A New History of Japanese Cinema

A New History of Japanese Cinema

A Century of Narrative Film

Book - 2005
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Cinema, which first arrived in Japan in 1896 with the Kinetoscope prototype, came at the very time that Japan was transforming its economic base and society into that of a major international power. The first cinema, the Asakusa Denkikan, was opened in Tokyo in 1903 and within thirteen years three hundred cinemas had sprung up throughout the country. In A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film, Isolde Standish focuses on the historical development of Japanese film. She details an industry and an art form shaped by the competing and merging forces of traditional culture and of economic and technological innovation. Adopting a thematic, exploratory approach, Standish links the concept of Japanese cinema as a system of communication with some of the central discourses of the twentieth century: modernism, nationalism, humanism, resistance, and gender. After an introduction outlining the earliest years of cinema in Japan, Standish demonstrates cinema's symbolic position in Japanese society in the 1930s--as both a metaphor and a motor of modernity. Moving into the late thirties and early forties, Standish analyses cinema's relationship with the state-focusing in particular on the war and occupation periods. The book's coverage of the post-occupation period looks at "romance" films in particular. Avant-garde directors came to the fore during the 1960s and early seventies, and their work is discussed in depth. The book concludes with an investigation of genre and gender in mainstream films of recent years. In grappling with Japanese film history and criticism, most western commentators have concentrated on offering interpretations of what have come to be considered "classic" films. A New History of Japanese Cinema takes a genuinely innovative approach to the subject, and should prove an essential resource for many years to come. Includes an 8-page color plate section and an 8-page black and white plate section.
Publisher: New York : Continuum, 2005
ISBN: 9780826417091
0826417094
Branch Call Number: PN1993.5.J3 S72 2005
Characteristics: p. ; cm

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