Antoine "to Moushimasu"

antoine kilian antkill at
Sun Jan 10 05:00:13 EST 1999

Hello everybody and happy new year.

I apologize for delaying in making my self-presentation, after following for nearly two months what was going on on the list...

My name is antoine kilian, I am a french (european!) citizen, I have graduated as an architect from Marseille school of architecture long time ago, and decided to go on  studying in the field of social sciences and geography.

Actually I am preparing a Phd in EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris, with Professeur Augustin Berque, and I am studying the specificity of the representation of space and architecture in japanese cinema, or to say it shorter, I am looking for Ma in Cinema (!). Right now I focus my research mostly on Masaki Kobayashi's Jidai- Geki : Seppuku (hara-kiri, 1962), Joi-Uchi (rebellion, 1967), and Kaidan (Kwaidan, 1964, color), because I find of particular interest his work with space. But this doesn't mean I don't care about other films or filmmakers.

I have been invited to do my research in Kyoto University with a scholarship from the french government, and living in Kyoto gives me plenty of opportunities to view japanese films (among other things).

Unfortunately I have no background in Film studies, just passion for cinema which I actually try to complete with extensive readings of american and european scholars...

Also my command of japanese language is not yet sufficient to allow me to search efficiently directly from sources written in Japanese, but I'm trying, I'm trying. 

Most of the studies I could read find for instance similarities between chinese-style painting and asian films, by opposition to classical Renaissance paintings and perspective representation which induces western ways of representation in the use of camera, but this seems a little short to me : the screen of film is not just another kind of canvas, IT IS MOVING, more like a emaki-mono, indeed, and I think space in film should also be studied the way an architect studies a building, or at least with another approach, if I dare.

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who knows some works on architecture and film, which is not just Set design in film, but more about what means representation of space and how filmmakers and their decorators chose to design it, maybe. (Think of Ozu, Tati or Murnau, Hitchcock or Eisenstein : they were not just asking cartoonists to draw their films as if they were mangas, they THOUGHT of space, in a way you'll never find in Spielberg, Besson's 5th element or in Titanic, for instance -@Maybe I made myself clear? I'm afraid not...)

If by any chance someone could suggest me a way of meeting or interviewing Kobayashi's stage designers for some of his films (Jusho Toda, or Yoshiro Muraki, for instance)...
Or maybe suggest me someone I could meet in Japan...

Sorry for being so long, I'll stop now and shall be happy to discuss about space in film with anyone (be it Ozu, as in Ohayou (Good morning), Mizoguchi in Chushingurai (47 Samurai), or representation of the nature or the city in the work of new filmmakers (Takeshi Kitano, Itami Juzo, Sogo Ishii or Shunji Iwai, etc..), or whatever you might suggest!

And does anyone know anything of interest published in Japanese on Kobayashi, after his death in 1996 for instance, which unfortunately did not bring him the appraisal recently given in Japan and abroad to the late Akira Kurosawa...

Thank you for your attention. Sayonara. I also apologize for my "french style" english...

Antoine Kilian

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