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Entries in Japan (9)

Friday
Sep282018

But why is it called "Bleach"?

by Nathaniel R

boys and their toys... i mean, superpowers.

How often do you have random streaming adventures where you watch something you've literally never heard of? This week on Netflix I caught a new Japanese flick called Bleach (2018) though for the life of me I can't figure out what the title means. It's one of those movies that's 1000% obviously based on a manga because it throws lots of random names, superpowers, and world-building terms and rules at you and assumes you'll be able to keep up. But nowhere in the entire picture does the word "bleach" factor in. I've turned it over and over in my head and unless I blinked during a crucial subtitle the title makes no sense whatsoever.

It was a fun popcorn watch but I had to share one moment near the beginning that had me howling...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr152018

Isle of Dogs Goes Wide. 

What did you see this weekend? We'll skip the charts this week but let it be known that The Rock had another #1 opening weekend ($34 million for Rampage), horror hit A Quiet Place closed in on $100 million, and Isle of Dogs went wide in its 4th weekend and has a cumulative gross of $18 million. That means it's going to be about as succcessful as Fantastic Mr Fox and The Life Aquatic (i.e. his second tier successes) with his tier 1 biggest hits by a large margin being Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Moonrise Kingdom

I've been a bit sad that the inventive delights and storytelling nuances of Isle of Dogs aren't being discussed as thoroughly as the film's take on Japan...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr022018

Isle of Dogs and Japanese culture: Riff, love letter, or appropriation?

by Lynn Lee

A friend on Facebook recently asked me, after I posted a positive response to Isle of Dogs, what I thought about the controversy over Wes Anderson’s alleged cultural appropriation of Japan.  My initial answer was that it bothered me a little bit, but not enough to mar my enjoyment of the movie.  Later I realized that I’d just implicitly accepted the charge that there was cultural appropriation and, as an Asian American, felt mildly guilty that it didn’t bother me.  But on further reflection, I’m not sure either of those knee-jerk reactions was warranted.  It’s more complicated than that.

The question of cultural appropriation can be broken down a few different ways...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May182017

Today's 4: Auntie Mame, The Breakfast Club, In the Realm of the Senses, and Laika

Another day, another chance to boost your spirits by celebrating showbiz history whilst you go about your here and now. Only four today since we decided the fifth would be better off in a beauty break style post later today. 

May 18th Showbiz History

2018 Okay this is future history but Laika has claimed this date for their next movie. We don't know what it is yet but who cares, it's Laika!

In their honor today: Rank Laika's releases thus far in the comments. They are in chronological order Coraline (2009), Paranorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Blockbusters of 1985, Auntie Mame and more after the jump...

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Thursday
Feb022017

Watching "The Man in The High Castle" As Democracy Crumbles

by Deborah Lipp

It’s possible that The Man in the High Castle was born to drive us all insane. It’s possible that Philip K. Dick dropped a lot of acid, looked into the future, saw our current political situation, and sent The Man in the High Castle to try to save us. It’s also possible I have been watching too much cable news. 

The Man in the High Castle is the second-best show on Amazon Prime. Based on the 1962 novel by renowned mind-bender (and acid-dropper) Philip K. Dick (who brought us Blade Runner and Total Recall), the show depicts an alternate history, in which Germany and Japan won World War II, and divided the US between themselves. Our characters take us inside both the Japanese and German regimes, as well as inside the resistance movement operating against each. 

I am watching a TV show about resistance movements. My Facebook feed says “resist”. The “RESIST” sign in Washington Square Park, protesting on behalf of Muslim immigrants, glowed in the dark. Resist...

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Tuesday
Dec062016

Doc Corner: 'Mavis!' and 'We Are X' Spotlight the Music

Every year there are so many documentaries about musicians that it sometimes feels as if we will surely run out. We of course all know that will never be the case, and in this landscape of film distribution, documentaries like these are the easiest sells so it’s hard to blame the makers. In 2016 alone we’ve see films about The Beatles, Nick Cave, Oasis, Frank Zappa, and the late Sharon Jones. Jim Jarmusch has released Gimme Danger about Iggy Pop and The Stooges and there has even been yet another Rolling Stones doc called The Rolling Stones Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America that I never knew existed.

This week we’re looking at two more that are on this year’s Oscar eligibility long-list and which focus on polar-opposite worlds of music: rhythm and blues icon Mavis Staple and Japanese hard-rock phenomenon X.

Click to read more ...