Monthly Archives: September 2019

Media Mix, Sept. 15, 2019

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about an Environmental Ministry scheme to cull cats on Amami Oshima in order to gain UNESCO certification of the island as a natural World Heritage Site. As explained in the column, the ministry has essentially … Continue reading

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Review: A Private War

The person played by Rosamund Pike in this harrowing biopic is supposed to be American war correspondent Marie Colvin, who died in 2012 covering the civil war in Syria. However, early on there’s a sense that Matthew Heineman’s film intends … Continue reading

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Daniel Johnston 1961-2019

I did a telephone interview with Daniel Johnston for the Japan Times in 2003 to publicize his first-ever Japan concerts. The interview is still online and you can read it here.

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Review: Free Solo

Though Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s and Jimmy Chin’s Oscar-winning documentary is ostensibly about world-famous rock climber Alex Honnold, it’s really about how we define heroes nowadays, especially in the context of movies. Honnold in many ways embodies the classic traits of … Continue reading

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Review: Ash Is Purest White

Though it’s tempting to call his latest film a return to form, Jia Zhangke’s output since his last critically acknowledged masterpiece, Still Life (2006), mainly shows an artist grappling with his place in his own world, meaning China. For the … Continue reading

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Review: Us

Jordan Peele’s Get Out was so on point about its sociopolitical subtext that many critics gave it a pass on its plotting, which, especially toward the end, became stiff and formulaic. It’s clear that Peele has a talent for horror … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Sept. 1, 2019

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, about the recent interest in road rage incidents. The topic aligns with my own pet peeve about Japanese drivers and their feeling of entitlement when it comes to carless people with whom they share roads. … Continue reading

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