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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

star struck

Holding a grudge
Sarah Michelle Gellar goes from hunting vampires to ghostbusting in Takashi Shimizu’s The grudge
By Chris Betros

Takashi Shimizu and Sarah Michelle Gellar
Chris Betros

Sarah Michelle Gellar reckons the scariest scene to film
in The Grudge (called The Juon in Japan) was the shower sequence. “There were 17 Japanese men in there with me,” she says with a laugh.

Gellar, who has been fighting vampires on TV for seven years as Buffy, plays Karen, a part-time social worker who is in Japan with her student boyfriend. One day she takes a job as a caregiver for a catatonic American woman who is freaked out because the house is haunted by a dead mother and son who don’t want anyone moving in.

Directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also directed the original Japanese version it’s the latest Hollywood remake of a Japanese horror film, which producer Sam Raimi praises highly—so much so that he insisted Shimizu be given the job and not an American director. However, this caused some problems, Takashi recalls. “I had a good conversation with Sam and we were both on the same level. He wanted me to keep the ambiguity of the Japanese horror movie, but after we started editing, the studio bosses said the opposite. They wanted the typical American pattern where everything is cut and dried, so we had a bit of conflict.” Fortunately, audiences in Japan will get to see the director’s cut, while US audiences have to wait until it is released on DVD in June.

“I generally find Japanese horror [films] scarier than American ones. Maybe it is because we find those things that are different or unfamiliar to be scary,” says Gellar, who is skilled in kickboxing and taekwondo. She had a ball in Japan, visiting Kyoto, Hakone, Ueno and taking in some sumo. “We had a purification ceremony on the set before we started and that was an intense experience.”

Born in New York, Gellar went to school with fellow actor Macaulay Culkin. She did theater work and some controversial TV ads, including one for Burger King that resulted in her and the company being sued by McDonald’s. Also, because of the truth in advertising law then (“I only eat at Burger King”), she reportedly could only venture into other fast-food restaurants in disguise.

She made her feature film debut in High Stakes (1989), but it wasn’t until 1997 that she got her big breakthrough as the title actor in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In between TV work, she made films such as Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions and two Scooby-Doo films. “I don’t feel typecast by Buffy or any one genre,” she says. “I look at every role separately and don’t compare them. I just try to stay true to the character and put forth the director’s vision of the movie.”



the scene
Sushi bar mayhem
online movie Kaiten LAUNCHES WITH A BANG

Virgin Café in Roppongi hosts the launch of a short, three-part film called Kaiten (English title: Life Is a Merry-Go-Round), an offbeat mystery set in a sushi restaurant. It can only be seen on the Internet at http://cinemawave.jp/pc/live/gemcerey/index.html Clockwise from top left: Cinema analyst and emcee Fumine Yakumo; American TV personality Kaiya; Mayuko Iwasa fires her gun as other cast members look on; director Seiji Matsumura.



Richard Northcott
Switched-on lifestyles

A smart phone that you can wear on your wrist?
No, it’s not science fiction, but a very plausible device, says Australian entrepreneur Richard Northcott, CEO of Enfour Group, a Tokyo-based global leader in multilingual mobile solutions and content. It’s a company he set up in 1992.

When did you first come to Japan?
I came here on a working holiday visa in 1986, attended Sophia University and worked at Sun Music, a music production company, and then Sony Communications and CBS Sony.

What had you studied at university?
Restoration of art.

Big difference from what you are doing now, right?
In those days, they were looking for anyone with any sort of computer experience. I’m basically self-taught all along the way and I’m still learning.

What are you focusing on now?
Mainly two areas. One is the embedded side of mobile solutions and that is helping handset manufacturers put software inside. The second is online software for mobile phones, mainly focusing on the practical solution end of the market rather than entertainment.

Which of your products is an example of that?
TangoTown. It turns your mobile phone into a complete communication, reference and learning tool by combining a multilingual dictionary engine, UniDict, with a variety of educational tools and cultural information sources.

So what about this wearable wrist phone?
It’s just a matter of cost and demand. But you first have to build a lifestyle aspect. Function and form are important but social acceptance is too. Unlike when they first came out, handsets are now ubiquitous, but Star Trek “broache phones” would find too much resistance right now.

What’s a typical day for you?
I show up about 11 or midday. Sometimes I’ll work all night. I’m usually in the office until late.

How do you relax when you are not working?
I practice karate, so I try and get out early occasionally for that. I like to socialize after midnight. I catch up with my friends for drinking in Shinjuku.

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.