Here is a post-film Q&A with Mark Schilling, moderated by Chicago-based writer Michael Foster. Special thanks to Sophia Wong Boccio.
Mark Schilling (born 1949) is an American film critic, journalist, translator, and author based in Tokyo, Japan. He has written for The Japan Times, Variety, and Screen International.
About the Movie
CONVENIENCE STORY コンビニエンス ストーリー
Japan | Fantasy/Drama | 2022 | 97 minutes
In Japanese w/English subtitles
DIRECTOR/ CO-SCREENWRITER: Satoshi Miki
ORIGINAL CONCEPT/PLANNING: Mark Schilling
STARRING: Atsuko Maeda, Ryo Narita, Seiji Rokkaku, Yuki Katayama, Eri Fuse
FILM SOURCE: Free Stone Productions Co., Ltd.
Introduction by original concept writer Mark Schilling.
Based on a short story written by Asian Pop-Up Cinema’s longtime Japan Cinema advisor, Mark Schilling, CONVENIENCE STORY was released in Japan in 2022 and is a comedy revolving around one of the cornerstones of Japanese culture, the convenience stores, which are open 24/7.
Kato is a struggling scriptwriter whose pitches for new films fail to impress producers. Meanwhile, his relationship with his druggy actress girlfriend Zigzag is hitting the skids. But Kato is about to get a karmic jolt from his personal troubles and professional slump. While buying dog food for Zigzag’s dog Cerberus at a neighborhood convenience store, he begins, via a sudden push through a refrigerated display case, a karmic journey leading him to another world.
“CONVENIENCE STORY takes you on an eccentric Dantean ride brimming with psychological tension and the zest of karma. From the purgatory of writer’s block to a hell of an adventure, Kato’s journey is a satisfying and thoughtful tale.” – Teresa Lobos, Rotterdam Film Festival.