Japan takes a backseat at Cannes

Film | Wide Angle May 23, 2019

Japan takes a backseat at Cannes

by Mark Schilling

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 ...

'Terraformars': Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

Film / Reviews Apr 27, 2016

'Terraformars': Miike's life on Mars has its bugs

by Mark Schilling

Now that voyages to Mars seem likely in the next generation or so, films about the red planet are moving beyond the "John Carter" (2012) space-opera stage. But for every reality-based "The Martian," there is still a "Terraformars," Takashi Miike's latest extreme entertainment. The original ...

Aikawa's brainless fun in 'Deadman Inferno'

Film / Reviews May 20, 2015

Aikawa's brainless fun in 'Deadman Inferno'

by Mark Schilling

Sho Aikawa was once the tough-guy muse of Takashi Miike, appearing in films such as "Gokudo Kuroshakai" ("Rainy Dog"), "Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha" ("Dead or Alive") and "Gokudo Kyofu Dai-gekijo: Gozu" ("Gozu") that made the director the international "King of Cult." The sandpapery voice, ...

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

Stage Jan 28, 2015

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

by Ayako Takahashi

Known for its nightlife, its fleets of Ferraris and condos with sky-high prices, the affluent central Tokyo district of Roppongi will soon go where even that multinational neighborhood has never gone before — when the launch of a program named Roppongi Kabuki will see ...

Curtains up on 2015

Stage Jan 1, 2015

Curtains up on 2015

by Ayako Takahashi, Natsume Date, Mana Katsura and Kris Kosaka

Innovation adds sparkle to traditional forms Looking into the crystal ball of Japan's traditional performing arts in 2015 reveals a sparkling blend of change and tradition. In what is its 120th year, the film and theater company and pillar of kabuki, Shochiku, will mark the succession ...

Books / Reviews Aug 17, 2013

Revisiting the works of director Takashi Miike

by Mark Schilling

Takashi Miike is one of the few Japanese filmmakers now working, Takeshi Kitano and Hayao Miyazaki being two others, who enjoy a measure of recognition outside Japan's insular film world. Though hardly a household name in Kansas, Miike has long been a favorite with ...

Screen violence is in the eye of the beholder

Film Jun 7, 2013

Screen violence is in the eye of the beholder

by Mark Schilling

Some people avoid violent films, while others watch little else. Professional movie reviewers, who may see hundreds of films annually, cannot afford to be so picky. If you are covering the Cannes Film Festival competition, as I did one year for the Screen International ...