Author Archives: philipbrasor

“Pachinko,” Korean heritage, and sidestepping the real Japan

Last spring I saw Korean-Japanese filmmaker Yang Yonghi’s latest documentary, Soup and Ideology, at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. During the post-screening Q&A, Yang expressed frustration over her belief that Japan has not really produced any great films about … Continue reading

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Media watch: Government does itself no favors with new incentives to promote My Number cards

For several years the Japanese government and, more specifically, the new digital agency has been trying to sell the public on the My Number system, which assigns a 12-digit ID number to everyone who lives in Japan. Assigning the numbers … Continue reading

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Review: Hostage: Missing Celebrity

Basically meta-cinema for dummies, Pil Gam-sung’s debut feature takes full advantage of its star’s screen image to keep you guessing as to how much he is acting. Hwang Jung-min has cultivated an enviable, respectable career playing a wide variety of … Continue reading

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Opening press conference for the 27th Busan International Film Festival

It was obvious from all the prefatory statements made by the various officials of the Busan International Film Festival on Sept. 7 to announce what would take place this year that the opening press conference was supposed to be a … Continue reading

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Media watch: Media take a more clinical look at sex crimes

Last month, a man named Akinori Hashimoto was sentenced by the Tokyo District Court to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing and photographing 20 boys between the ages of 5 and 11 from 2015 to 2020. Hashimoto, an accredited … Continue reading

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Review: Incredible But True

Like fellow French filmmaker Michel Gondry, Quentin Dupieux favors plots governed by fantastical, absurd elements, but while Gondry has very definite narrative goals in mind Dupieux seems so hung up on the elements themselves that he can’t quite get them … Continue reading

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Media watch: Doc maker’s first narrative feature to tackle 1923 quake massacre

September 1 marks the 99th anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake, in which more than 100,000 people perished. Local governments use the occasion to carry out preparedness drills for major quakes. A few localities also hold memorials for victims, including … Continue reading

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Review: Bullet Train

David Leitch is one of those handful of directors to be continually blessed with big Hollywood budgets to realize his ambitious action-movie dreams. A former stunt man who knows how to stage a fight so that it’s more interesting than … Continue reading

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Media watch: Asahi focuses on the reality of Okinawan women’s lives

Asahi Shimbun’s regular Koron feature typically asks three experts to contribute short essays on a designated theme. On Aug. 24, the column’s topic was the status of Okinawan women on the 50th anniversary of the prefecture’s reversion to Japanese control … Continue reading

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Media watch: Opinions about state funeral show the limitations of public surveys

Polling and public surveys suck up a lot of media oxygen, especially with regards to political issues. Earlier this year, the justice ministry questioned the public on the separate married names matter. Over the years the portion of respondents in … Continue reading

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