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Shinya Tsukamoto and the song of 'Silence'

Jan 18, 2017

Shinya Tsukamoto and the song of 'Silence'

by Mark Schilling

Since his early films, such as "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" (1989) and "Tetsuo II: Body Hammer" (1992), pioneered the cyberpunk genre with a crazed energy and invention, Shinya Tsukamoto has had a reputation as Japanese cinema's outlaw. While doing the occasional work for hire, ...

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

/ Jan 18, 2017

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

by James Hadfield

After spending nearly 30 years shepherding his adaptation of Shusaku Endo's "Silence" to the screen, Martin Scorsese may be starting to feel as forsaken as the book's Jesuit protagonist, abandoned by an uncommunicative and apparently uncaring God. The movie has been roundly ignored by ...

A militaristic turn for the Japanese film industry

Aug 19, 2015

A militaristic turn for the Japanese film industry

by Mark Schilling

Why have Japanese filmmakers recently been turning out so many films about World War II and its aftermath? The obvious answer is that they're commemorating the 70th anniversary of that war's end, which was marked on Aug. 15. But there are far fewer new ...

War in the jungle and war in Japan

Jul 22, 2015

War in the jungle and war in Japan

by Mark Schilling

Actor and director Shinya Tsukamoto often takes violence to strange extremes. In his first film, the 1989 horror "Tetsuo" ("Tetsuo: The Iron Man"), a businessman accidentally kills a crazed metal fetishist (played by Tsukamoto himself) with his car and, becoming "infected" by his victim, ...

The long, bone-chilling gaze of new director Ayumi Sakamoto

Aug 13, 2014

The long, bone-chilling gaze of new director Ayumi Sakamoto

by Mark Schilling

Directors have various ways of communicating in interviews — beyond the usual talking points, that is. Koji Fukada drew me geometrical diagrams to explain the intertwining relationships in his coming-of-age drama "Hotori no Sakuko (Au Revoir l'Ete)." Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki sketched me ...

Female anxiety shot from every angle

/ Aug 13, 2014

Female anxiety shot from every angle

by Mark Schilling

The Japanese film industry used to be like much of the rest of Japanese society: male-centered and male-run. It made plenty of movies about women and for women, but their directors were all men. That began to change when Naomi Kawase won a Cannes ...

/ Aug 29, 2001

'Electric Dragon 80000V'

by Mark Schilling

Electric Dragon 80000V Rating: * * * Director: Sogo Ishii Running time: 55 minutes Language: Japanese Now showing What should rockers do when the paunch starts to sag over the jeans and the gray hair starts to glint in the spotlights? Have some self-respect and stop shaking ...