, and repackage it as just ...

The diversity of religion captured on film

| Nov 30, 2016

The diversity of religion captured on film

Reflecting on the rise of a generation of Japanese that has grown up suspicious of organized religion — particularly those who came of age in the shadow of 1995's terror attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo cult — Nihon University's College of Art has put ...

The gritty side of Polish film

| Nov 23, 2016

The gritty side of Polish film

European cinema lost one of its greats in October, when Polish director Andrzej Wajda passed away at the age of 90. Wajda, perhaps best known for his 1981 Cannes Palme d'Or winner "Man of Iron," had a long association with Japan, being awarded both ...