Lewis Cook lcoqc at
Fri Apr 7 12:56:58 EDT 2000

    Thanks to Dunn Brian, Aaron Gerow and Gavin Rees for replies. I
apologize for my petulance. I do appreciate the commercial
information, much of it is fascinating for what it says about the
emergence of "Asian" cinema and its audiences.
    But let me try throwing out a question for another thread (I am
not deliberately trying to sound naive but have to confess that I'm
one of those amateurs --- my field is medieval Japanese lit. --- who
teaches a course in Japanese film & fiction because the demand is
there and no specialists are available. I have been showing Japanese
films to college audiences in the USA off and on for 20 some years but
still know nearly  nothing about film theory, cinematography, etc.)
    I showed "Sisters of the Gion" to a class this week (the students
were awed, I suspect partly because they'd never imagined that a film
that old --- 1936! --- might be worth watching). I tried to explain
that Mizoguchi's "one-scene one-shot" (a phrase I learned from Keiko
McDonald's book) technique tends to enhance the effect of "realism" by
confining the viewer to the role of a voyeur (roughly analogous to the
technique of the restricted -- non-omniscient --  narrator in Henry
James, e.g.) The obvious objection was, wouldn't multiple shots of the
same scene, on the contrary, deliver more "reality," and also what
about "Rashomon" (which seems to have more cuts per minute than any
other film on the syllabus) --- isn't that supposed to put "realism"
in its place? I promised to respond to these questions next week, but
sure could use some help. (Another question which came up --- why
should a geek like Mizoguchi have come out so strongly on oppression
of women, apart from the biographical motives?)

    Lewis Cook
    Queens College, CUNY

>This list has to contain a certain amount of commercial information,
>many of the people working with Japanese film, be they writers or
>distributors need to use that information in order to publicise it.
>Saying that most of the people who need to use that very information
>probably rather talk about something else, and usually give their
time very
>freely when a less "commercially polluted" topic arises.
>Perhaps you might like to start another thread going to see how
>respond?  I suspect if it is interesting enough then you would tempt
>All the best,
>Gavin Rees
>>From: "Lewis  Cook" <lcoqc at>
>>To: <KineJapan at>
>>Subject: Re: Cinemoney
>>Date: Thu, Apr 6, 2000, 6:54 am
>>>In another effort to find financing for Japanese film, a new web
>> site,
>>>, has been created to help fund new films.  Those
>> interested
>>>become member supporters (at different levels of support) and gain
>>>various "services" in exchange: free tickets, party invitations,
>>>invitation to be an extra, etc.
>>     Yes, I appreciate the fine intentions, but need this list deal
>> exclusively in commerce? I keep hoping to see some interesting
>> discussion of Japanese film qua "film," and all that turns up are
>> office records, top ten listings, Oscaroid filmography and now a
>> solicitation for funding. Is this it?
>>     Lewis Cook

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