Adventures in (Post) Gradland

Thoughts on life after the PhD

No Illusions: Shinya Tsukamoto’s 野火 (Fires on the Plain)

I’m pretty tired of films that try to depict war as a clear-cut battle between good and evil, or really as anything resembling a world of order and reason. I’m … Continue reading

August 18, 2015 · 2 Comments

Chaos in the Wrong Place: Nihon no ichiban nagai hi (The Emperor in August)

The last few years have seen the release of several big-budget period dramas commemorating Japan’s wartime experiences both at home and abroad. One of the more controversial efforts was Eien … Continue reading

August 6, 2015 · 1 Comment

Film Review: きみはいい子 (Being Good)

Being Good is full of characters who have never been told that they were good. Some of them hide it well–they have to, in order to function in modern Japan–but … Continue reading

July 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Red Rooms, Haunted Screens, and the Terror of Loneliness

Mention Japanese urban legends and you’ll probably think of kuchisake-onna, the slit-mouthed woman who terrifies children by removing her surgical mask to reveal a bloody grin. Or maybe toire no … Continue reading

June 8, 2015 · 4 Comments

Mexican Food in Tokyo

So the semester’s in full swing, which means I’m back to not knowing which way is up or down and forgetting my own name occasionally, though at least I’m a … Continue reading

April 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Four Mini-Reviews

A few more films that I didn’t have time to write full reviews of: Paprika (2006) This film by the late, great animator Satoshi Kon (who also made Tokyo Godfathers … Continue reading

March 23, 2015 · 1 Comment

Tuxes and Tea: An Afternoon at Swallowtail Butler Cafe

  The butler cafe was supposed to be a “research” trip, or just one of those at-least-I-can-say-I-did-it experiences. But I ended up kind of loving it. Butler cafes are one … Continue reading

March 8, 2015 · 3 Comments

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