Mark Schilling, The Japan Times

Mark Schilling

The Japan Times


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Recent articles by Mark:

‘Natchan's Little Secret': Outdated comedy runs out of gas

Yasujiro Tanaka’s comedy about three drag queens who hit the road for a friend’s funeral feels like a throwback to old-school TV shows with over-the-top portrayals of gay characters. → Read More

‘My Broken Mariko': Childhood friendship drama rings true

Yuki Tanada’s film about a fraught yet deep relationship between two young women is moving and disturbing. → Read More

‘Riverside Mukolitta’: Lessons on death told with pathos

Naoko Ogigami’s drama about a man who confronts a past trauma with the help of his neighbors is quirky and comforting. → Read More

'Let Me Hear It Barefoot': Charming love story spins its wheels

Given the variety of LGBTQ experiences now depicted on screen, the term “gay-themed” sounds like a catch-all. What links the films of Ryosuke Hashiguchi, w → Read More

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Shot During Campaign Speech

Shinzo Abe, a former prime minister of Japan, was apparently shot during a campaign speech on Friday in Nara, according to the Associated Press and NHK public television. NHK camera footage showed him collapsed on the street, holding his chest, with the broadcasting corporation reporting that he is experiencing heart failure. Abe was rushed to […] → Read More

‘Lesson in Murder’: A masterclass in portraying evil

Sadawo Abe delivers a chilling performance as a murderous mastermind in Kazuya Shiraishi’s psychological thriller. → Read More

‘Phoenix Goes On’: Buddy road trip offers fun hijinks

Arata Iura and Ryo Narita play off each other well as two friends on a bizarre quest in the follow-up to Kanata Wolf's 2018 film “Smokin’ on the Moon.” → Read More

Sono Sion, Japanese Film Director, Accused of Sexual Harassment

Cult Japanese film director Sono Sion, who helmed 'Love Exposure' and 'Cold Fish,' has been accused of sexual harassment. → Read More

‘Mlabri in the Woods’ offers a rare look at former hunter-gatherers

Director Yu Kaneko's documentary about an ethnic group living in the hills of Laos and northern Thailand began with an encounter with a Japanese linguist fluent in the Mlabri language. → Read More

‘Straying’: The realities of a love quadrangle

Rikiya Imaizumi’s comedy earns its R15 classification with sex scenes that reveal the honest and even humorous moments in intimate relationships. → Read More

‘The World of You’: Director returns to the complexities of youth

Akihiko Shiota’s drama, which features two former members of idol-pop group Sakura Gakuin as teenagers who develop an intense bond, presents the delicate nature of relationships with nuance. → Read More

‘Drive My Car’ won a Golden Globe, could it also pick up an Oscar?

“Drive My Car,” a film based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, has garnered a long list of prizes since premiering las → Read More

‘Maniac Driver’: A retro ride with Eros and action

Kurando Mitsutake’s thriller pays tribute to classic Italian 'giallo' sex-and-splatter flicks as well as the deranged characters from 'Blue Velvet' and 'Taxi Driver. → Read More

‘Struggling Man’: Average Joe doesn’t quite move the needle

Toshio Lee’s comedy about a company man who genuinely cares about those around him while harboring insecurities about his work and home life mostly deals in broad humor and cliches. → Read More

2021 saw breakthrough talents in film rise from the shadows

Ryusuke Hamaguchi's two releases shone abroad, Keisuke Yoshida was honored with a Director in Focus section at home and younger filmmakers blazed new paths. → Read More

‘Ruined’: Fury fuels a mission for retribution

Minori Hagiwara gives a compelling performance as a young woman who returns to her hometown to get answers and revenge in Taro Miyaoka’s “Ruined.” → Read More

‘Vera Dreams of the Sea’ Wins Tokyo Film Festival Grand Prix

'Vera Dreams of the Sea’ wins the Tokyo International Film Festival’s Grand Prix ahead of Romanian drama 'La Civil'. → Read More

‘Dancing Mary’: No love lost for this spooky fantasy

Naoto Kataoka of pop group Exile takes on his first leading role in Sabu’s ghostly rom-com/actioner, but the film’s mix of genre elements doesn’t quite gel. → Read More

Tokyo Film Festival Opening is Held In Person, as Low Key Event Masks Multiple Changes

Tokyo Film Festival opening is held in-person, but the low key presentation masked multiple important changes. → Read More

TIFF ambassador Ai Hashimoto wants a cinema comeback

The in-demand veteran actress will serve as ambassador at Tokyo International Film Festival's 34th iteration. → Read More