Anime and genre

Peter Larson peter_larson2000 at
Sun Oct 1 20:06:53 EDT 2006

We of course should all remember when there was a time when people used to even argue about whether movies were art or not. I had a literature professor (in the 90's!) at the University of Michigan who used to argue that films weren't true art, as opposed to theater!

----- Original Message ----
From: < at>
To: KineJapan at
Sent: Sunday, October 1, 2006 9:01:59 PM
Subject: Re: Anime and genre

I apologise if the posting seemed a little brasher than it was intended. It
was written in haste. The implication within the original post was that
animated films were 'different' from live-action. My bracketting of the word
'superior' was not intentionally aimed at you. It seems to be something of a
tacit belief within mainstream film criticism however. The works of a great
number of very interesting, talented and stylistically distinct animators,
be they Japanese or otherwise, are not often treated in the same way as live
action films, and a lot of great work remains pretty much overlooked or
under-discussed. The situation is changing, but there have been plenty of
those who would look down on 'cartoons'.

Regarding Alex's comments about photography, I will just say that I do know
Alex and we have talked about anime in person, and the impression I got from
this (which Alex may wish to defend or not here!) is that he much prefers
"real cinema" and is not particularly interested in animation.

So the point i was trying to make, albeit rather hurriedly and perhaps
inarticulately, was that ultimately the two should not be seperated in
discussion of cinema, Japanese or not. A 'film', be it recorded reality or
constructed entirely by the maker, is a series of colours and forms that
unfold on a 2-dimensional screen along a certain time line. Apples and
oranges are still fruits.

Anyway, tis late, so I shall not spend any time trying to clarify my
position further. But please don't take offence.

Jasper Sharp

--------- Original Message --------
From: KineJapan at
To: KineJapan at <KineJapan at>
Subject: Re: Anime and genre
Date: 01/10/06 11:21

> On Oct 1, 2006, at 6:57 AM, wrote:
> &gt; I've always taken the view with Midnight Eye that if a film is
> &gt; length and released theatrically then it is a movie, regardless
> &gt; whether its
> &gt; animated, shot on film or video. To regard live action film as
> &gt; something
> &gt; intrinsically different (superior?) to animation really limits any
> &gt; discussion about the moving image. For me its like people saying
> &gt; they don't
> &gt; watch silent films, or black and white films or subtitled films- or
> &gt; films
> &gt; made after the 70s!
> Since when does an argument that A differs from B necessarily imply a
> value judgement? I haven't seen any suggestions that anyone on this
> thread is arguing the 'superiority' of cinema over anime. Shouldn't
> the discussion be based on what has actually been written and posted
> here?
> &gt; Alex's argument is absolutely nonsensical, as any  art historian
> &gt; who studied
> &gt; the 20th century is hardly likely to dismiss photography just
> &gt; because it is
> &gt; not painting.
>  and this is something which
> it very clearly does not imply. No more than it implies the contrary.
> Forgive me for saying so, but judging from the snips quoted above and
> from the rest of your post, it looks as though you haven't been
> reading this thread very attentively.
> L Cook

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