Death-row samurai spills ink, not blood

Oct 1, 2014

Death-row samurai spills ink, not blood

by Mark Schilling

Why have samurai movies become so middle-aged and sedate? Starting in the silent days and continuing through their 1950s peak, period films with top-knotted heroes typically featured a big one-against-many finale with flashing swords and the occasional firearm. Especially in the early days, both ...

Terajima brings legacy to TIFF

Oct 17, 2013

Terajima brings legacy to TIFF

by Kaori Shoji

The 40-year-old is a dramatic force, with undiluted acting DNA coursing through her veins. Her father is kabuki actor Onoe Kikugoro VII, whose family lineage can be traced back seven centuries. Her mother is treasured actress Sumiko Fuji, whose own father was a famed ...

Kobayashi film explores Japan's suicide problem

Sep 5, 2013

Kobayashi film explores Japan's suicide problem

by Mark Schilling

A folk-singer-turned-filmmaker who went to France in 1981 to apprentice under his idol François Truffaut, Masahiro Kobayashi may have failed in his quest (he couldn’t work up the courage to press Truffaut’s doorbell), but after returning to Japan became a prolific scriptwriter for pinku ...