Monthly Archives: September 2019

Review: Hellboy

It says a lot about this reboot that its focus on an origin story that seems quite different from the one put forward in the previous movies is barely coherent; or that it mostly does away with whatever it was … Continue reading

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Review: Eighth Grade

There are few segments in movies of recent memory that so starkly delineate the gulf between the director’s sensibility and that of their protagonist as the one that opens Eighth Grade. I don’t know how old Bo Burnham is, but … Continue reading

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Review: Ad Astra

The points of narrative and thematic convergence between James Gray’s last film, the old-school world explorer epic, The Lost City of Z, and his latest film, the old-school sci-fi potboiler, Ad Astra, are too numerous to ignore, but the main … Continue reading

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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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