Monthly Archives: March 2020

Media Mix, March 29, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about the government’s campaign to squelch any media stories that conflict with its own narrative about the coronavirus crisis. Since we first started working on this column several weeks ago, the situation has been even … Continue reading

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Review: El Pepe – A Supreme Life

There’s something wonderfully encouraging about Emir Kusturica’s filmic fascination with Latin America. The Serbian director’s reputation as a polymath who makes a decent if not outstanding living as a filmmaker, writer, and musician is enhanced enormously by his tendency to … Continue reading

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Media Mix, March 22, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about the theatrical feature Fukushima 50. Part of the column discusses the portrayal of Naoto Kan, who was prime minister at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster depicted in the movie. Kan comes off … Continue reading

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Review: Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Though I was initially interested in reading Thomas Piketty’s big bestseller about income inequality as a permanently expanding fixture of economic life, I eventually concluded that the book would probably teach me little. Anyone with a decent grounding in social … Continue reading

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Review: Mishima, the Last Debate

Almost 50 years after he committed ritual suicide at the self-defense agency headquarters in Tokyo at the age of 45, Yukio Mishima wedges his way back into Japan’s consciousness in the form of a documentary based on “lost footage” of … Continue reading

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Review: Columbus

The title city, a leafy Midwestern exurb that is located in Indiana, not Ohio, is an interesting choice for a place where the two main characters find themselves stuck. The town’s main attraction is its full line of modernist architecture, … Continue reading

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Review: All Is True

It was only a matter of time before Kenneth Branagh, the still-living film actor most popularly identified with Shakespeare, portrayed the Bard himself on screen, and for what it’s worth and despite the stupid schnozz, there’s something heartening and even … Continue reading

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Media Mix, March 8, 2020

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about Yoko Tajima. It’s perhaps appropriate that the column is being published on International Women’s Day, though the timing of Tajima’s renaissance is completely coincidental. In truth, she never went away, and her semi-regular appearances … Continue reading

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Review: Judy

Usually, I don’t comment on acting when I review a film, mainly because I expect professionalism from everyone involved and good acting should be a given. Normally the acting is good, so there’s no point in talking about it unless … Continue reading

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Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Critics have at long last realized that the development of Chinese art house cinema over the last decade has been deeply influenced by American and European film noir. The influence probably goes back further, and, for what it’s worth, film … Continue reading

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