Kinema Club V in Tokyo: post-mortem 1 (J + E) hahumiaomiao
Tue Jan 10 14:28:56 EST 2006

Thanks, Michael, for bringing this up.  
I wanted so much to go to the conference featuring Rey Chow's talk, but a Chinese cinema conference was taking place at the same time. 
What piqued my curiosity was the invitation of Rey Chow who hadn't worked much on Japanese cinema by then, as far as I know.  It's not surprising that her approach was somewhat unhistorical and abstractly theoretical.  What I want to know if whether her approach provides a new productive angle (despite possible blind spots otherwise).  Could someone be kind enough to brief me on that? 
BTW, my field is mainly Chinese cinema, and the same kind of issue keeps cropping up in my research and teaching.  E. A. Kaplan grappled with this years ago.  I'd love to hear how people go about this in their teaching and research.  
Yiman Wang 
-----Original Message-----
From: M Arnold <ma_iku at>
To: KineJapan at
Sent: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 23:40:06 +0900
Subject: Re: Kinema Club V in Tokyo: post-mortem 1 (J + E)

I kept meaning to write up a few comments about KCV but never got around to it. With another big KC event around the corner, maybe now is a good time for it. I don't have a lot of time right now so I'll just mention a few things. 
Misono Ryoko published an essay about KCV in the September 2005 issue of Mirai. I also wrote a small article (in very clumsy Japanese) for the July 23 issue of Tosho Shinbun. One issue we both mentioned is Rey Chow. There seemed to be a very mixed reaction following her Japan Foundation presentation on Kurosawa's "No Regrets for Our Youth." The comments I heard from scholars and students in Tokyo were along the lines that Chow's theory was too far out of touch with Japanese (Kurosawa's?) film history. 
This is similar to one of the worries that kept popping up as we were planning for the event last spring. A number of people I spoke to behind the scenes in Tokyo were afraid that there would be a lot of friction between the very theoretical approach of scholars and students from the U.S. and overseas, and the more historical and research-oriented approach of those from Japan. Of course when the panels got rolling it was obvious things weren't so clear-cut, but that question was lurking in the back of people's minds . . . Come to think of it, this is an issue that I've discussed with other Kinema Clubbers at previous events too, although not across the same national boundaries. 
I thought the Oshii Mamoru presentation was one of the highlights of the entire conference, "kamiattenai" or otherwise. Very interesting points came out when the conversation trailed off this way and that. At the obligatory post-event nomikai, Oshii was a very pleasant and talkative fellow, chatting about baseball and trips overseas, definitely not fitting the reputation (at least the one I heard) of being an introverted, nervous anime auteur. And as expected, he's a great film fan. I mentioned Suzuki Seijun to him and his eyes sure lit up. He did say he hated being on the set while directing though. 
I found a few blog entries with comments about the Oshii/Lamarre/Ueno talk: (Ozim) 
Oshii's new film comes out this spring: 
Michael Arnold 
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