Shall We Dance - Prologue

Alan Makinen amakinen at
Mon Nov 3 20:03:23 EST 1997

Kerry Smith wrote:

> In discussions during the Modern Japan History Workshop at 
> Harvard this past weekend,  someone pointed out that the version 
> of _Shall We Dance_ now appearing in U.S. theatres  begins with a 
> scene of what one viewer assumed was a European ballroom and a 
> brief commentary on Japanese attitudes
> towards humor and the public display of affection.  
> The commentary pointed out that Japanese are comfortable with 
> neither humor nor public displays of affection.
> I'm guessing that this contextualization was added to the film for its
> foreign release.  Is this a correct assumption?

In May, when the director was here in Chicago at the Film Center to
promote the film, he said, in reply to an audience member's question,
that the introductory sequence of the film had indeed been altered from
the Japanese version to provide cultural context for foreign viewers.

Alan Makinen

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