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Mark Schilling

For Mark Schilling's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'My Fair Lady' wrapped in a geisha's kimono

Sep 17, 2014

'My Fair Lady' wrapped in a geisha's kimono

The musical used to be among the rarest of Japanese film genres. Plenty of films here — going back to the early talkies — featured singing and dancing, but Broadway-style musicals, which integrate the songs into the story, never really caught on. Is a ...

HK Hentai Kamen (HK: Forbidden  Super Hero)

Sep 17, 2014

HK Hentai Kamen (HK: Forbidden Super Hero)

Director: Yuichi Fukuda Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Yuichi Fukuda’s adaptation of a 1992-93 Keishu Ando manga is a goofy comedy/action film with a sense of humor that comes straight from the ickier corners of the adolescent male mind. A high school boy (Ryohei ...

Low City, High City

| Sep 13, 2014

Low City, High City

Best known for his translations of “The Tale of Genji” and the fiction of Yasunari Kawabata, for which the author won a Nobel Prize, Edward G. Seidensticker was also an accomplished essayist and historian. Low City, High City, by Edward G. Seidensticker.KNOPF, Nonfiction. The ...

Little Forest: Natsu/Aki (Little Forest: Summer/Autumn)

Sep 10, 2014

Little Forest: Natsu/Aki (Little Forest: Summer/Autumn)

Japanese food culture might be ancient, but Japan’s obsession with food in pop culture is relatively recent. The “gourmet boom” of the bubble-era 1980s — when Japanese had more money and leisure to dine in style, rather than simply fill their stomachs — was ...

Aku no Kyoten (Lesson of Evil)

Sep 10, 2014

Aku no Kyoten (Lesson of Evil)

Director: Takashi Miike Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Released in 2012 — when mass shootings by deranged killers were making headlines around the world — Takashi Miike’s film about a charismatic but violently psychotic teacher (Hideaki Ito) who finally takes a shotgun to his ...

A quarter century of Japanese films in review

Sep 3, 2014

A quarter century of Japanese films in review

In 25 years of reviewing Japanese films and interviewing Japanese filmmakers for this newspaper, I’ve written 1 million words, give or take a few. This is clearly something no normal person would do, but for me it beats working. The idea that writing about ...

Sake-Bomb

Sep 3, 2014

Sake-Bomb

Director: Junya Sakino Language: English, Japanese (subtitled in English) In Junya Sakino’s road movie “Sake-Bomb,” the excellent Gaku Hamada stars as an unworldly successor to a sake brewery who travels to Los Angeles to seek out an old flame, with his sarcastic, fast-talking American ...

Bloody hip-hop war set in technicolored Tokyo

Aug 27, 2014

Bloody hip-hop war set in technicolored Tokyo

A Japanese hip-hop musical? How about a samurai swashbuckler set on the streets of Compton, California? But Sion Sono makes his new film, “Tokyo Tribe,” more than an oddity of cultural appropriation. Truth be told, I felt queasy as the story, based on a ...

No leader of the pack, but still a heartthrob

Aug 20, 2014

No leader of the pack, but still a heartthrob

What is it with women and bad boys on motorcycles — including college boys with pretensions to being bad? A conundrum of my youth. Yes, I understood the appeal of a Marlon Brando or James Dean with a big thrumming machine between his legs, ...