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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

Fun and games
Despite turning 50, Bruce Willis is still having a ball with the action genre
Text and photo by Chris Betros

It’s hard to believe Bruce Willis is 50. It is even harder to believe it has been 17 years since he first played the wisecracking John McClane in Die Hard, which catapulted him from TV star to international movie hero. “I was a punk kid back then, coming from Moonlighting on TV. I thought I knew everything,” Willis said during a recent visit to Japan to promote his latest film, Hostage. “But now, I think I am still learning how to act. I’ve been fortunate that I have been able to do parts that are right for my age. The characters are more mature and better written.”

In Hostage, directed by Frenchman Florent Siri, Willis plays Jeff Talley, a failed LAPD hostage negotiator who now works as the police chief in a small town. When three punks take a family hostage in a mansion, the situation quickly gets out of control. It seems the hostage dad has a criminal secret. Talley is threatened by a mysterious group (Mafia, Feds, CIA, take your pick) that if he doesn’t defuse the situation and deliver an item from within the house, his own wife and daughter will be killed.

Based on the novel by Robert Crais, Hostage features plenty of the action that audiences expect from a Willis movie. It’s a genre the tightlipped star finds hard to leave. Apart from occasional successes like The Sixth Sense in 1999, his forays into other genres, particularly comedy, have bombed. “I have had so much success with action that it’s hard to break away, but I feel the genre needs to reinvent itself,” he said. “I tried hard in Hostage to make it so that audiences wouldn’t be sure whether or not Talley saves everyone. It’s not just an action film; it’s more about how far you would go to save your family.”

Willis’ 17-year-old daughter Rumer is cast as Talley’s daughter. “We had a lot of fun,” he said of their scenes together. Asked how far he would go to save his family, Willis responded: “I don’t know. I hope I am never in that situation. I think the work of hostage negotiators is never fully appreciated. They do a difficult job and it’s good to make a film about them.”

At 50, Willis shows no signs of slowing down, mixing lead roles with smaller parts in indie productions. Sometimes he can’t keep track of it all himself. “I’m doing one now in Toronto… I can’t remember the name, oh yes, 16 Blocks. I’m really enjoying myself. I got to make a cameo with a bunch of friends in Ocean’s Twelve just for fun. We’re making Die Hard 4.0 for next summer. That’s a challenge because our goal is to make it a success even if you haven’t seen the first three. The first one is still my favorite.”

Before that, Willis will be seen in Sin City, followed by Lucky Number Slevin, Alpha Dog, Over the Hedge and Solace. He is also discussing a horror film with Japanese director Hideo Nakata. Whatever he chooses, he knows that his business is very much hit and miss. “I just finished a movie with Sir Ben Kingsley and he said something that stuck with me. We’re like gladiators who have to suit up again and entertain audiences, no matter how your last film did. It is always a challenge.”

Another challenge for Willis is keeping in shape, something that gets harder as he ages. “I don’t enjoy working out as much as I used to since it’s all for work nowadays,” he said. “I just try to eat right and not be stupid.”



Elizabeth Oliver
Animal-lover from Kansai teaches Tokyoites about pet care

Courtesy of ARK

In 1990, Elizabeth Oliver founded the ARK animal shelter near Osaka
to rescue stray, abandoned, and abused animals. Currently, ARK is home to about 300 dogs, 200 cats, a pig, two rabbits, a chicken, a chinchilla, a guinea pig and a hedgehog. This month sees the launch of Tokyo ARK, to educate people in the Kanto region about animal welfare.

What does ARK do with all these animals?
Our aim is to rehabilitate them and find them loving homes. All the animals receive health checks, blood tests, vaccinations, and all are neutered prior to adoption. The dogs are also microchipped.

Why did you start ARK?
I used to rescue animals on my own, so I created ARK to get more people involved and to raise money. Pet food companies donate most of the animal food and pharmaceutical companies donate medicine.

How did you come to live in Osaka?
I came to stay with friends and have been here ever since.

What are your favorite animals?
Horses, closely followed by dogs and pigs. I like mixed-breed dogs, as each one has its individual character and looks. I have 20 dogs at home, and ten cats.

Must be crowded!
One dog, Biwa, sleeps in my bed with me, so in the winter I am very warm.

What are the names of the others?
Badger, Why Me?, Sparkey, Tsuki, Spaghetti, and Murphy, to name but a few.

How can people treat animals better?
There is a need for education. When we are looking for a new home for a dog or cat, we have a four-page questionnaire that people must fill out. We also conduct interviews and home checks. We have to know that an animal from a miserable background can have a great future.

Do you think Japan is a pet-friendly place?
Not compared with Britain, my home country. But things are improving. Cooperation with the government and veterinarians is crucial.

How can people help?
Anyone thinking about getting a pet should contact us. There are also animal sponsorship, donation, volunteer and employment opportunities available. NU

Call 080-6517-9632 or email tokyoark@arkbark.net for more information. www.arkbark.net (Japanese)

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