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“Shoplifters”: A Family Tied by Crime and Money

Koreeda Hirokazu’s Shoplifters tells the story of a “family” not connected by blood, getting by from day to day while struggling with poverty. While it tackles social issues, the film has a tender humor. Meticulous direction and strong performances helped it win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
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“Isle of Dogs”: A View from JapanMana Yaeko

Wes Anderson’s new film Isle of Dogs is a stop-motion animation with canine heroes set in a near-future Japan. While the dog puppets speak English, the human characters speak Japanese—but their words go untranslated for American audiences. For those who do understand Japanese, however, the jumbling of two languages cooks up a delightful confusion. The story takes place 20 years from now in th…
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Three-Meter Godzilla Statue Appears in Tokyo (News)

Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)—A ceremony was held on Thursday to unveil a three-meter-tall statue of popular Japanese movie monster Godzilla in Chiyoda, central Tokyo. The statue was created as a symbol of Hibiya Godzilla Square, renovated open space in front of commercial complex Hibiya Chanter. The new Godzilla statue unveiled in Chiyoda, Tokyo, on March 22, 2018. (© Jiji) The statue is…
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Tsuji Becomes First Japanese to Win Oscar for Makeup (News)

Los Angeles, March 4 (Jiji Press)—Japanese makeup artist Tsuji Kazuhiro won the Academy Award for best makeup and hairstyling on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese to receive the Oscar in the category. Tsuji Kazuhiro during an interview in 2012. (© Nippon.com) Tsuji, 48, received the award along with David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick, for their work in Darkest Hour. Tsuji, who is from t…
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Filmmaker Ōbayashi Nobuhiko: War and Peace and Cinema

Veteran director Ōbayashi Nobuhiko was told he had terminal cancer just before the filming of his latest film, Hanagatami, but lived to see it completed and is still thinking about his next project. In this interview, he talks about cinema and its connections with war and peace.
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Kawase Naomi’s “Radiance” Featured at Tokyo International Film Festival

Kawase Naomi is one of the best-known Japanese film directors at work today. Her latest movie Hikari (Radiance), recipient of the 2017 Ecumenical Jury award at the 2017 Festival de Cannes, was picked for screening in the prestigious “Japan Now” program at the thirtieth Tokyo International Film Festival. Kawase discussed her distinctive approach to filmmaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.
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“Your Name” to Be Remade into Hollywood Live-Action Movie (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 28 (Jiji Press)—Major Japanese movie distributor Tōhō. said Thursday that the megahit animation film Kimi no na wa (Your Name) will be remade into a Hollywood live-action movie. Toho said it granted the right to adapt the film into a live-action movie mainly to US film distributor and producer Paramount Pictures, and is currently working on creating the movie together. J. J. Abr…
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Japan’s Movie Theater Sign Painter: Star Power in Acrylic

When local movie theaters were important entertainment centers, sign painters played a key role in drawing spectators to the latest big film. Ōshita Takeo, who made a living for decades as a sign painter, keeps his movie passion alive by producing portraits of Japanese and international stars.
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Japan’s Animation Industry Failing to Cultivate Next Generation of Talent

With blockbusters like Shinkai Makoto’s Kimi no na wa (Your Name) making waves around the world, the Japanese animation industry would appear to be bursting with vitality. Yet behind the scenes at the nation’s animation production houses, the working conditions are little short of wretched, and the long-term future of made-in-Japan anime is anything but assured.
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Deciphering the Universality of Oshii Mamoru’s “Ghost in the Shell”Hikawa Ryūsuke

With Hollywood producing a live-action version of his 1995 animated movie Ghost in the Shell, famed anime director Oshii Mamoru’s original Kōkaku kidōtai is back in the spotlight. Anime researcher Hikawa Ryūsuke explores the impact that Oshii’s landmark film has had on science-fiction film, both in Japan and abroad, and the universality of its challenging themes.
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