Clarification: The 10 American and European films that have affected Japan the most.

Michael Fitzhenry michael.fitzhenry
Tue Mar 11 21:52:45 EST 2003

(Briefly, and off the cuff)

I suppose that one further clarification would be that the films should be released within the living memory of the "seniors" who you say you will survey? If this is not really one of your stipulations I can suggest a couple. One of which would be Josef von Sternberg (The Underworld / Ankoku machi, released
in 1929) and his influence on the Tendency filmmakers--particularly Murata Minoru (Kaiji and Skyscraper, both Nikkatsu, 1930 cf Yamamoto Kikuo). I have a chapter in my thesis about this and democracy--although I don't take a sociological perspective. However, considering there seems to be quite a lot of
interest in the influence of Americanism (I am thinking back to a previous thread on vernacular modernism--perhaps you can retreive that from a Kinejapan archive) you could consider having a look at Harry Harootunian _Overcome by Modernity_ (on Americanism), Robert Warshow _the immediate experience_ (recently
reprinted, on the gangster film), Gilles Deleuze _cinema 2_ (on political cinema), and I dare say would will discover what I am talking about. This is the idea, of course, that film is a democratic art, and that the socially critical film is also socially responsible, the idea that a new realism addresses the
audience in a new way--in terms of thought and engagement--and so produces social/political effects.

You could also look at Aaron Gerow's discussion of the film _Zigomar_ (V. Jaseet, 1911-1913), and also that of HASE Masato (ICONICS, 1998), where they discuss the idea of cinephobia (a direct sociological effect).


John Gorman wrote:

> By Western films I mean films from America and Europe.
> Also I prefer to stay away from the well-trodden ground of the comparison/exchange of influence between Japanese and American/European films. Instead, I hope to focus the on influence of Western cinema upon Japanese culture in other areas, specifically regarding; democracy, women's roles and individualism.
> Thanks much to John and Matthew for getting the ball rolling.
> John

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