Looking for a documentary on the history of cinema in Japan

Jonathan M Hall jmhall at uci.edu
Mon Jul 31 04:07:35 EDT 2006

Dear Professor Hermansen,

My favorite one for this purpose is Oshima Nagisa's 100 Years of 
Japanese Cinema, produced for the BFI (British Film Institute) series 
to commemorate the hundredth year of cinema.  Because Oshima narrates 
the history in three chapters in the middle one of which he adopts the 
first person tone, the film provides an effective tool to talk about 
documentary style, issues of objectivity and speaking position, as well 
as aesthetics.  Oshima makes his documentary entirely from clips of 
films.    I have found that even students new to film studies do fairly 
well in analyzing the film.

Yours sincerely,
Jonathan M Hall

Jonathan M. Hall
Japanese Film, Media, and Modern Literature
Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature / Film & Media Studies

320 Humanities Instructional Building
UC Irvine, Irvine CA 92697-2651 USA
office: 1-949-824-9778
fax: 1-949-824-1992

On Jul 31, 2006, at 4:32 PM, Christian Morimoto Hermansen wrote:

> I am trying to put together a course on movies in Denmark.  My target 
> group consists mostly of second year college students at my 
> university's faculty of law, and the course will run in a general 
> category of "Human and culture" (ningen to bunka). I have no formal 
> training in film studies, and I do not expect my students to have too 
> much pre-knowledge on the subject. Still, I hope to make them think 
> about how cinema may, cautiously, be taken as a cultural product of a 
> given country. I also want them to understand how technical and 
> external (non-)cinematique conditions can influence the result we are 
> looking at. I am therefore looking for visual materials that might 
> illustrate these points, preferably in the Japanese setting to make it 
> easier for the students to identify with what they are told. I have 
> been searching in library catalogues and amazon, but so far only come 
> up with a documentary on cinematography, which I hope will be useful. 
> But, are there any available documentary/ TV program that deal with 
> what I , for lack of finer words, would lable "an introduction to the 
> history of cinema (in Japan)", if possible not in more than two-four 
> hours? Something that deals with the movie industry, the introduction 
> of new techniques, trends in cinema, laws, etc? I have come across a 
> title "Yoshida Kijuu ga kataru Ozu Yasujirou no eiga sekai" which 
> seems relevant (and available) but is it recommendable?
> Any advice on specific materials or where to search will be much 
> appreciated.
> Cordially,
> Christian M. Hermansen, Ph.D. 
> ===000===
> Associate Professor
> Kwansei Gakuin University
> 662-8501
> Hyogo-ken, Nishinomiya-shi
> Uegahara 1-1-155
> Tel: (+81) 798-54-6974 (Direct)
> Fax:(+81) 798-54-0951 (Secretariat)
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