Cinema Escapist

Explore and connect the world through a cinematic lens

East Asia

Review: “Book-Paper-Scissors” Honors Japanese Artisan Culture Amidst Modernity

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"Book-Paper-Scissors" offers a contemplative and philosophical view on maintaining traditional Japanese art in a modern society.

Review: “Fukushima 50” Offers Uncontroversial Take On Japan’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster

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Starring Ken Watanabe, "Fukushima 50" avoids controversy as part of faithfully reflecting Japanese realities around Fukushima Daiichi.

Japanese Indie Drama “My Identity” Examines A Fractured Taiwanese-Japanese Immigrant Identity

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In her heartfelt debut film “My Identity,” which screens at Japan Cuts 2020, Sae Suzuki explores being misunderstood in a Taiwanese-Japanese immigrant coming-of-age story.

Netflix’s “TWogether” Highlights the Legacy of English in Asia

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Featuring Lee Seung-gi and Jasper Liu, Netflix reality show "TWogether" reveals the traces of colonial English in Southeast and South Asia.

Review: What “A Silent Voice” Can Tell Us About Ableism and Tolerance in Japan

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Kyoto Animation's 2016 hit anime movie "A Silent Voice" deftly tackles controversial social issues in Japan.

Review: “House of Hummingbird” Paints A Bleak Coming-of-Age

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In "House of Hummingbird," Korean director Kim Bora examines adolescence and alienation in 1990s Seoul.

Korean Film “Beauty Water” Depicts the Horrors of Keeping Up with Beauty Standards

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Debuted at Annecy 2020, Korean animated movie "Beauty Water" provides a dark view of using plastic surgery to change one’s socioeconomic standing.

Netflix’s “Rea(L)ove” Raunchily Reveals Japan’s Sexual and Gendered Taboos

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Often contrasted with “Terrace House,” Netflix dating show "Rea(L)ove" highlights the gendered anxieties in contemporary Japanese dating.

Interview: “Japanology” Host Peter Barakan—Japan’s Accidental Ambassador

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Peter Barakan talks about bridging Japan and the world with NHK’s “Begin Japanology” and beyond.

Review: Netflix’s “Extracurricular” Is a Dark High School Drama Exploring Teen Problems

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Netflix original K-drama "Extracurricular" subverts traditional high school teen drama cliches by exploring issues like compensated dating.

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