Monthly Archives: February 2023

Media watch: Feminist icon outed as…a wife

The March 2 issue of the weekly magazine Bunshun contained a bombshell scoop of a sort. One of the articles is about Chizuko Ueno, a University of Tokyo sociology professor (graduate of Kyoto University) whose specialty is feminist theory, in … Continue reading

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Review: Paper City

One of the salient points that Edward Seidensticker made in his history of Tokyo was that, in the Shitamachi area of the capital—the “low city” where the hoi polloi lived—the carpenters’ guild was congruent with the fire brigade; meaning that … Continue reading

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Review: Worth

Worth is solidly in the cinematic tradition of lawyer-as-Sisyphus real-life dramas, of which Todd Hayne’s Dark Waters is probably the most pertinent of recent examples. If Worth doesn’t quite match up to the slow burn frustration of Dark Waters it … Continue reading

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Review: Triangle of Sadness

The main problem with movies that try to be up-to-the-minute is that they invariably feel dated by the time they are actually released, even if “dated” is a problematic construct. The main two characters in Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s second … Continue reading

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Review: Empire of Light

Having worked in a movie theater shortly before those years in which Empire of Light is set, I can attest to the accuracy of its depiction of how films were presented to paying customers at the time, not to mention … Continue reading

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Review: Three Thousand Years of Longing

George Miller may be our prime cinematic fantasist if only because his fantasies cover such a wide range of subject matter. Known mainly for the Mad Max series, he’s also responsible for the two Babe movies and the animated penguin … Continue reading

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Media watch: Availability of abortion pill beset by obstacles

On Jan. 27, the health ministry approved public sale of the so-called abortion pill in Japan. As pointed out by Asashi Shimbun in its coverage of the news, Japan is one of the last developed countries to approve what is … Continue reading

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Review: Benedetta

Though it may seem too obvious, I’m still surprised Paul Verhoeven has never made a women’s prison movie given the potential for steamy clinches under pressure of violence. With Benedetta he does what I would assume to be the next … Continue reading

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Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

One of the saving graces of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that neither the characters nor the filmmakers take it all that seriously. The Ant-Man series is probably the least serious of the various franchises, owing mainly to the casting … Continue reading

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Review: Decision to Leave

Though it feels timeless, the narrative concept of the femme fatale seems peculiarly suited for the movies, and many film enthusiasts will probably locate its peak utilization during the heyday of Hollywood in the 40s and 50s in works like … Continue reading

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