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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

The clone ranger
Michael Bay combines morality and mayhem in The Island
By Chris Betros

When you go to see a Michael Bay film, you pretty much know what to expect: escapism, car chases, car crashes, explosions and general mayhem. After all, this is the man responsible for Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. Bay’s interest in thrills-a-minute movies was piqued when, age 15, he got a job on the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where he was able to watch his idol Steven Spielberg direct.

Things have turned full circle now with Spielberg asking Bay to direct The Island. It’s the first time that Bay has not made a film in collaboration with Jerry Bruckheimer, who launched him on his road to success in the 1990s. “Jerry was slightly pissed. We’ve had a great partnership and we will continue to make movies together, but being asked by Spielberg to direct was cool,” said Bay during a recent visit to Japan.

Set in the near future, The Island tells the story of a utopian society sealed off from the rest of the world. The residents, who live a carefully controlled existence, believe that a major contamination once took place in the outside world and that the only other paradise is an island where lucky lottery winners get to visit. However, two residents (Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson) start to question their reality and find out that they are actually clones, waiting to be harvested for “spare parts” by ailing, wealthy sponsors.

Besides having the usual mayhem of Bay’s other films, The Island deals with moral issues such as cloning. “It’s one of the most complicated questions there is,” said McGregor via satellite hookup from London, where he is appearing in the stage production of Guys and Dolls. “It deals with the very fabric of existence. We’re already at the point where we can tamper with life. I’m not really sure how I feel about it. If cloning could help cure illnesses, the benefits could be enormous, but the implications could be catastrophic.”

Bay said the movie is not meant to be a commentary on human cloning. “It’s more to show how selfish we can be,” he said. “We all want to live longer. It’s how we go about doing it that counts. I wouldn’t order a clone of myself for ‘spare parts’ because I don’t think it is right to take another life.”

Scottish star McGregor is having a big year. Besides The Island, he can currently be seen in Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith and is one of the voice cast of Robots. He said he had no hesitation about doing The Island straight after Star Wars. “Too often, action films are just about action, but The Island has a strong story at its heart. Anyway, I don’t think you can put The Island and Star Wars in the same bracket. The Island is set in the near future with a theme that is more relevant to our society, while Star Wars is set, as they say, in a galaxy far, far away.”

In The Island, McGregor gets to indulge in one of his passions—riding motorbikes. He also gets to be passionate with Johansson. “When I cast them, I didn’t know if they’d have any chemistry,” Bay joked. “So I told them to go to their trailer for three hours and make out and then come back.”



Noriko Ina
Bringing hope from Hiroshima to the stage

This Saturday, Aug 6, marks 60 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Studies estimate that more than 230,000 people were killed by the bomb and the radiation it caused. Another 100,000 died from the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later. Noriko Ina, 41, is the director of Red Cranes, a theater company that will perform A Thousand Cranes in English to commemorate the world’s first nuclear attack.

Where are you from?
I was born in Saitama and grew up in Kanagawa.

When did you start acting?

When I was 6. I wrote stories, made sets and acted in front of friends. Later I studied and performed with the Takarazuka before going to Hollywood to the Stella Adler Academy.

What do the Red Cranes symbolize?
We want to be a wing between Japan and other countries. Red is the symbol of our passion.

Tell us about your play.
It’s the story of a 12-year-old girl called Sadako, who, dying after the bomb, folded paper cranes in the hope of one wish: to be able to run again. It’s not only about the Hiroshima tragedy, but also hope, peace, friendship and dreams. There is a famous statue of Sadako in the peace park in Hiroshima.

You also performed in the US?
Yes, as part of Stella Adler’s children’s outreach project. After 9/11, everything changed, and our challenge was to pick up the story of Hiroshima there. We performed 13 times in front of 1,000 kids.

What was their reaction?
They loved it. I directed it kabuki style, and they were really interested in the movements, masks and kimono. They asked us lots of questions about the bomb, the cranes and kabuki.

Where is your favorite place in the world?
Anywhere with my kids and good friends.

What are your favorite plays or musicals?
The Seagull, by Chekhov; Summer and Smoke, by Tennessee Williams; Musical Passion, by Stephen Sondheim.

Do you think Japan will always be a peace-loving nation?

Yes. We have to be.

What is your personal message to your audience on this anniversary?
The time has come to fold a thousand cranes again.

Red Cranes will perform at Tsutsujigaoka Studio in Chofu on Aug 6. See stage listings for details. AV

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