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University of Hawaii Press, The
Reading a Japanese Film: Cinema in Context

Reading a Japanese Film: Cinema in Context

by Keiko I McDonald


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In recent years, the popularity and availability of Japanese films in the West have resulted in new, more diverse audiences for some of the most critically acclaimed and thoroughly entertaining films ever made. Reading a Japanese Film, written by a pioneer of Japanese film studies in the United States, provides these viewers with the necessary tools to construct a deeper understanding of Japanese cinema. In her introduction, Keiko McDonald presents a historical overview for those with little or no knowledge of Japanese cinema and outlines a unified approach to film analysis. Sixteen "readings" of films currently available on DVD with English subtitles put theory into practice as she considers a wide range of work, from familiar classics to the films of a younger generation of directors. Specific genres are also represented. Shiro Toyoda's melodramatic The Mistress adapts a work of Japanese literature. Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba is a horror film with socio-political overtones. My Neighbor Totoro is a beloved anime by Oscar-winner Hayao Miyazaki. The Japanese commitment to period film is examined via Hiroshi Inagaki's classic Musashi trilogy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780824829391
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
Publication date: 12/07/2005
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1Synergy of Theme, Style, and Dialogue: Kenji Mizoguchi's Sisters of the Gion (1936)17
2Dream, Song, and Symbol: Akira Kurosawa's Drunken Angel (1948)33
3A Meiji Novel for the Screen: Shiro Toyoda's The Mistress (1954)49
4Period Film Par Excellence: Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy (1954-1956)66
5Simple Means for Complex Ends: Yasujiro Ozu's Floating Weeds (1959)93
6Eros, Politics, and Folk Religion: Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba (1963)108
7The Age-Old Paradox of Innocence and Experience: Kohei Oguri's Muddy River (1981)122
8Satire on the Family and Education in Postwar Japan: Yoshimitsu Morita's The Family Game (1983)136
9Defeat Revisited: Masahiro Shinoda's MacArthur's Children (1984)152
10Satire on Contemporary Japan: Juzo Itami's A Taxing Woman (1987)165
11Animation Seminal and Influential: Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro (1988)176
12Cultural Responses to Simplicity: Akira Kurosawa's Madadayo (1993)187
13The Danger and Allure of Phantom Light: Hirokazu Koreeda's Maboroshi (1995)198
14Stressed-Out Nineties Youth in Laid-Back Sixties Dress: Takeshi Kitano's Kids Return (1995)219
15Bittersweet Childhood: Yoichi Higashi's Village of Dreams (1996)232
16A Woman Director's Approach to the Country Family: Naomi Kawase's Suzaku (1997)244
Selected Bibliography277

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