Author Archives: philipbrasor

Media Mix, Sept. 25, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about Sanae Takaichi’s candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party and, by extension, the prime minister’s office. Since I wrote the column, her chances of achieving that post have increased greatly. … Continue reading

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Review: Dinner in America

There seems to be a certain type of indie film that only premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. Ostensibly black comedies with quirky, often disagreeable protagonists, they usually take place in the US heartland, but what makes these movies distinctive … Continue reading

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Review: Minamata

Probably one of the most fraught American movie releases of recent years, Minamata opens in Japan with its own set of caveats for people interested in both the truths it attempts to address and those who just want to enjoy … Continue reading

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Review: Reminiscence

I slogged through the three seasons of Westworld on pure inertia. Though the basic premise of androids “evolving” self-consciousness and its attendant moral structures wasn’t particularly original, the extended series format gave creator Lisa Joy ample opportunity to explore all … Continue reading

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Review: Best Friend/Next Door Neighbor

Living in Japan, where the treatment of politics and history by popular culture is a fraught undertaking, I find South Korean cinema’s willingness to confront the less edifying aspects of its recent past and current social mores almost astounding. Mainstream … Continue reading

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Review: Quo Vadis, Aida?

Scathingly literal in the way it depicts the organizational failure of well-intentioned multi-national peace efforts, Jasmila Zbanic’s slightly fictionalized take on the disastrous UN intervention in the mid-90s Bosnian conflict evinces that nauseous feeling of inevitable doom you get with … Continue reading

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Review: Irresistible

As an American who was only physically present in the U.S. during the Trump administration for, at most, two weeks out of the year, I found former Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s comedy about the foibles of political gamesmanship both … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Sept. 11, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about the media narrative that young Japanese people are generally hesitant about being vaccinated for COVID-19. As part of the narrative-reinforcing process, the web magazine Litera went on about vaccine czar Taro Kono’s … Continue reading

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Media Mix, Sept. 4, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about the death of Ratnayake Liyanage Wishma Sandamali last spring at an immigration detention center in Nagoya. As pointed out by Tokyo Shimbun reporter Isoko Mochizuki, Wishma originally went to the authorities because … Continue reading

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Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead

Since scripting the thematically engaging but derivative drug thriller Sicario, Taylor Sheridan has gradually positioned himself as an action filmmaker with something interesting to say. Perhaps because the source material for Those Who Wish Me Dead is not his own, … Continue reading

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