Topics

Animated film 'Your Name.' taking nation by storm

The animated film “Your Name.” is taking Japan by storm, with its box office revenues surpassing the ¥10 billion ($99 million) mark in just 28 days since its release, marking a milestone for a Japanese animation other than the works of renowned director Hayao Miyazaki. Since Makoto Shinkai’s blockbuster hit ...

Hany Abu-Assad: Making strong voices heard

Sep 21, 2016

Hany Abu-Assad: Making strong voices heard

by

Ever since the first series of “Pop Idol” screened on British TV in 2001, the televised music competition has become practically inescapable, with franchises springing up everywhere from Macedonia to the Maldives. Given how cannily stage-managed these “reality” shows really are, though, it almost ...

'Scoop!': Read all about it here

Sep 21, 2016

'Scoop!': Read all about it here

by

Japanese weekly scandal magazines are pond scum, are they not? Dishing up grainy paparazzi photos of the famous and powerful, accompanied by wink-wink stories about improprieties and crimes — alleged or exposed — they appeal to the lowest common denominator, with their only raison ...

'Stranger Things' happened in the 1980s

| Sep 21, 2016

'Stranger Things' happened in the 1980s

by

The streaming wars continue, and one advantage Netflix has over its rivals is that it releases its original content in Japan without much annoying time lag. That’s true of their new paranormal series “Stranger Things,” which came out in the dog days of summer ...

Yuki Tanada's new film sees the humor in societal changes

Sep 17, 2016

Yuki Tanada's new film sees the humor in societal changes

by

The Japanese women directors who have been gaining attention in the past two decades, beginning with frequent Cannes invitee Naomi Kawase, tend to be serious types, understandably. Their struggle for respect and recognition in a male-dominated industry is difficult enough — and goofy comedies ...

Love beyond the laws of physics and nature

Sep 14, 2016

Love beyond the laws of physics and nature

by

“Correspondence” (also known as “La Corrispondenza”) is the kind of romance the Japanese have traditionally loved to love — two people locked in a relationship that barely exists. In this scheme of things, physical remoteness offsets but strengthens an emotional connection. It’s a concept ...

'Someone's Xylophone': Yoichi Higashi hits an unusual tone

Sep 14, 2016

'Someone's Xylophone': Yoichi Higashi hits an unusual tone

by

Yoichi Higashi has made everything from commercial hits to festival favorites in his five-plus decades as a director, while taking up politically sensitive subjects and unpopular issues. His 1992 smash “The Bridge with No River” (“Hashi no Nai Kawa”) depicted the raw prejudice endured ...

'The BFG': With an emphasis on the friendly

Sep 14, 2016

'The BFG': With an emphasis on the friendly

by

The Japanese have never really warmed to the stories of Roald Dahl, with the exception of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Even then, they’re probably not thinking of Dahl, it’s more about Johnny Depp and the Wonka Chocolate bars sold at most high-end supermarkets ...