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James Hadfield

For James Hadfield's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'Farewell Song': Guitars without rock 'n' roll excess

Film / Reviews May 22, 2019

'Farewell Song': Guitars without rock 'n' roll excess

Of all the many breeds of musician out there, few are as stubbornly uncinematic as acoustic singer-songwriters. Forget flamboyance, creative excess, clashing egos and all the other qualities that tend to attract filmmakers to the music industry in the first place. The average singer-songwriter ...

'Cheer Boys!!': Cheerleading, but not much to cheer for

Film / Reviews May 8, 2019

'Cheer Boys!!': Cheerleading, but not much to cheer for

Most athletes live in fear of the fateful injury that derails their career, but when university freshman Haruki (Ryusei Yokohama) damages his shoulder during judo training, he seems relieved. Despite growing up in a family of judoka, he's never taken to the sport with ...

'Pacific Breeze' collates the slick sound of Japanese city pop

Music May 1, 2019

'Pacific Breeze' collates the slick sound of Japanese city pop

Long overlooked by international labels, Japan's rich musical history has been undergoing thorough excavation over the past few years. Some of the most satisfying archival releases to date have come from Light in the Attic, the U.S. label behind last year's Haruomi Hosono reissues ...

'A Gambler's Odyssey 2020': A lot of controversy about nothing

Film / Reviews Apr 10, 2019

'A Gambler's Odyssey 2020': A lot of controversy about nothing

Given the timid, committee-driven nature of modern Japanese film production, it's rare for anything to make it into the cinemas with even the slightest whiff of controversy still clinging to it. "A Gambler's Odyssey 2020" is a pungent exception. Kazuya Shiraishi's movie has been cultivating ...

Suchmos' 'The Anymal' aims high but misses the mark

Music Mar 27, 2019

Suchmos' 'The Anymal' aims high but misses the mark

Of all the acts to emerge during the recent city pop revival, when the funk-inflected AOR of early-1980s Japan seemed to be coming back in vogue, Suchmos has been by far the most successful. Last year saw the sextet graduate to playing arenas and ...

'Siblings of the Cape': Uncomfortable, yet compelling

Film / Reviews Mar 6, 2019

'Siblings of the Cape': Uncomfortable, yet compelling

There are films that take you places you rather wish they wouldn't. Within the first 10 minutes of "Siblings of the Cape," I was ready to stop watching, but something about Shinzo Katayama's scruffy, transgressive debut kept me hooked. While it's hard to give an ...