Japanese Cinema

Scott Nygren

in Cinema and Media Studies

ISBN: 9780199791286
Published online October 2011 | | DOI:
Japanese Cinema

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Japanese film became a major area of English-language film study in the 1960s, after the publication of Anderson and Richie’s groundbreaking work, The Japanese Film: Art and Industry, in 1959 (see Anderson and Richie 1982, cited under Film History). Although Japanese cinema is one of the oldest continuous traditions of filmmaking in the world, with films by Japanese filmmakers dating back as early as 1898–1899, Japanese films were only rarely screened outside of Japan until after Kurosawa’s Rashomon won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival in 1951. Before then, international cinema effectively included only Europe and the United States, and all other cinemas were restricted to regional exhibition. Afterward, other non-Western cinemas also gained international recognition and distribution. Accordingly, English-language study of Japanese film coincides with the recognition of non-Western cinemas as a crucial part of world cinema, marking a fundamental break with the Eurocentric model of the world that dominated cinema’s first half century. Over the last half century, a rich and diverse body of work has emerged both in topics and approaches. Japanese film has become a model in cinema studies for understanding film history outside the grand narrative of a Eurocentric tradition and has been a site for the emergence of innovative approaches to issues of cultural context and identity, the limits of language, the problem of missing films, and of modernization outside the West. Strategies continue to proliferate, with many new books and approaches appearing in the last decade. Moreover, some important books exist only in French or translation into French, and these are included below when no comparable text exists in English.

Article.  6741 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies ; Film ; Radio ; Television

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