Mizoguchi and neo-realism

Mark Nornes amnornes
Mon Jun 11 09:57:54 EDT 2007

On Jun 10, 2007, at 9:17 PM, Aaron Gerow wrote:

> 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.

I'd second this, adding another example. In the 1930s, the British  
documentary movement was extremely influential as non-fiction film  
achieved prestige and started having an impact on the fiction film.  
However, most of the information they had on this came from Paul  
Rotha's book and a smattering of translated articles and second-hand  
descriptions from bi-lingual critics. People had no access to the  
films themselves, at least until the British embassy held a screening  
for critics and filmmakers. Even then these were small gatherings, so  
most readers had to use their imaginations. The new wrinkle here is  
that the diplomatic missions have been one non-commercial route for  
foreign films to make their way to Japan, and may or may not be  
figured into the record of releases. And don't forget the factor of  
travel?Kamei Fumio in the Soviet Union watching montage films, Ozu in  
Singapore watching captured American films, and then the postwar  
international film festival circuit.

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