Home
Feature
The Small Print
Faces & Places
The Goods
Travel
Tech Know
Sports
Cars & Bikes
Arts & Entertainment
Music
Japan Beat
Clubbing
Art
Stage
Books
The Agenda
Listings
TV
Movies
Dining Out
Sake
Wine
Tastemaker
Table Talk
Local Flavors
International Dining
Restaurant Review
Bar Review
Classifieds
Jobfinder
Horoscope
Mailbox
The Last Word
Photo of the Week
Archive
About Us
Subscribe
Search
Distribution Points

 

 

 

 PAST ISSUES
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

Kingdom come
Director Ridley Scott, Orlando Bloom and Eva Green examine the Crusades in their new epic
By Chris Betros

Chris Betros

If there’s one Western filmmaker who should feel at home in Muslim cultures by now, it would be Ridley Scott. His latest epic, Kingdom of Heaven, which deals with the Crusades, was filmed mainly in Morocco. It’s the third film he has shot in a Muslim country in five years, the first two being Gladiator and Black Hawk Down.

Kingdom centers on Balian (Orlando Bloom), a blacksmith who has lost his family. The religious wars raging in the Holy Land seem remote to him, yet he is pulled into the conflict. Amid the intrigues of medieval Jerusalem, Balian grows into a leader who must defend the city against staggering odds. Co-starring Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green and Edward Norton, Kingdom comes at a sensitive time, given the geopolitical tensions in the world today.

“I think the balance of the film is good,” said Scott. “All the Muslim roles were played by Muslim actors. Saladin is played by Syrian Ghassan Massoud, a renowned Muslim scholar. We discussed things every day and he was a great guiding influence.” Having filmed Gladiator in Morocco, Scott was no stranger to the kingdom. “The people were wonderful to work with. I have been asked, ‘Weren’t you threatened?’ Absolutely not. That’s the tabloid press in Europe spreading stories and they are the worst. We had a multinational cast and crew of Germans, Italians, French, British, Moroccans and many more, sometimes up to 2,000 a day, all working to make a bloody good movie.”

Kingdom marks Bloom’s second collaboration with Scott after Black Hawk Down (in which Scott heaved him out of a helicopter). In the past year, the 28-year-old British actor has shot up in the popularity stakes in Japan where he is referred to as “Orly.” Bloom seems to be making a career out of appearing in historical and fantasy epics (Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and Troy, for example). “I studied classical texts at drama school for three years. Maybe that has influenced my decisions,” he said.

A predominant theme in Kingdom of Heaven is code of honor. Scott likens the code of the European knights to the samurai code. “These figures carry the attributes of a hero,” he explained, “and one of the most important is that the character holds to his own degree of fairness, faithfulness and chivalry.” Bloom said the message he got from the film was “to walk the Earth and make the world a better place than when you found it.”

So how will Kingdom fare in the Muslim world? “Religion is just a word,” Scott said. “It has been abused by various factions of every order. Why don’t people let their instinct for goodness lead for a change?”





the scene

Thirst Japan Final
Female K-Switch wins Japan heat of Heineken’s global DJ challenge


From top: DJ K-Switch will advance to Thirst’s Asian final in Bangkok on May 28; club kid Nick Makahatadze; world-famous DJ Roger Sanchez performed at the Japan final, which was held at Ageha; Clubberia.com’s Hiroshi Naka (c) and Higher-Frequency.com’s Kei Tajima (r)
Photos by Mark Oxley www.higher-frequency.com

 

 

Q&A

Randy McGraw
From the old media to the new

It’s a long way from the small steel-working Pittsburgh suburb of Braddock to Tokyo, but Randy McGraw is right at home as vice president of business development at ImaHima, a new media company focused on mobile and online products, and president of the Penn (University of Pennsylvania)Club of Japan.

What first brought you to Japan?
DirecTV sent me in 1999 to help fix the Japan venture’s sales and marketing functions.

What led you to ImaHima?
It’s really a question of media, so-called old media and new media. Neither side really understands the other, but the growing entrepreneurial business opportunities are in the overlapping areas between them.

Tell us about the Japan Penn alumni.
It’s a highly active, multicultural and multigenerational group united by the common thread of US academic experience. There are over 2,000 graduates who have been active in some way over the past four years that I have been involved. We have seen a few marriages of people who met through the Penn Club, lots of successful job opportunities and placements. We also participate in fundraising for charities.

How do you relax?
Exercising at Golds Gym and writing music or playing one of my six guitars.

What is the weirdest thing you have done since you have been in Japan?
Stripping down to a loincloth, placing an enormous wooden phallus on my back, and happily toting it around a small town as part of an annual fertility festival. CB


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

top