Visions of Japanese Modernity
Articulations of Cinema, Nation, and Spectatorship, 1895-1925
ISBN10: 0520254562 ISBN13: 9780520254565 Publisher: Univ of California Pr Published: May 14 2010 Pages: 323 Weight: 1.05lbs. Height: 9.50" Width: 6.00" Depth: 0.75" Language: English
Japan has done marvelous things with cinema, giving the world the likes of Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu. But cinema did not arrive in Japan full-formed at the end of the nineteenth century, nor was it simply adopted into an ages-old culture. Aaron Gerow explores the processes by which film was defined, transformed, and adapted during its first three decades in Japan. He focuses in particular on how one trend in criticism, the Pure Film Movement, changed not only the way films were made, but also how they were conceived. Looking closely at the work of critics, theorists, intellectuals, benshi artists, educators, police, and censors, Gerow finds that this critical trend established a way of thinking about cinema that would reign in Japan for much of the twentieth century, one intimately tied to structures of power and class in the domestic and global spheres, and one that ultimately expressed fundamental struggles over the meaning of film, culture, and society.