Author Archives: philipbrasor

Review: Cheerful Wind

K’s Cinema in Shinjuku is presenting a two-month retrospective of Taiwan cinema centered mainly on the work of Hou Hsiao-hsien that includes a lot of films from the 1980s which rarely get shown here any more, despite Hou’s close relationship … Continue reading

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Media Mix, April 10, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about various theories on why former justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai changed his plea in the middle of his trial for buying votes for his wife, Anri, during the 2019 Upper House election. The … Continue reading

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Review: Ammonite

It’s difficult to imagine Francis Lee’s romanticized reimagining of 19th century paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) being produced without the precedent of Mike Leigh. Though Leigh is best known for his modernist take on working class British everypersons, in more … Continue reading

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Review: House in the Fields

There’s probably no more momentous development in the practice of filmmaking since the dawn of the millennium than the expansion of the documentary genre beyond its classic parameters. At one time the idea that the documentary filmmaker is a kind … Continue reading

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Review: 21 Bridges

Though it wasn’t the last film he made, the police action thriller, 21 Bridges, is being released in Japan just as the late Chadwick Boseman has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar that most bookies say he’s going to … Continue reading

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Media Mix, April 3, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix about two recent court rulings related to same-sex marriage, which remains illegal in Japan. One of the premises of the column is that marriage is mainly a social or cultural construct and that the legal … Continue reading

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Review: The Reason I Jump

Since I haven’t read David Mitchell’s translation of Naoki Hagishida’s 2007 memoir of autism I can’t rightly say how faithful Jerry Rothwell’s semi-documentary movie version is, though much of the voiceover narration, by Jordan O’Donegan, is taken straight from the … Continue reading

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Media Mix, March 28, 2021

Here’s this week’s Media Mix, which is about the huge amount of money spent to clean up the area surrounding the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and the graft that has resulted. At one point in the column I use … Continue reading

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Review: Tesla

Michael Almereyda’s biopic of Serbian-American inventor Nikolai Tesla (Ethan Hawke) is a welcome corrective — or maybe “antidote” is a better word — to The Current War, which attempted to make an entertainment out of the rivalry between Thomas Edison … Continue reading

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Review: Monster Hunter

Expected to meet expectations like the pro he is, director Paul W.S. Anderson is charged with adapting the popular Capcom video game to the Imax screen in much the same way he adapted the Resident Evil game to…how many sequels … Continue reading

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