Eigei Best Ten Worst Ten 2005

Aaron Gerow gerowaaron at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jan 10 09:00:24 EST 2006

One note on the Eigei list: for scheduling reasons, they had to make 
December 15th the deadline for films eligible for voting. Films opening 
in late December, then, are eligible for 2006.

> I also notice there is little overlap between the mostly mainstream 
> films
> picked by the so-called "major" awards and the films on the Eiga 
> Geijutsu
> Best Ten list. Not totally unexpected, but against the trend of US 
> awards,
> even the Oscars, to honor indie films over "prestige" studio titles.

One wonders if there can be an avenue for the industry to celebrate its 
indie cachet. The Japan Academy Awards are often ridiculed as as a 
baseless PR ploy by the major studios (works not distributed by the 
majors are largely shut out), the sports paper awards are often just 
popularity polls, and the three old-time awards that had the greatest 
respectability--the KineJun Best Ten, the Mainichi Concours, and the 
Blue Ribbon Awards--are largely dominated by old critics with old 
tastes. The awards that tend to focus on independent work, like Eigei 
or the Yokohama Film Awards, are largely ignored by the mainstream 
press, so one wonders whether the award system in Japan still reflects, 
or actually helps reproduce, the still largely oligopolistic structure 
of the industry. I wonder whether the fact that the only major 
televised award is the crock that is the Japan Academy Awards must 
perpetuate the impression amongst Japanese that Japanese film is of 
poor quality.

Aaron Gerow
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Film Studies Program
Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University
53 Wall Street, Room 316
PO Box 208363
New Haven, CT 06520-8363
Phone: 1-203-432-7082
Fax: 1-203-432-6764
e-mail: aaron.gerow at yale.edu

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