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Mark Thompson

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

The new testament to Bowie's star power

Jan 17, 2017

The new testament to Bowie's star power

"I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something," the younger Bowie once said about "a major hero" of his, Elvis Presley. They shared quite a number of things — a record label, a weakness for ...

'Girls' just wanna have fun in Japan

| Jun 8, 2016

'Girls' just wanna have fun in Japan

"Girls," an Emmy award-winning HBO series, focuses on a quartet of women in their early 20s who are trying to — surprise, surprise — figure out what they want to do with their lives. Like its outspoken creator — the intellectual "It Girl" Lena ...

15 minutes more

| Jan 15, 2016

15 minutes more

One day in 1996, when I was working as an editor/writer on the features desk, I arrived at work and was told as I walked in the door that an unnamed person had called. They were looking for someone at The Japan Times to ...

The difficulty of being Frank Gehry

Jan 5, 2016

The difficulty of being Frank Gehry

The exhibition "Frank Gehry: I Have an Idea," currently at 21_21 Design Sight and curated by fellow architect Tsuyoshi Tane, crams in a lot, but it's not exactly a linear retrospective. Rather, it's an upward look at a man on a tightrope — a ...

A 'gymnopedist' ahead of his time

Aug 18, 2015

A 'gymnopedist' ahead of his time

Erik Satie (1866-1925) said and did a lot of memorable things, many remarkably outlandish. Brilliant and bonkers, he composed works that range from cabaret ditties to a "symphonic drama," from light music for educating children to complex parodies of the masters. And who can ...

What lurks behind masks of mankind

Jun 9, 2015

What lurks behind masks of mankind

"Masks: Beauty of the Spirits" comes from the Musee du Quai Branly, an institution that former President Jacque Chirac spearheaded toward the end of his long reign. Opened in 2006 to both fanfare and controversy, the Paris museum's stated mission is to celebrate the ...

A personal invite to Planet Gondry

Nov 20, 2014

A personal invite to Planet Gondry

By coincidence, two tributes to baby-boomer auteurs are currently on display in Tokyo. There are intersecting points: Both Tim Burton and Michel Gondry share a love of surreal visuals, stop-motion animation and slightly dark humor. The two exhibitions are, however, decidedly different beasties. While "The World ...