Is the EMPEROR Guilty?

Review of EMPEROR, Directed by Peter WebberDepending on your level of interest in WWII’s Pacific theater, you will have heard of the post-surrender dilemma: should the United States place Emperor Hirohito on trial for war crimes? To do so would satisfy the populations of the West, but it would also throw Japan into turmoil with the resulting popular uprisings and a disintegration of social and political institutions. If you know your history, the ending of this film won’t be surprising. Emp … [Read more...]

Food Dreams

Review of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Directed by David GelbBy KENDRICK KUOI love sushi, but I don't dream of it. Jiro does. The documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi examines the life and art of Jiro Ono, who is hailed as the world's best sushi shokunin.The word Japanese word shokunin literally means 'craftsman' or 'artisan,' but it's pregnant with much weightier meaning that verges on public service, whereby the shokunin is conscious of the great role he plays in society by carrying out the … [Read more...]

Tokyo Loneliness

Review of Tokyo Story, Directed by Yasujiro OzuBy PAUL D. MILLERRoger Ebert recently updated his personal list of the ten best film of all time.  I had seen eight of them and knew of a ninth, but had never even heard of the tenth.  I Googled the mystery film and learned that it is not on the IMBD’s list of the top 250 films of all time and it won no Oscars—so, really, how good could it be?  But then it popped up again as #3 on the Sight & Sound list of top films, just behind Vertigo a … [Read more...]

Where’s Mom? Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows

Reivew of Nobody Knows, Directed by Hirokazu Kore-edaBy CHRISTIAN HAMAKERThere are four of them, plus mom—for a while. She’s just moved the family into a new apartment. The kids love mom, even when she implies they might be to blame for the family’s wanderings. One young child made too much noise at their previous residence, or so mom says. It’s the child’s fault that the family has been uprooted. Or is it?Nobody Knows, the acclaimed 2004 film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, isn’t … [Read more...]