eng 374 STUDY GUIDE - ENG 374 History of Film Post 1940...

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ENG 374 :: History of Film, Post 1940 Wind from the East :: Japan & Akira Kurosawa Evolves in isolation form the west until end of WWII Longer “primativ” period (1896 – 1926) Influence of KABUI: Onnagata/Oyana (female parts played by male actors) Benashi (narrator) – explain complexities of the movie Effects on (a) photographic realism & (b) cinematic structure In 1932 only 45 out of 400 films w/ sound ((silent features until 1937)) **connection between picture & sound w/ the Benashi Japanese genres (pre & post war) Jidai-Geki (Historical) Chambara (Swordfight) Gendai-Geki (contemporary period) Shomni-Geki (ordinary life/Daily life, melodrama) Yakua-Eiga (Modern Gangster Film) Japanese Studio System Monopolistic zaibatsu (conglomerates) 3 large companies “absorbed” all smaller companies (later 5) Produce mass entertainment (rigid, efficient) System of apprenticeship (sempai-kohai / senior-junior) War & Occupation Ministry of Propaganda – WAR Films & Japanese Prowess Re-enactments – special FX (mainstay of sci-fi) American Occupation (1945 – 52) Never defeated / Never occupied Supreme Commander of Allied Powers Under Gen Douglas MacArthur (remake Japan) Internet in film industry (westernizing influence) ½ theatres destroyed – studio intact Ban on “anti-democratic” themes INFLUX OF AMERICAN FILMS Japanese renaissance Veteran Directors (since 1930s) – renewed industry creates renewed interest Kenji Mizojuchi – enlightened views on woman (SCAP liked this) Figures at a distance (wide angles to create depth) Slightly high angles (doorways, walls, screens) Long, stationary takes Landscapes resembling Japanese painterly styles, celebrated for their “japaneseness” Japanese aesthetic, western ideas Yasujiro Ozu :: specialized in Shomin-Geki (marriage, separation, death) – life changes, major theme Slightly lower angels (TATAMI MAT – 746) 360 shooting space (off-screen, empty spaces) Cuts for graphic effect (similarity/difference) not continuity Akira Kurosawa :: most popular in the West Modernist sensibility Narrative complexity Unresolved narratives Complex staging/shoot choreography (graphic logic) Unveiled interest in Western culture (Shakespeare) Wellesian sense of experimentation if anything links his many films its their differences INTERNATIONAL INTEREST :: Rashomon (Golden Lion) at Venice & Best Foreign Film in US Academy Awards Rashomon :: Discussion Supernatural – super-realism medium POV / close-ups – thought process conveyed through the actors’… action, method acting From Kabuki over-the-top emotions Sound – ghostly FX Don’t show the judges, the audience must decide who it is ** wide angle/deep focus ** direct address ** dappled sunlight/tracking shots (we aren’t sure, distorted visual) Japanese New Wave
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ENG 374 :: History of Film, Post 1940 Seijun Suzuki – Tokyo Drifter (1966) “B” director of Japan’s oldest studio Gangster Films (Yakuza) – outrageously stylish, non-linear plots Studio was irritated NON-NARRATIVE FILMS :: why do we go to the movies?
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