Hidden Gems: Tokyo Godfathers

  ****½ One cold Christmas Eve, A baby cries in Tokyo. Where is your mother? Loosely based on the 1948 John Wayne film 3 Godfathers, Satoshi Kon’s Tokyo Godfathers tells the story of three homeless outcasts who find a new-born baby abandoned on Christmas Eve and set off across the city on a quest to […]

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Hidden Gems: Millennium Actress

***** Ever since her swift rise to fame in the twilight years of World War Two, actress Chiyoko Fujiwara was the brightest star of the Japanese film industry, inspiring dedicated fans across the country. She was the ‘it girl’, the heroine, the princess. And then she was gone. Years after her sudden and unexplained disappearance […]

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Hidden Gems: Mission to Lars

***** Tom is 40, and has lived in the same care home for over 20 years. He has Fragile X Syndrome, a kind of ‘autism with bells on,’ as his sister Kate puts it. His life in the pleasant country surroundings of Bystock Court is peaceful and routine, which may seem somewhat at odds with […]

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Hidden Gems: Whisper of The Heart

**** In the mid-nineties, years before Hayao Miyazaki achieved global acclaim with the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, he and his Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata were already looking for talented animators to succeed them as the animation studio’s head directors. With Yoshifumi Kondô, an animator who had worked with the pair for over a decade, they […]

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