Guide Word and Image in Japanese Cinema

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The objectives of the module are to encourage students: To develop an awareness of contemporary Japanese cinema as part of an international network of financial organisations and not just an isolated aesthetic phenomenon. By the end of the module, students will have developed the following: A firm understanding of the interconnectedness of the cinematic aesthetic and the film industry in the age of global finance - changes in industrial structures produce textual effects.

The conceptual tools and vocabulary with which to analyse critically not just narrate or describe a body of film texts from the contexts of their production and reception. To engage critically with existing theoretical paradigms and pursue their own particular research interests. To identify key research agendas in the study of Cinema in the age of globalisation.


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Japanese Transnational Cinema, while being relevant to Japanese Area Studies and Art students, seeks to extend the discussion to incorporate contemporary trends in the international film industry such as marketing and distribution thus giving Area Studies and Art students a point of contextualisation outside domestic production and reception, while providing a specific case study in media flows for students registered on media focussed degrees.

As marketing and distribution strategies are often gender specific in the audiences targeted, the course should still have relevance for students on the Gender Studies degree. Third, we will look at animation from the early success of Akira, shown at the London ICA in the lates, to the internationalisation of the animation films produced by Studio Ghibli. Terms and conditions. Toggle navigation. National Cinemas. Use the AFI Catalog to find detailed production information about specific films incl. See How to Find Journal Articles below, for instructions on how to use a citation to find a journal article.

Edward B. Fowler

Coverage: - current. The directors selected for inclusion are a those who have made a fiction film shown theatrically that is over 50 minutes in duration, released between and , and b those who have made a fiction film over 60 minutes in duration, post Note: There are no direct links to online content from Film Index International. World Film Locations: Tokyo Ebook. They present the official version of the social, political, and economic transformation of Japan following World War II.

These monographs discuss such topics as: trials of Class "B" and Class "C" war criminals; local government reform; purging of militaristic elements; constitutional revision; legal and judicial reform; freedom of the press; theater and motion pictures; treatment of foreign nationals; reparations; promotion of fair trade; religion national and local government finance; money and banking; and foreign trade. Screening enlightenment: Hollywood and the cultural reconstruction of defeated Japan.

In this context, even sea battle footage utilizing miniature models could be accepted as a "war subject" when there was a lack of actual Russo-Japanese War films. Regardless of the issue of whether or not audiences got angry viewing them, these films in the end functioned as depictions of the war situation reported in the newspapers and magazines; to spectators, these moving illustrations - even as miniature models - became news reports possessing a certain reality, in addition to serving as affective objects which could heighten emotions.

The issue of when the concept of nonfiction was determined must differ from nation to nation and cannot be located within a unified time frame. It is also certain that gaps concerning the meaning of nonfiction existed between producers, audiences, and journalists. One issue we can particularly consider is the fact that, as film became more linguistic not semiotically, but on the level of history and consciousness , the analogy between film and language made the literary genres of fiction and nonfiction applicable to cinema.

To spectators of Japanese film, however, the separation of cinematic representation into fiction and nonfiction remained practically a non-issue for some time. Looked at from the perspective of American or European cinema, this must look like the preservation of primitivism.

Michael Raine

To offer the most famous example from the early period, we can say that Viewing Scarlet Maple Leaves "Momijigari" 7 , shot by Shibata Tsunekichi, set the pattern for later Japanese cinema. This film, featuring appearances by Ichikawa Danjuro IX and Onoe Kikugoro V, is clearly a recording of a performance by two famous actors. In that sense, it bears a form of representational meaning analogous to that of later documentaries which have recorded stage performances on 16mm film or with a video camera. Yet Viewing Scarlet Maple Leaves is also evidently fiction in the context of Kabuki; it accords with what anyone understands to be dramatic film: a fabricated story performed by actors.

The painted landscape backdrops as well as the costumes and gestures of the performers all maintain a diegetic function, to borrow a term from film studies.


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But although one can recognize the elements of fiction assembled here, it is also apparent that the properties people generally attribute to nonfiction cinema - the actual recording and preservation of the fact and details of a dance and performance - are still present in full force. Of course, from our viewpoint, the fact that Viewing Scarlet Maple Leaves exhibits both qualities is not too surprising a discovery, given that the development of the oppositional conception of fiction versus nonfiction itself occurred later in film history, and that the mode of representation in early cinema was defined by a form of absolute representation rejecting such a dualism.

What is rather more surprising is the fact that this absolute representationalism became the pattern which continued to rule over later Japanese cinema. In fact, in most cases, Japanese film - in the genres of shinpa tragedy or of kyugeki 8 - continued to deny the development of the notions of fiction and nonfiction. There of course existed several exceptions, ones which did not succeed to the Japanese theatrical tradition and instead followed the model of Western film, such as the shinpa action serials of around and some of the early Taisho " rensageki ," 9 but these imitations in no way became the dominant pattern.

This was because Japanese cinema, even into the late s, opted to maintain an absolute representationalism that could not be regarded as either fiction nor nonfiction.


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It did this through continuing to produce films as moving illustrations of well-known stories, to use intertitles only as the titles of scenes composed at the screen writing stage, to show an aversion to American cinematic illusionism, and to make the story depend on the patterned acting of the performers and on the detailed narration of the benshi.

Japanese cinema continued in this unique state up until the s, leaving the field of what was regarded as nonfiction cinema, while not absent, at least inactive. At the same time in Europe and America, the concept of nonfiction was clarified entering the s as non-dramatic films were shot in numbers equal to or even surpassing that of dramatic cinema. The First World War, in particular, lent energy to reportage films.

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Yet despite this, it is still scholarly difficult to separate the concept of nonfiction from fiction given that what guarantees the nonfictionality of nonfiction is, in the end, not representation itself, but the articulated linguistic supplement. Conditions of exhibition can, for instance, make a certain film nonfiction: in that situation, various articulated languages are appended to the textual representation which mark the work as not fiction, such as people's word of mouth, references in newspapers, magazines, and advertising, or even the title given to the film itself.

If the representational form itself also contributes to defining the film, it is probably because this representation exhibits the typical unusualness of nonfiction cinema: the representational signs such as people's iconography, subjects looking at the camera, camera slips, or the lighting quality, which are normal to nonfiction. Film history, however, proves that these signs do not fully guarantee nonfictionality. The fact that U. If it was in this period from about that nonfiction film was fully conceptualized and its nonfictionality molded, then this process largely coincided with the formation of the classical Hollywood system based on illusionism.

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Ironically, this system, intended to increase the credibility of fiction, has now come to be distinctly recognized for its artificial and constructed nature as its characteristics have become clear. Is it not possible to say the same of fiction's conceptual opposite, nonfiction? Long after the distinct nonfictionality of nonfiction was molded in the s, this nonfictionality has at present turned into an extremely idiosyncratic set of signs, estranged from truth and reality. Renov New York: Routledge, : pp.

David Desser and Arthur Nolletti, Jr. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, : p. Translator's note: One of the earliest films shot in Japan by Japanese, Viewing Scarlet Maple Leaves was made in to record the performances of two of Japan's greatest Kabuki actors. Translator's note: Early Japanese cinema was divided into two broad genres: kyugeki , or "old dramas," based on oral tales or Kabuki plays about feudal Japan; and shinpa , or "new school," composed of often melodramatic stories of modern Japan.