Mizoguchi and neo-realism

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow at yale.edu
Sun Jun 10 21:17:01 EDT 2007

Just a note on thinking about "influences."

Considering the availability of films is very important (there are a 
lot of sloppy mistakes out there that result from lazy research), but 
one must also consider the issue of published information. For 
instance, one could say that, given how many Soviet films were censored 
in prewar Japan, the influence of Soviet montage on Japanese cinema was 
as much due to published articles and translations as to the films 
themselves. In considering the neo-realist example, one must not only 
look at release dates for films, but also the film magazines at the 
time and see if anyone was introducing this cinema. Remember that they 
need not have seen the movies: there were many in the world of film 
journalism who were multi-lingual and would often read the foreign film 
magazines, thus writing articles based on those.

That said, the comment about domestic "realist" traditions is also very 
important, but this again should also extend to the realm of film 
criticism and theory. Imamura Taihei was of course the primary 
proponent of realism in the prewar and wartime years, but some of 
Sugiyama Kohei's writings are practically Bazinian and Hase Masato has 
compared (somewhat problematically) Tsumura Hideo to the spirit of the 
French New Wave. Do not forget that many directors had close 
relationships with film critics, and often wrote pieces about film 

Aaron Gerow
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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