Film schools & Economic Necessity

Michael McCaskey mccaskem
Mon Jun 16 11:33:29 EDT 2008

Dear Aaron,

Thank you very much! This is all really excellent, interesting, and very helpful information. 

I have been wondering for three years just where "Who's Camus" was filmed. When I found out that Yanagimachi was involved with Waseda, I wondered how Waseda had gotten to look so terrific, and whether it might be some new sub-campus I didn't know about. More recently I read that it was shot at Tokyo Univ., and once again I wondered exactly where it could be there. Now I know, thanks to you, and I can let my students know this Fall. Some will surely decide that they'd like to go there for study abroad.

When I was growing up in Japan, I would see occasional US films set on university campuses, and the campuses always seemed to be all beautiful red brick buildings surrounded by enormous perfect green lawns. I eventually came to be more and more certain that it was always the same US campus. And it seems from your posting that it is the same with Rikkyo as a university film setting in Japan.

It would be very interesting to find out if if anyone has done, is doing, or will be doing, a study on the economic aspects of the lives of film makers and performers in Japan, especially independents, as opposed to the economics of the film industry there in general. I think "The Flash of Capital" by Eric Cazdyn is more a historical-materialist analysis of the industry, but I may be mistaken. Hopefully there's much more material out there with this focus that I don't know about yet.

Thanks Again,

Michael McCaskey 

----- Original Message -----
From: Aaron Gerow <aaron.gerow at>
Date: Monday, June 16, 2008 8:26 am
Subject: Re: Film schools

> > At times I've seen such online biographies, which simply focus 
> on  
> > film titles, leaving me wondering what people do/have done in 
> between.
> Well, it is not just a question of "in between." The fact is that  
> most directors in Japan cannot live just by what they make by  
> directing, so many do other things including teaching. When 
> Shinozaki- 
> san got the professorship at Rikkyo, I was happy if only because 
> he  
> was now going to be getting a regular income!
> >
> > In the case of Yanagimachi, for instance, the readily available  
> > information online shows a 10-year hiatus between his 1995 
> Tabisuru  
> > Pao-jiang-hu and 2005 Who's Camus, without mentioning that he 
> was  
> > teaching at Waseda and doing other things during that time. The  
> > Waseda information also helps in understanding Who's Camus, and 
> its  
> > possible autobiographical elements.
> The curious thing is that Camus was actually shot at Rikkyo. 
> Watching  
> it, I kept on remembering other films shot there, from the student 
> films of Kurosawa and Aoyama to Sumo Do Sumo Don't.
> >
> > Even though I know he was teaching at Waseda, I still don't know 
> > exactly what sort of film program Waseda has, and who else may 
> be  
> > on the film faculty there, or even whether Yanagimachi is still  
> > teaching there now.
> Filmmaking was mostly taught in the Daini Bungakubu at Waseda, but 
> with the Bungakubu being restructured, I think it has now mostly  
> shifted to the Geijutsu Gakko. I know Koguchi Utako has been 
> teaching  
> there.
> 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
> site:

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