Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History
Arthur Nolletti Jr., David Desser
Indiana University Press
Place of Publication
Motion pictures -- Japan.
Film and Media Studies
This valuable anthology offers 15 essays of unrelenting quality and fascination. The "D" section is highlighted by Donald Ritchie's close analysis of a scene from Ozu's Late Autumn (1960) with a telling eyewitness report of its odd shooting. In other pieces, Gosho's work of the 1930s is surveyed; Mizoguchi's The Life of Oharu (1932) is read as a patriarchal subtext; and Ikiru (1952) is examined as Kurosawa's typical reworking of his own materials. From the French comes Max Tessier's fine study of Oshima. The "D" section offers two excellent pieces on the samurai film; one each on the yakuza (gangster film) and on Japanese comedy; and a close reading of Ichikawa's Fires on the Plain (1959). The "D" section features J.L. Anderson's brilliant study of the katsuben (the live commentators on silent films) plus two studies of the first Japanese films and of the early use of sound. David Bordwell provides a typically shrewd study of decorative functions in the postwar classic Japanese film. The editors provide useful introductions to each piece and an excellent bibliography. This uniformly first-class collection would be a perfect text for a Japanese film course.
Nolletti, Arthur Jr., "Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History" (1992). FSU Bookshelf. 167.