'jam': Comedy with a touch of 'Misery'

Film / Reviews Dec 5, 2018

'jam': Comedy with a touch of 'Misery'

by Mark Schilling

The films of Sabu — the pseudonym of actor-turned-director Hiroyuki Tanaka — are typically about guys on the move, be it as a troubled soul on a journey ("Blessing Bell") or a crook on the run ("Unlucky Monkey"). The object is usually laughs, though ...

'Killing': A modern take on a samurai staple

Film / Reviews Nov 27, 2018

'Killing': A modern take on a samurai staple

by Mark Schilling

Screening in competition at this year's Venice Film Festival, "Killing" is veteran provocateur Shinya Tsukamoto's first venture into the samurai genre. Made, like most of Tsukamoto's films, on a tiny budget and tight schedule, it does not attempt the scale of classics like "Seven ...

'The Gun': A blast of stylish nihilism

Film / Reviews Nov 7, 2018

'The Gun': A blast of stylish nihilism

by James Hadfield

Chekhov's principle about how you can't introduce a gun in the first act of a story without using it later on might also apply to Toru (Nijiro Murakami). When the university student impulsively snatches a pistol from a dead body he finds by a riverside ...