Meta

RSS

Mark's RSS feed

Mark Schilling

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

'Harmonium': Dangerously good family drama

Sep 28, 2016

'Harmonium': Dangerously good family drama

The films of Koji Fukada have long wrapped ambitious themes in deceptively unassuming genre packages. His 2011 international breakout “Hospitalite” (“Kantai”) begins as a quirky comedy but becomes a sharp-edged drama of deceptions and secrets. Last year’s “Sayonara” starts as an offbeat essay in ...

'Scoop!': Read all about it here

Sep 21, 2016

'Scoop!': Read all about it here

Japanese weekly scandal magazines are pond scum, are they not? Dishing up grainy paparazzi photos of the famous and powerful, accompanied by wink-wink stories about improprieties and crimes — alleged or exposed — they appeal to the lowest common denominator, with their only raison ...

Yuki Tanada's new film sees the humor in societal changes

Sep 17, 2016

Yuki Tanada's new film sees the humor in societal changes

The Japanese women directors who have been gaining attention in the past two decades, beginning with frequent Cannes invitee Naomi Kawase, tend to be serious types, understandably. Their struggle for respect and recognition in a male-dominated industry is difficult enough — and goofy comedies ...

'Someone's Xylophone': Yoichi Higashi hits an unusual tone

Sep 14, 2016

'Someone's Xylophone': Yoichi Higashi hits an unusual tone

Yoichi Higashi has made everything from commercial hits to festival favorites in his five-plus decades as a director, while taking up politically sensitive subjects and unpopular issues. His 1992 smash “The Bridge with No River” (“Hashi no Nai Kawa”) depicted the raw prejudice endured ...

The delicate notes of 'Someone's Xylophone'

Sep 7, 2016

The delicate notes of 'Someone's Xylophone'

Japanese directors now routinely do dozens of media interviews to publicize their new films, especially if they are on the indie end of the spectrum. The stars of said films also sit down with the press, if not as commonly, but though I have ...

'Karate Kill': Kick back to a good old action film

Sep 7, 2016

'Karate Kill': Kick back to a good old action film

Back in the 1990s, a British trade magazine sent me to Los Angeles every November to report on the American Film Market — then mostly an emporium of cheapo genre films, held at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. It was the heyday of the ...

| Sep 7, 2016

The Yufuin Film Festival: a movie paradise on Earth

Before attending my first Yufuin Film Festival, which was held Aug. 24-28 this year, I wondered what attracted Japanese film folk — from nationally known actors to directors of zero-budget documentaries — to this town in northern Kyushu. One obvious draw is Yufuin’s upscale ...

'Your Name.': Makoto Shinkai could be the next big name in anime

Aug 31, 2016

'Your Name.': Makoto Shinkai could be the next big name in anime

Japanese animators have good reason to hate the label “new Miyazaki,” meaning successor to animation genius Hayao Miyazaki, who retired from feature filmmaking in 2013. First, it saddles them with fan expectations that their films will resemble — or imitate — the master’s. Second, ...