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Vision of anime's future at Tokyo International Film Festival

by Mark Schilling

The Tokyo International Film Festival, running through Oct. 31, is no longer Asia’s biggest or most important festival — that honor is now claimed by the recently held rival Busan film festival. But its 27th edition — the first to reflect the full influence of TIFF’s current director-general, Yasushi Shiina ...

WTF: 'offensive and extreme hidden camera put-ons'

Oct 22, 2014

WTF: 'offensive and extreme hidden camera put-ons'

by Giovanni Fazio

You could call prankster Remi Gaillard the Johnny Knoxville of France. The videos he uploads to YouTube — offensive and extreme hidden camera put-ons, often involving enraging people with some outrageous stunt — certainly have that “Jackass” feel to them. But it would be ...

Kiyosu Kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)

Oct 22, 2014

Kiyosu Kaigi (The Kiyosu Conference)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Koki Mitani Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) A historic 1582 conference to decide the fate of the shogunate following warlord Oda Nobunaga’s death may not sound like the stuff of comedy, but Koki Mitani extracts laughs from the schemes and foibles of the ...

Winter's Tale (New York Fuyu Monogatari)

Oct 22, 2014

Winter's Tale (New York Fuyu Monogatari)

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Akiva Goldsman Language: English Fairy tales set in New York City are almost always dicey, but this one is particularly so. Colin Farrell plays 19th-century burglar Peter, who falls in love with the ailing heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay) in the mansion he is ...

The Borgias (Season Three)

Oct 22, 2014

The Borgias (Season Three)

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English If you can’t get enough of the power politics in “Game of Thrones,” Irish director Neil Jordan’s “The Borgias” is your next addiction. The third season of this series on Renaissance Italy’s most diabolical family — they make the Corleones look like ...

Hideaki Anno: emotional deconstructionist

Oct 18, 2014

Hideaki Anno: emotional deconstructionist

by Mark Schilling

With dozens of the renowned filmmaker's works scheduled to be screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival over the next two weeks, we speak to the man behind the 'Evangelion' sci-fi franchise about his apocalyptic influences and prod him on the question that is ...

BIFF 2014 plays down unavoidable controversies

Oct 17, 2014

BIFF 2014 plays down unavoidable controversies

by Philip Brasor

The biggest event of the year for South Korea’s film industry is the opening night of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which marked its 19th year Oct. 2 to 11. Whether or not they have films screening at the festival, almost all the ...

Tale of panic and pain strikes an operatic chord

Oct 15, 2014

Tale of panic and pain strikes an operatic chord

by Kaori Shoji

At a time when Japan is being rapped over the knuckles by the U.N. for hate-speech rallies against ethnic Koreans, a movie like “The Tenor: Lirico Spinto” takes on special significance. Directed by Kim Sang-man, “The Tenor” (released here as “The Tenor: Shinjitsuno Monogatari”) ...

Two men and a tot make a half-decent film

Oct 15, 2014

Two men and a tot make a half-decent film

by Mark Schilling

When indie directors take a more commercial turn, the usual explanation is the bigger paycheck, but it’s not always so simple. Yuya Ishii’s shift from the raucous films of his early career to the more genteel, mainstream 2013 film “Fune wo Amu (The Great ...