Roger Cohen waxes dismayed over Japan's apparent propensity for encouraging otaku-dom. His argument feels like a kindler, gentler version of the sort of Oh, Those Wacky Japs luridness that was all the rage in the Eighties — although I'd argue the West has built its own versions of psychological isolationism that are just as crippling.
The Times glances over a run of Kurosawa's work at the Film Forum: "it might seem a little strange that ... there isn’t a horse or a castle in sight, and where the weapon of choice is a Colt pistol. It shouldn’t. Of the 30 movies Kurosawa directed, better than half tell stories of present-day Japan ... " Under the 'scope: Stray Dog, one of the Emperor's better and yet least-discussed films. Must talk about that one someday.
And in a survey of "Books You Can Live Without", I was heartened to see Hubert Selby, Jr. make the cut not just once but twice.