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Mark Schilling

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

'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 ...

Koreeda discusses before and 'After the Storm'

May 18, 2016

Koreeda discusses before and 'After the Storm'

I’ve interviewed the director Hirokazu Koreeda several times over the years since we first met at a preview screening of his otherworldly drama “After Life” (“Wonderful Life,” 1999). Then and now his answers to even often-asked questions are always thoughtful and considered. Yes, he ...

'After the Storm': Koreeda's tempestuous family affairs

/ May 11, 2016

'After the Storm': Koreeda's tempestuous family affairs

Hirokazu Koreeda has a reputation abroad as the one director of his generation carrying on the humanist tradition of Japanese cinema’s 1950s and ’60s Golden Age. This is not totally off the mark — he often returns to that favorite Golden Age theme, family ...

'Hero Mania': Japanese heroes are keeping it real

/ May 4, 2016

'Hero Mania': Japanese heroes are keeping it real

Why don’t Japanese audiences turn up in big numbers for Hollywood superhero movies? The rare success in Japan of the Spider-Man series suggests one answer: Japanese like superheroes just fine, as long as they’re flawed humans as well as heroic fighters for justice. Another ...