Cinema Escapist

Explore and connect the world through a cinematic lens


Review: “The Wife of a Spy” Is an Elegant Musing on Japanese Fascism from a Civilian’s Perspective


Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "The Wife of a Spy" depicts Japan’s gradual plunge into fascist darkness with an aesthetic evoking Japan’s Golden Age of Cinema.

Interview: Joe Odagiri On “They Say Nothing Stays the Same,” His Scenic Directorial Debut


Japanese actor turned director Joe Odagiri discusses his debut feature “They Say Nothing Stays the Same,” which screened at 2020's New York Asian Film Festival.

Review: “They Say Nothing Stays The Same” Tackles Westernization In Meiji-era Japan


Japanese director Joe Odagiri’s debut “They Say Nothing Stays the Same” has stunning vistas, but the film’s forays into genre muddle the point.

Review: Action-Packed “Labyrinth of Cinema” Conveys A Strong Anti-War Message


Nobuhiko Obayashi's last film "Labyrinth of Cinema" challenges viewers to reject militarism and advocates for pacifism.

Review: “Extro” Captures the Unglamorous Hardships of Being a Background Actor


In the mockumentary “Extro,” director Naoki Murahashi pokes fun at Japanese film industry tropes and power hierarchies.

Review: “Sacrifice” Offers Airy Take On Japanese Cults And National Traumas


Taku Tsuboi’s directorial debut “Sacrifice” blends philosophical musings about the Tohoku Earthquake and Aum Shinrikyo with cat killings—but falls short of meaningful commentary.

Review: “My Sweet Grappa Remedies” Shows a Middle-Aged Woman’s Gentle Slice-of-Life


Japanese director Akiko Ohku depicts friendship and loneliness for a middle-aged woman in “My Sweet Grappa Remedies."

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


"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


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


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.

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