mon 27/05/2019

Japan

Hiromi Kawakami: The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino review - Don Juan as a salaryman

My first, beguiling taste of Hiromi Kawakami’s fiction came when, in 2014, I and my fellow-judges shortlisted Strange Weather in Tokyo for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. That delicate, unsettling tale of a romance between a younger woman and...

Read more...

Manga, British Museum review - stories for outsiders

Manga, the Japanese art of the graphic novel, took its modern form in the 1800s. Illustrated stories already had a long heritage in Japan — encompassing woodblock prints and illustrated scrolls and novels — but the introduction of the printing press...

Read more...

Pokémon Detective Pikachu review - a cute commercial

This is the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? of the Pokémon franchise, bringing the video game’s cute critters into a live-action, film noir world, as Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) turns Holmes-hatted detective to help teenage human Tim (Justice Smith) find his...

Read more...

DVD: Mifune - The Last Samurai

Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 early masterpiece Rashomon was a revelation for post-war western screen audiences, winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival that year and becoming a standard-bearer for the new generation of Japanese film. Its lead...

Read more...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Kankyō Ongaku

Of the 20-plus names gathered on the superbly packaged Kankyō Ongaku, it’s likely that only Yellow Magic Orchestra and their members Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto are familiar to most non-Japanese listeners. Initially, it seems a big ask to...

Read more...

Shoplifters review - deserved Cannes prize winner

When a film is about a crime family, audience expectations tend to involve mobsters and thrills, but that’s not the territory that Hirozaku Kora-eda is exploring here. He opens his tale with a camera tracking leisurely across a Tokyo supermarket. A...

Read more...

Kusama - Infinity review - amazing tale of survival against the odds

Wearing a red dress covered in black polka dots and a bright red wig, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama sits drawing, a look of intense concentration on her face. It takes her three days, she says, to finish one of these huge repeating patterns (main...

Read more...

CD: Tim Hecker - Konoyo

It may be mean to say, but it seems sadness agrees with Tim Hecker. The Canadian has been a mainstay of the global experimental music world almost since the turn of the millennium, sitting somewhere between neo-classical, shoegaze, ambient and...

Read more...

Blu-ray: Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters

So much of Japan can be lost in translation, and yet the West is fascinated by a culture that articulates the possibilities of belief and being in such a different mode than our own. Paul Schrader’s now classic 1985 film on the writer and actor...

Read more...

Ryuichi Sakamoto: 'Ideally I'm recording all the time, 24 hours a day' - interview

Ryuichi Sakamoto has conquered underground and mainstream with seeming ease over four decades, never dropping off in the quality of his releases. Indeed his most recent projects, following his return to public life after treatment for throat cancer...

Read more...

Madama Butterfly, Glyndebourne review - perverse staging, outstanding cast

Puccini’s heroines and the rough treatment he hands out to them have come in for plenty of opprobrium over the years. But just occasionally they fight back on his behalf in the person of an outstanding singing actress; and this is exactly the case...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: An Actor's Revenge

Japanese director Kon Ichikawa’s An Actor’s Revenge is something of a one-off. Even in the context of the prolific director’s career variety, it’s an unusually stylised and visually captivating story of high artifice – there’s rich melodrama in its...

Read more...
Subscribe to Japan