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Let's be 'Frank' about mental illness and music

Oct 8, 2014

Let's be 'Frank' about mental illness and music

by Giovanni Fazio

Imagine a band where the singer is so painfully shy and awkward that he must wear a giant papier-mache puppet head — not only on stage, but pretty much all the time. That’s the premise of “Frank,” starring Michael Fassbender under the mask; a ...

Harmonic slips in time, identity and language

Oct 8, 2014

Harmonic slips in time, identity and language

by Mark Schilling

World War II-themed films by elderly Japanese directors with direct experience of the war are not only becoming scarcer, but are also distinctly different from those of younger filmmakers trying to appeal to a mass audience. Kazuo Kuroki’s 2006 film “Kamiya Etsuko no Seishun ...

iNumber Number: 'Reeks of blood, mud and sweat'

Oct 8, 2014

iNumber Number: 'Reeks of blood, mud and sweat'

by Kaori Shoji

“iNumber Number” is the final film in the World Extreme Cinema (WEC) event at the Human Trust Cinema Shibuya, in Tokyo, and suffice to say, it takes the “hit me on a gut level” statement to a new dimension. WEC was designed to showcase ...

Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)

Oct 8, 2014

Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Takashi Shimizu Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Horror-meister Takashi Shimizu’s live-action film based on same book as of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1989 animation about a young witch’s apprenticeship attempts a visually and psychologically darker approach than Miyazaki’s classic. But a spirited performance as the ...

Angel Heart

Oct 8, 2014

Angel Heart

by Kaori Shoji

Director: Alan Parker Language: English Back in the dark 1980s, this was a scary, scary film and touted as one of Mickey Rourke’s finest performances. Rourke was slim, smooth and effortlessly sexy in this 1987 story about blood lust and voodoo, serial murders and ...

Hannibal

Oct 8, 2014

Hannibal

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English American TV drama “Hannibal” revives the iconic serial killer from Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” and “The Silence of the Lambs” novels. Mads Mikkelsen stars as the cultured cannibal, while Hugh Dancy plays a highly empathic criminal profiler with Asperger’s syndrome, and Laurence ...

Conjuring the strange brutality of Agota Kristof

Oct 1, 2014

Conjuring the strange brutality of Agota Kristof

by Kaori Shoji

Those who loved poring through Agota Kristof’s 1986 novel, “Le Grand Cahier,” have been waiting for a film adaptation for almost two decades. Written by the Hungarian while she was in exile, this was the first book (published in English as “The Notebook”) in ...

Death-row samurai spills ink, not blood

Oct 1, 2014

Death-row samurai spills ink, not blood

by Mark Schilling

Why have samurai movies become so middle-aged and sedate? Starting in the silent days and continuing through their 1950s peak, period films with top-knotted heroes typically featured a big one-against-many finale with flashing swords and the occasional firearm. Especially in the early days, both ...