Tag - wide-angle

 
 

WIDE ANGLE

CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Sep 7, 2016
The Yufuin Film Festival: a movie paradise on Earth
Before attending my first Yufuin Film Festival, which was held Aug. 24-28 this year, I wondered what attracted Japanese film folk — from nationally known actors to directors of zero-budget documentaries — to this town in northern Kyushu.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Aug 31, 2016
'Breath of the Gods': Deep breathing for a stressful life
Yoga takes up a huge chunk of Japan's fitness market. Some IT companies in the Tokyo area have even incorporated yoga and meditation into their daily schedules, just to show how much they care about their employees' health and mental state. But some employees need no prompts. According to healthcare site bikenmaster.jp, the yoga population in Japan has reached 3.5 million.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Aug 24, 2016
Revisit the Showa Era at Jinbocho Theater
Jinbocho is one of the last remaining districts in Tokyo that retains a neighborhood feel. Dedicated to books, it has a large cluster of second-hand bookshops and is dotted with ancient coffee shops, including Saboru and Milonga. It's also known for showing wildly difficult movies at venues such as Iwanami Hall. In fact, Jinbocho has always sported an intellectual ambience, making it the favored stomping grounds of many authors, theater people, art collectors and film buffs.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Aug 17, 2016
Prize-winning short 'Oh Lucy' brings humor to the classroom
Given the potential global audience available on digital film platforms, it is surprising how few Japanese filmmakers have invested in foreign-language subtitles to get their films out there. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise to find director Atsuko Hirayanagi's short comedy "Oh Lucy" up on Vimeo.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Aug 10, 2016
'Song of Lahore' sings the praises of Pakistan's cultural hub
Fundamentalist terrorism is affecting everywhere these days, but what is often forgotten is how the Islamic world suffers, too. The documentary "Song of Lahore" takes us to Pakistan's cultural hub, a home to the arts since the Mughal empire, yet a city where musicians now live in fear of Taliban violence. (Their intolerant interpretation of the Quran forbids music, and they have assassinated many musicians.)
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Aug 3, 2016
Where's the money?
Hillary Clinton's long march to the U.S. presidency continues unabated, and many voters are so scared of the idea of President Donald Trump, they'd vote for Clinton even if she sprouted fangs and hissed like a cobra. But anyone who's all comfy with the idea that voting for Clinton as the "lesser of two evils" really needs to watch "Clinton Cash" first.
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jul 27, 2016
Haruki Kadokawa: The man who helped save Japan's film industry
When publisher, producer, director and showman Haruki Kadokawa was at his controversial peak in the 1970s and '80s, the idea of a festival dedicated to his films — commercial fare typically based on the pop fiction his publishing house churned out — would have struck higher-minded critics as utter sacrilege.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jul 20, 2016
Tai Kato: The too-often neglected samurai- and ganster-movie master
Tai Kato (1916-85) has long ranked high on critics' lists as a neglected director, and the neglect continues, especially overseas.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jul 13, 2016
The Qualite Fantastic! Cinema Collection festival has choice gems among the trash
Opened in 2012, Cinema Qualite has been a welcome anomaly amid the grim decline of Japan's once-vibrant "mini theater" (arthouse) scene.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jul 6, 2016
Skip City International D-Cinema Festival is not just for film buffs
Launched 13 years ago in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture to present movies in the then-emerging digital format, the Skip City International D-Cinema Festival has since become a leading domestic showcase of feature, short and animated films by up-and-coming filmmakers from Japan and around the world.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jun 29, 2016
Werner Penzel's art therapy for the soul
The documentary "While We Kiss the Sky" (Japanese title "Kofuku wa Hibi no Naka Ni") opens nationwide this weekend, and it proffers a lot of hope and optimism for the future of Japanese society.
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jun 22, 2016
'Nina' is still worth watching
The "politically correct"(PC) left is often no better than the Christian right when it comes to looking for ways to be offended by movies. The latest victim of PC backlash is "Nina," the film based on legendary jazz and blues singer and civil-rights icon Nina Simone. Nina is played by Zoe Saldana ("Avatar"), an actress "of color," as they say, but who required some skin darkening from the makeup department to portray the ebony Simone. This led to charges of "blackface" racism that sunk the film at the box office, yet it's hardly a caricature. Surely Saldana would also have been damned if she hadn't used make-up, accused of "whitening" a black artist.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jun 15, 2016
The women fighting ISIS
The Islamic State's organized use of social media for global recruitment and propaganda took many by surprise, but their adversaries are now hitting back. Rojava, the Kurdish-led revolutionary zone in northern Syria, has been looking to rally Western support to its cause, and its most potent meme has been the camo-clad young women of the YPJ (Women's Defense Units). With their long, uncovered hair and AK-47s, they make a stark contrast to the stereotype of the veiled, subjugated Arab woman. But is this for real, or just propaganda?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jun 8, 2016
'Girls' just wanna have fun in Japan
"Girls," an Emmy award-winning HBO series, focuses on a quartet of women in their early 20s who are trying to — surprise, surprise — figure out what they want to do with their lives. Like its outspoken creator — the intellectual "It Girl" Lena Dunham — "Girls" is polarizing: You either get it or you don't. But rewards come to those who follow the messy emotional history — the stormy fights, the family problems, the endless search for the perfect career or partner. Ultimately it's Dunham's NYC-flavored humor — which mocks timeless issues of singledom and current-day first-world problems — that wins out over the Sturm und Drang.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jun 1, 2016
The EU is on firm ground when it comes to film
The European Union might be teetering on the brink of collapse politically, but culturally it's still presenting a united front. EU Film Days, a showcase of movies from Portugal to Lithuania, Finland to Greece, is entering its sixth year in Japan, with daily screenings throughout the rainy season at the National Film Center in Tokyo and The Museum of Kyoto. The movies date from 2011 through 2016, and with few exceptions have not been released in Japan; many have English as well as Japanese subtitles.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
May 25, 2016
A little 'je ne sais quois' from Eric Rohmer
Everything we know about French films, we learned from Eric Rohmer. At least for Japanese cinema lovers, that's what it felt like, especially in the late 20th century.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
May 18, 2016
Frankfurt's Nippon Connection brings together an extensive collection of Japanese films
What's the best place on the planet for catching up on the entire range of contemporary Japanese cinema, from experimental shorts to commercial hits? My candidate is Nippon Connection, a festival in Frankfurt, Germany, whose 16th edition unspools May 24-29. Headed by festival director Miram Klomfass and organized by an all-volunteer team, the festival is presenting nearly 100 films over six days, and will also host other Japanese cultural events.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
May 11, 2016
Big issues in film short 'World of Tomorrow'
Given the limited options for theatrical release, short films are generally condemned to the purgatory of YouTube, which makes the case of "World of Tomorrow" especially striking. Since premiering at last year's Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, this 16-minute animation has been garlanded with the kind of praise usually reserved for movies with proper distribution and marketing budgets.
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
May 4, 2016
'Asia's Next Top Model' just as catty as America's
Reality TV staple "America's Next Top Model" recently hung up its Jimmy Choos after a stupefying 22 seasons, but its spin-off, Singapore-based "Asia's Next Top Model," is now in its fourth "cycle," airing locally on Fox Channel and Hulu.jp. Fourteen tall, slender beauties from across Asia compete to win a photo spread, representation by a modeling agency and other fame and fortune. While contestants come from as far afield as Myanmar and Mongolia, local viewers may be surprised to see no Japanese in the mix; the show's English-fluency requirement is clearly a barrier, and it's no coincidence that previous Japanese entrants were all hāfu (half-Japanese).
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Apr 27, 2016
Image Forum Festival offers some weirdness for Golden Week
Golden Week is traditionally a time for movie studios to roll out the blockbusters, but if popcorn fodder like "Chihayafuru" and "Captain America: Civil War" don't appeal, there are more esoteric options.

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores