Japanese governmental agencies/film

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow
Sun Sep 7 20:22:47 EDT 2008

Have to be quick here, but people should realize that the NFC has  
been the subject of high-level discussions about its role and future.  
In fact, there was a government committee set up a few years ago just  
to investigate what to do about it, focusing in particular on whether  
to make it independent of MOMAT. You can look at the final report of  
that committee here:


If you read it, you can see that they are fully aware that the NFC  
does not compare well with other institutions abroad. But, and I need  
to stress this time and time again, they have little vision of film  
research. To the committee members, the NFC exists priarily to  
preserve films (in part because of the contents industry) and to show  
them. If you look at the minutes of the meetings, there were some  
members who called for means for researchers to more easily see films  
there, but all that got left out of the final report. In the report,  
research is mentioned only in relation to using the library, or  
seeing public screenings, and that's it. There is no vision of the  
larger role of research in film culture or of the NFC's place in  
that. I think much of that stems from continued ignorance in official  
culture about film studies and/or prejudice over the place of film in  
intellectual life. Just look at the members of this committee:


Mostly industry people, with the only academic being Yokokawa  
Shinken, a Nichidai professor (70 years old) who is not exactly in  
the forefront of film studies. Much of what was to be discussed was  
determined when the members was decided, and one can see in that  
selection where government priorities are placed.

And even these priorities are not a priority, since a significant  
part of even what this committee recommended has not been acted upon.

Not very encouraging...

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
site: www.aarongerow.com

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