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Mark Schilling

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

Keeping it real: Naomi Kawase on filmmaking

Jun 22, 2016

Keeping it real: Naomi Kawase on filmmaking

Naomi Kawase has always been an outlier in the Japanese film world, if a very successful one. Born and raised in Nara Prefecture, the site of Japan’s ancient capital, she started making documentaries while a student at the Osaka School of Photography in the ...

'Kako: My Sullen Past': Mikiko, the prodigal bomb maker

/ Jun 22, 2016

'Kako: My Sullen Past': Mikiko, the prodigal bomb maker

Would anyone in Hollywood now green-light a film with a quirky middle-aged heroine whose passion is making and detonating bombs? Especially one with no apologies for her explosive past, human collateral included? I can imagine the tremors at the pitch meeting when someone says ...

'Creepy': It doesn't get much eerier than this

/ Jun 15, 2016

'Creepy': It doesn't get much eerier than this

The title of “Creepy,” the new shocker by horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa, sounds like an in-jokey self-parody. It’s like titling a new Adam Sandler comedy “Goofy” (or if you’re not feeling charitable, “Crappy”). But “Creepy,” which premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, is ...

'Danchi': The extraordinary everywoman

/ Jun 1, 2016

'Danchi': The extraordinary everywoman

“Danchi” doesn’t translate easily into English. “Apartment complex” or “housing estate” are only rough equivalents for the thousands of public-housing units thrown up in the postwar boom years to cope with Tokyo’s exploding population. Equipped with running water, flush toilets and other amenities, with ...

'Himeanole': The hairline between good and evil

/ May 25, 2016

'Himeanole': The hairline between good and evil

The moral universe of most commercial films is simple: The good guys prevail, the bad guys are punished — and we are seldom in doubt as to who is who. But what if the bad guys deserve sympathy, even the ones who commit horrific ...