Author Archives: philipbrasor

Media Mix, Dec. 4, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about Ishin no Kai’s (the Japan Innovation Party) attempt to regulate the distribution to Diet members of funds that cover expenses for mail, correspondence, and transportation, familiarly called buntsuhi. At the time the … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Nov. 27, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about the suicide of an Asahi Shimbun reporter and what it says about the state of journalism right now, especially with regards to daily newspapers. I, of course, write this column for a … Continue reading

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Review: Minamata Mandala

Kazuo Hara’s latest documentary is six hours and 12 minutes, thus making it almost twice as long as his last epic, Sennan Asbestos Disaster. The two documentaries are similar in subject matter and theme, but I would hardly call them … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Nov. 20, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about a suit brought by two people on death row in Japan to do away with the practice of not informing condemned prisoners of their time of execution until only a few hours … Continue reading

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Review: Little Girl

One of the stubborn myths attached to LGBTQ persons is the belief that their sexuality or gender identity is the result of social exposure. The subject of Sebastien Lifshitz’s documentary, Little Girl, is 8-year-old Sasha, who was assigned male at … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Nov. 13, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix (whose headline is different from the print edition’s and slightly misleading), which is about Toyota’s seemingly blase attitude toward electric vehicles. Based on what the press in Japan is reporting, this reluctance is built into … Continue reading

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Review: The Man Who Sold His Skin

In the case of this multinational co-production, the usual opening gambit of claiming that the following story is based on true events for once raises arched eyebrows—at least in hindsight. A cursory internet search yields the intelligence that, in fact, … Continue reading

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Review: City Hall

As Frederick Wiseman enters his 10th decade on the planet, his iconic fly-on-the-wall documentary methodology tends to focus more and more on the minutiae of civic discourse. City Hall, which spends a leisurely autumn hanging around the municipal government offices … Continue reading

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Review: The Donut King

Tales of immigrants making it big in their adopted countries are irresistible, regardless of which side of the political divide you find yourself. Liberals appreciate the idea that new blood invigorates society and thus hold such stories up as examples … Continue reading

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Tokyo International Film Festival 2021

Here are links to the reports I wrote for the website of the 34th TIFF. In passing, I would say it was a better festival than it has been for many years, owing mainly to its change of venue to … Continue reading

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