“A Silent Voice” hits the big screen in and around Seattle as one of the most widely-praised anime features in recent years — and from one of the very few female anime feature directors. It approaches the lives of the handicapped in Japan, what’s going right and wrong, and bullying issues to boot. It’s been supported by the Japanese deaf community. While I found the film uneven in its approach and its overall tone, it deserves attention and support for the following reasons.
Monika Jolly, who stars as Zarina in ArtsWest’s production of Ayad Ahktar’s play, “The Who & The What,” came by the role in a manner you don’t hear about every day. She created it.
“I just love singing,” enthused Korean soprano Yeonji Lee, making her debut with Seattle Opera in the new production, “An American Dream.” “Singing makes me feel alive. Singing makes my heart beat. Particularly, I like singing because I’m using my whole body to create music.”
Pianist and keyboardist Masabumi Kikuchi, aka Poo Sun, aka Poo, was born in Tokyo in 1939 and died in Manhasset, N.Y. in 2015.
“Seattle, compared to different cities, is clean and safe.
Russian director Vitaly Mansky mentions upfront that his new film, theoretically a documentary, has a script provided to him by North Korean authorities. “Under the Sun,” shot entirely in North Korea, and made entirely under the authority of the totalitarian North Korean government, is designed as a propaganda piece.
Nickolas Vassili, the writer and director of “The United States of China,” stepped in front of the gathered crowd to give some background on the work. This was Friday night, July 8, at the Palladium at Hale’s Brewery, the first of three nights for the play. He explained that he was inspired to write from the film “Network,” invoking the famous line from the film, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo carries a reputation as his country’s Woody Allen. Unlike Woody Allen, he’s never dated or married his stepdaughter, nor been caught up in child abuse allegations. But Hong makes films about older men, usually filmmakers like himself, chasing after younger women. In real life, he’s reportedly dating his leading lady from “Right Now, Wrong Then,” Kim Min-hee, who’s 34 to his 54.
Johnnie To’s “Three” opens with a surgery. Scheduled surgery, emergency surgery, the action doesn’t make it clear which — possibly some of both — with the circumstances left unstated.
Jakarta, Indonesia has, by Wikipedia’s reckoning, 9,607,787 people, making it one of the world’s largest cities.