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776: Streep talk
775: World of difference
774: Shocks and Bonds
773: Viva La Revolución
772: Jacqui Bayne
768: Beyond the universe
767: Yasuhito Endo
766: Aroon Mahtani
765: Dr. Hidemi Akai
764: Badr Hari
763: Mizuki Kubodera
761: Patrick W. Galbraith
760: Jean-Pierre Felix
759: Philippe Grau
758: Emi Kashiwara & Elekiteru
757: Aura Virginia Chirculescu
756: Aaron Davis
755: Happy days
754: Bryan Au
753: Martin van der Linden
752: Qinggelete
751: Chuck Johnson
750: Mike Applegate (aka Magic Mike)
749: Yukie Kito
748: Steve Kaufmann
746: Samira Zarghami
745: Raising the Bar
744: Pierre-Gilles Delorme
743: David F. Hoenigman
742: Miwa Gardner
741: Kevin Cooney
740: Kyle Cleveland
739: JJ
738: Bruce Stronach
737: Yoichiro Dennis Ide
736: Mike Garrett
735: Hiroki Suehara
734: Rise and Shrine
733: Patrik Washburn
732: Michael Bumgardner
731: Patricia Bader-Johnston
730: Darin Maki
729: Hiroshi Fujimaki
728: Misha Janette
727: Jon Mitchell
725: Hokuto Konishi
724: Rita Lamah Hankach
723: Kisui Nakazawa
722: Angela Jeffs
721: Simon Wood
720: Yasuko Yokoyama
715: Jason Kelly
714: Dominica Serigano
713: Erik Gain
712: Genevieve Maylam
711: Masahiro Gono
710: Eikou Sumura
709: Eikou Sumura
708: Malcolm Thompson
707: Makiko Tsuji
706: Dominic Allen
705: Maria Heitanen
704: Beckie Cassidy
703: Jett Edwards
702: Yoshinobu Furuichi
701: Silvestre Jacobi
700: Jah-Light Sound System
699: Daniel Velazques
698: Lynne Charles
697: Eric Bragg
695: Susan Nichols
694: Anna Kunnecke
693: Kenneth Pechter
692: Kazu Wakui
691: Antonio Inoki
690: Hiroko Noguchi
689: Richard Bysouth
688: Eric Bjorndahl
687: Andrew Shuttleworth
686: Sayuri Suzuki
685: Yurie Hatanaka
684: Miogi Takii
683: Thierry Cohen
682: Ahmed M. Elmardi
681: Aya Kitagawa
680: Suzanne Ng and Yoriko Soma
679: Ricco DeBlank
677: Takenari Shibata
676: Kirk R. Patterson
675: Satoko Yahata
674: Flavia Nishimura
673: Ryo Shoji
672: Chip Eckton
671: Yuko Ito
670: Marja Kullberg
669: Laur Meyrieux
668: Slavomir Stanislaw Kowalewski
667: Ryan McGuire
664: Life force
663: Steve Marshall
662: Jeff Klein
661: Ahn Soon Han
660: Straight shooter
659: Marcello Pietrantonio
658: Glitterball 2006
657: Alison Roberts-Brown
656: Girl on the go
655: Rob Hoey
654: Kahori Ochi
653: Ed Wells
652: Haruka Orth
651: Laura Cook
650: Uleshka Asher
649: Full speed ahead
648: Katsumi Namekata
647: Top talent
646: No heels, no life
645: Joanna Roper
644: Lu Nagata
643: Kirill Konin
642: Gabriele Roberto
641: Carlos Gibbs
640: Blair Falahey
639: The Three Waiters
638: Simon Woodroffe
637: Tony Virili
636: Paul W. Creager
635: Randy Channell
634: Mari Takeuchi
633: Stephanie Schueller
632: Tara Tan Kitaoka
631: Katherine Mok
630: Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi
629: Tommy Kullberg
628: Toshio Nagashima
627: Eiko Kondo
626: Embrey Ramon Williams
625: Neil Day
624: Mong-Lan
623: Tor Hideki Kashio
622: Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
621: Louis Carlet
620: Theo Panagiotoulias
619: Lionel Gougne
618: Sarajean Rossitto
617: Christian Hassing
616: Kiho Takashima
614-615: David Wagner
613: Heather Stuart
612: Erica Angyal
611: Jack McLean
610: Fumine Yakumo
609: Yasutoshi Hirabayashi
608: Yoko Hijikata
607: Jim Frederick
605: Yuka Murakami
604: Chayne Ellis
603: Marco Antonio Nakata
602: Kicking Back
601: Stand by your man
600: Hero worship
599: The Candy man
598: Heart strings
597: Sweet and sour
596: Subtitle subtleties
595: The right moves
594: Mother’s day
593: The clone ranger
592: A career kicks off
591: Woman of substance
590: Final conflict
589: World Ready for ‘War’
588: Fun in the sun
587: New life for an old hero
586: Fun and games
585: Knockout punch
584: Patrick’s day
583: Marcia marches on
582: Brunch break
581: Kingdom come
580: Gentle as a beast
579: Prime time
578: Devil of a time
577: In first Gere
576: Bright spark
575: Rei of sunshine
574: A star is reborn
573: In search of geisha
572: Marshall law
571: In the Nic of time
570: Holding a grudge
569: Bourne again
568: Soap opera
567: Alexander and friends
566: Oceans apart
565: A night at the opera
564: Just joshing
563: McPain in the neck
561-562: Hanks for everything
560: Reading between the Klines
559: Risqué business
558: Sky highs
557: Korean boom
556: Queen Victoria
555: Glitter Ball
554: Peter Miller
553: Ralph Frehner
552: Dimension K
551: Tokyo Game Show
550: US Embassy
549: I, Robot Premiere
548: Mauve
547: Xterra Japan
546: Earth Celebration
545: Idée R-bar
544: Laforet Museum
543: Hara Museum
542: Fuji Rock Festival’04
541: Bunkamura Museum of Art

the scene

Earth Celebration


Clockwise from top left: gypsy brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia perform with a belly dancer, Kodo leader Motofumi Yamaguchi, Kodo drummers performing in the grand finale and an impromptu drum circle

Credit: Photos by Dan Grunebaum


star struck

Night of surprises

Director M Night Shyamalan once again toys with audiences in The Village


M Night Shyamalan and Bryce Dallas Howard

Ever since he scored a hit with The Sixth Sense in 1999, director M Night Shyamalan knows that when he makes a film, the audience expects a twist at the end. But the 34-year-old shrugs off the pressure. “I just try to make my films as personal as I can and hope they connect,” Shyamalan said during a visit to Tokyo with actress Bryce Dallas Howard to promote The Village, the fourth spooky film that he has written, produced and directed himself.

Set in rural Pennsylvania in 1897, The Village centers on an isolated hamlet surrounded by woods inhabited by unseen monsters, “those whom we do not speak of,” as they are referred to by the frightened citizens. According to a truce made generations ago, the creatures do not enter the village and the villagers do not broach the woods. But all that is about to change…and that’s all we can tell you because members of the media had to sign a contract promising not to reveal anything about “those whom we do not speak of.”

“Each of my movies is like therapy to me, talking out my issues,” said Shyamalan. “Unbreakable was about a guy feeling a burden, Signs was about a guy trying to regain his faith. The Village is about the irrational belief in love. However, I know that while the movies are very personal to me, I have established a relationship with audiences. If you hear there is a movie called The Door by M Night Shyamalan, people will have certain expectations. I cherish that responsibility. Studio bosses often tell me not to do this or that because audiences won’t get it, but I don’t believe that. I trust audiences.”

Born in India, Shyamalan was raised in Philadelphia. He has family all over the world and always tries to imagine how his relatives in India, London or Singapore will react to his films, as well as his Philadelphia friends with whom he eats burgers and plays basketball. “I think that’s why my films do well internationally,” he said.

For 23-year-old Howard (the daughter of Ron Howard), The Village is an impressive film debut. Her performance as a blind village woman has been widely praised. “I got lots of advice from my father, mainly to trust Night and not to ever take success for granted,” said the seasoned stage actress.

Shyamalan, who has turned down offers to collaborate with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on the fourth Indiana Jones film, and declined an offer to direct the third Harry Potter film, said he wants to keep pushing the boundaries himself to see how far he can go. “I know some people will say, ‘He’s a genius,’ and then I’ll walk around the corner and hear ‘His movies stink.’ Whether everyone loves or hates my movies is not important. Being true to myself is.”

Photo credit: Chris Betros




Noli Bravo

If you've ever been to the Lipo Bar at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel, you've probably seen Noli Bravo crooning for late-night customers. Before coming to Japan, Bravo was a traveling solo musician for about 15 years in his native Hawaii. Two years ago, he started playing four nights a week at the Capitol Tokyu, with occasional appearances at Konishiki's restaurant Unbalance. In addition to being a pianist, guitarist and vocalist, Bravo is a wedding minister and producer and has recently started his own company, Hawaiian Great Love (ai-love-u.jp), for couples who want to get married in the Aloha state.

I received an email from a very dear friend/mentor, Jesse Jocson, who offered me a fill-in job at a new piano bar in Koriyama. Afterwards, I landed a short but nice comfy gig at Hotel Grand Continental.

On my very first night at Lipo, someone asked me if I knew Tetsuya Komuro (very famous pop music producer). I thought it must have been the name of a song and said no, I didn't. It turns out he was in the hotel having dinner and wanted to come up for a brief jam session. I ended up singing while he busted his chops on the grand.

Absolutely. If you want to feel the connection, it doesn't come from clapping, but a nice simple chat always makes you feel more at home.


Solitude. Nothing is more meaningful than having to express your inner soul.

The late train ride home.

Business meetings, brainstorming, follow-ups and family bonding.

In the past, I worked as an accountant by day and musician by night. Now, I still do both, but only by budgeting my earnings from my night job and my new company. This is one tough accounting job now, believe me. CB

Photo credit: Courtesy of Noli Bravo