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Mark Schilling

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

Japan takes a backseat at Cannes

Film | Wide Angle May 23, 2019

Japan takes a backseat at Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival, the world's premier film event, has long been a holy grail for Japanese filmmakers. Selection for the main competition is the ultimate goal for many, though screenings in other sections convey prestige at home that other festivals, in Japan and ...

'Jesus': Our father, who art in the Japanese mountains

Film / Reviews May 22, 2019

'Jesus': Our father, who art in the Japanese mountains

Christianity has never really taken hold in Japan, despite hundreds of years of proselytizing (with a long Edo Period interruption for persecution). In his novel, "Silence," Catholic author Shusaku Endo famously described the country as a "swamp" where the sapling of the Christian faith ...

'Kakegurui': A high-stakes high school battle

Film / Reviews May 8, 2019

'Kakegurui': A high-stakes high school battle

Japanese films set in high schools are now about as common as cherry trees in Tokyo. This makes box-office sense: Japanese teens read a lot of manga about kids their own age and the more popular become fodder for films. In manga anything goes — ...

'Jeux de plage': A romantic roundelay by the beach

Film / Reviews May 1, 2019

'Jeux de plage': A romantic roundelay by the beach

Japanese film companies mostly make local films for the local market. Often the films may as well have "not for export" written in the credits. Launched in 2008 by Kiki Sugino and Kosuke Ono, Wa Entertainment has set its sights beyond Japan in everything from ...

'Lust in a Karaoke Box': Celebrating the joys of student life

Film / Reviews Apr 24, 2019

'Lust in a Karaoke Box': Celebrating the joys of student life

When I taught at colleges here in the 1980s, I marveled at my students' freedom, including freedom from study. They could spend most of their waking hours at part-time jobs or club activities and still, somehow, graduate. But, as Shinya Tamada's ensemble drama, "Lust in ...

'Kingdom': An admirable try at Chinese history

Film / Reviews Apr 17, 2019

'Kingdom': An admirable try at Chinese history

Why should Japanese kids care about a manga set in China's Warring States Period, (475-221 B.C.)? The players and power struggles are hard enough for professional historians (and this reviewer) to grasp, let alone 10-year-olds. Yasuhisa Hara found a winning answer in "Kingdom," a manga ...