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Mark Schilling

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

Okita keeps every hair in place

/ Apr 13, 2016

Okita keeps every hair in place

Millions of Japanese have come from the countryside to find their fortunes in Tokyo, with most arriving in the postwar boom when jobs were everywhere and the future looked bright. But many, like the punk rocker hero of Shuichi Okita’s offbeat, warm-hearted family comedy ...

'Lowlife Love': The shady love of the film industry

/ Apr 6, 2016

'Lowlife Love': The shady love of the film industry

According to Eiren (Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan), 581 Japanese films were released domestically last year, many of which were low-budget productions shown in small numbers of theaters. Beneath these films “officially” recognized by Eiren is a substratum of straight-to-DVD fare. And at ...

Apr 6, 2016

Tokyo Talkies seeks to broaden exposure to Indian films

Indian cinema is prolific and diverse, with 1,969 feature titles released by 20 regional film industries in 2014, but movie fans in Japan have few chances to see this vast output. (Let’s not count Bollywood musicals playing silently on monitors in Indian restaurants.) A ...

'Bitter Honey': Fishing for the love of a writer

/ Mar 30, 2016

'Bitter Honey': Fishing for the love of a writer

Films about elderly men falling for elusive young women (and utimately regretting it) go back to “The Blue Angel” (1930). One Japanese example is Kaneto Shindo’s 1992 “Bokuto Kidan” (“The Strange Tale of Oyuki”), a biopic about writer Kafu Nagai and the prostitute he ...

Forever young: Riko Narumi gives up old roles

Mar 23, 2016

Forever young: Riko Narumi gives up old roles

In 2000, Riko Narumi made her first appearance on TV at age 7. She has worked steadily in both television and film ever since, and has 24 entries in her filmography, ranging from the drama “Shindo”(2007), where she played a troubled teen piano prodigy, ...

Okinawan prodigy returns to directing with 'Girl of the Sea'

/ Mar 9, 2016

Okinawan prodigy returns to directing with 'Girl of the Sea'

The once-arduous process of becoming a movie director in Japan — involving university film studies and years of assistant-director serfdom — has been drastically simplified. Technically, you can now shoot a movie on your smartphone and edit it on your laptop, with your name ...

| Mar 9, 2016

'Fukushima: A Nuclear Story' stands out among 3/11 documentaries

The Fukushima nuclear plant disaster has been examined in hundreds of documentaries to date, counting all media, nationalities and languages. But “Fukushima: A Nuclear Story” stands out for one simple, powerful reason: Its central figure, Italian journalist Pio d’Emilia, was among the first foreign ...