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Mark Schilling

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

Jidaigeki revival?

| Apr 15, 2015

Jidaigeki revival?

The jidaigeki (samurai period drama) genre, whose films and TV series featuring sword-swinging samurai once dominated popular culture here, has long since fallen on hard times. In contrast to its 1950s peak, when jidaigeki accounted for nearly half the films in theaters, the genre ...

How do you cure an allergy to money?

Apr 8, 2015

How do you cure an allergy to money?

When is a “multitalented” person too “multi”? Where is the line between extending your creative energies in new directions and spreading yourself thin? That question occurred to me after seeing the quirky comedy “Jinu yo Saraba: Kamuroba Mura E” (“A Farewell to Jinu”), Suzuki ...

'April Fools' gets the wrong end of the practical-joke schtick

Apr 2, 2015

'April Fools' gets the wrong end of the practical-joke schtick

The Japanese film industry has themed many movies around that imported holiday, Christmas, or, more specifically, Christmas Eve, which has become Japan’s date night of date nights. Even those outside the local film industry now celebrate special days that originated elsewhere, including Halloween, Valentine’s ...

Kanojo wa Uso wo Aishisugiteru (The Liar and His Lover)

Mar 25, 2015

Kanojo wa Uso wo Aishisugiteru (The Liar and His Lover)

Director: Norihiro Koizumi Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) A sweet, naive high school girl (Sakurako Ohara) falls for a dishy mysterious stranger (Takeru Sato) who fails to inform her that he is the now-retired creative force behind a popular band. When she begins her ...

Is Asian cinema caught in a festival feeding frenzy?

Mar 18, 2015

Is Asian cinema caught in a festival feeding frenzy?

On March 5, tickets went on sale for Joe Hisaishi’s concert at a 1,200-seat theater in Udine, Italy — and they were sold out in less than a week. In Japan, where Hisaishi is well known as a composer for his soundtracks to films ...

Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)

Mar 18, 2015

Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Based on Joan G. Robinson’s beloved fantasy novel “When Marnie Was There,” director Hiromasa Yonebayashi and his Studio Ghibli animators have made a delightful film about a budding friendship between two girls in the Hokkaido countryside, ...

Can idol group Momoiro Clover Z learn to act?

Mar 11, 2015

Can idol group Momoiro Clover Z learn to act?

The typical Japanese movie about the travails and triumphs of a high school club follows an upward arc, as the audience cheers on the heroes to their foregone triumph over setbacks and defeats. The actualities of how they become more accomplished swing musicians, as ...