by Kenji Fujishima

by Kenji Fujishima Retrospective Film

Night and Day | Hong Sang-soo

October 19, 2018
Night and Day

Hong Sang-soo’s 2009 film Night and Day marks many firsts for the director, including his first film shot on digital and his first to be filmed outside his native South Korea. At 144 minutes, Night and Day is also Hong’s longest film by a considerable distance. That doesn’t mean that Night and Day is a radical departure for the filmmaker; it is, as with many of his films before it and many since, a merciless dissection of a self-absorbed male artist’s fragile ego…

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by Kenji Fujishima Retrospective Film

Tokyo Tribe | Sion Sono

August 26, 2016
Tokyo Tribe

Though the presence of Shota Sometani, the tortured lead actor of Sion Sono’s Himizu—who’s even sporting the same gray hoodie he wore in that previous film—establishes a link between Sono’s more serious Fukushima Daiichi disaster-related films, Tokyo Tribe is resolutely in the maximalist vein of the director’s glorious movie-about-moviemaking Why Don’t You Play in Hell? If anything, Tokyo Tribe even manages to top the blissfully insane pleasures of its predecessor. Imagine a Warriors-influenced rap musical set in a dystopian Tokyo wherein various street gangs are…

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by Kenji Fujishima Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2014 – Dispatch 2

September 12, 2014
TIFF142

With a film festival as stacked to the gills as the TIFF, thematic trends are bound to pop up. Last year, doppelgängers appeared to be a trend, with films like Enemy, The Double and A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness. This year, with the first three films in this second dispatch (here’s the first), the spectacle of older filmmakers pontificating on the younger generation dominates, with wildly mixed results.…

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by Kenji Fujishima Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2014 – Dispatch 1

September 9, 2014
TIFF141

Another year, another insanely packed Toronto International Film Festival. While there are certainly titles premiering at TIFF this year that interest me, my festival experience so far has mostly been spent catching up with titles that played at Cannes, which, sadly, I was unable to attend this year for boring personal reasons. In fact, the first film I saw at TIFF was this year’s Palme winner……

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by Kenji Fujishima Feature Articles Film

MoMA’s Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions and the Anti-City Symphony Disorder

May 9, 2013
Disorder

If we’re talking about a “golden age of documentaries,” as many seem to be doing these days, then we really should be talking more about the recent influx of documentaries coming out of China. With the Communist Chinese government as repressive as it is, more filmmakers there are turning to the documentary form to catalog and explore the various injustices and inequalities they see in their society, among other subjects. Even better, these filmmakers are bringing their own distinctive personal…

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by Kenji Fujishima Retrospective Film

Five Dedicated to Ozu | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
Five Dedicated to Ozu

Even in his earlier, more relatively conventional films, Abbas Kiarostami always maintained an eye for radical formal experimentation. Close Up, for instance, is as much a meditation on the possibilities of fiction in capturing reality as it is a moving docudrama about an ordinary man so enraptured by art that he dares to impersonate one of his filmmaking idols. And though Taste of Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us certainly don’t lack in human interest, both are also just as noteworthy…

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