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Immortal But Not Untouchable

Immortal But Not Untouchable

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Japanese director Takashi Miike has a reputation for ultra-violence. It’s not always deserved. His latest film, “Blade of the Immortal,” is the 100th entry in a filmography that includes movies made for children. One of his best films, “The Bird People in China,” came out straight to video in the US and […]

A Mystery Appears, Then Vanishes

A Mystery Appears, Then Vanishes

BY STEVE ERICKSON | The best films in the exciting wave of Japanese horror cinema that began about 20 years ago pointed to the fraying of the family as one of their main sources of tension and anxiety. Takashi Miike’s “Audition” turned into a feminist revenge fantasy attacking the stereotypical assumptions of its male protagonist […]

A Father Knows

A Father Knows

BY STEVE ERICKSON | Among Japanese directors of his generation (now in their 50s), Hirokazu Kore-eda stands apart. Other than the fanciful “Air Doll,” in which an inflatable sex doll comes to life, he’s shown no interest in making genre films. Instead, he’s stuck to Japan’s lengthy tradition of family dramas in the vein of Yasujiro […]