Reviews by Country
It’s not that I live on a diet of serial killer movies and thriller novels. I did read Silence of the Lambs once, so I would never consider myself an expert, but for some reason – maybe the title, or maybe the fact that plenty of other Kiyoshi Kurosawa films (like Retribution and Real to name just a couple) have been fairly hair-raising – I did in all honesty expect this 2016 murder thriller Creepy to be far creepier. … (read more)
The Wind Rises is Hayao Miyazaki’s first return to the director’s chair in five years (since Ponyo) and — if his statements in interviews are taken at face value — his final feature film in a career spanning six decades in Japanese animation. If that is indeed the case, it is in many ways a fitting swansong: it’s a layered, nuanced film that tells a story that is definitively Japanese yet universal, rooted in history yet filled with flights … (read more)
If I were to make a film about my life right now, ‘Zero Focus’ would be a most appropriate title. But no, the Japanese film Zero Focus is not about some dude who is overworked, underpaid, struggling to juggle multiple commitments, while trying to watch as many good films as possible, all resulting in chronic sleep deprivation and therefore a pathologically shortened attention span. Instead, it is a suspense mystery drama.
The main character is Teiko (Ryoko Hirosue), a newly … (read more)
Quietly surreal in quality, populated by characters that redefine the words ‘quirky’ and ‘dysfunctional’, the internationally popular and highly critically acclaimed works of Japanese author Haruki Murakami are wondrous and fascinating and inarguably unique. But by the very same token, one probably would never have really considered any Murakami novel suitable for translation to film, if the idea ever even occurred to start with.
In taking Tony Takitani (a short story written almost a decade ago and printed in English … (read more)