Surefire formulas failed Japanese cinema in 2017

Film Dec 20, 2017

Surefire formulas failed Japanese cinema in 2017

by Mark Schilling

In a quarter-century of reporting on the Japanese film industry, I've yet to find one optimist about its future. I used to regularly hear laments from veteran filmmakers and executives who remembered the industry's 1950s glory days, when admissions exceeded 1 billion annually and the ...

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's cinematic apparitions

Film Oct 12, 2016

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's cinematic apparitions

by Mark Schilling

Directors who become known as horror specialists often end up making little else, whether by choice or not. Labeled a "horrormeister" for such supremely creepy films as "Cure" (1997) and "Pulse" (Kairo, 2001), Kiyoshi Kurosawa is one director who has successfully expanded beyond the ...

'Creepy': It doesn't get much eerier than this

Film / Reviews Jun 15, 2016

'Creepy': It doesn't get much eerier than this

by Mark Schilling

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 ...

Female fears at the dead center of J-horror

Film Oct 21, 2015

Female fears at the dead center of J-horror

by Kaori Shoji

Japan is a scary place. It has inspired masters of horror over three centuries, from Akinari Ueda in the 1700s ("Ugetsu Monogatari") to Lafcadio Hearn ("Kwaidan") in the late 1800s, all the way to the 1990s, when Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Cure" and Hideo Nakata's "Ringu" ...