Ignore First Email,

Jasper Sharp jasper_sharp at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 25 04:22:47 EST 2009

I helped with a UK program of 6 films with the Japan Foundation a few years ago, "Move Over Ozu; The Modern Japanese Family on Film", which includes a number of the titles mentioned below. There's still some traces of the tour online, if you want to get a look at what we were trying to present:

Hope this helps

Midnight Eye

Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 19:58:55 -0500
From: robixsmash at gmail.com
To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
Subject: Re: Ignore First Email,

I think Cafe Lumiere is Hou Hsiao-hsien, not Tsai, but it was a film celebrating Ozu's 100th birthday. It's been a long time since I've seen it, but I really don't recall too much of the family structure in it. 

Here are some other suggestions, though I'm afraid there are some spoilers in the descriptions.

Hush! - Ryosuke Hashiguchi - 2001
Love My Life - Kôji Kawano - 2006
-These two both challange Japanese family norms, Hush!, by being about anything but a normal family structure (two gay men and a woman) whose straight families object to their lifestyle, and Love My Life, by being about a gay man and woman who tried to be straight and had a kid, so they stayed together despite not really being in love, just friendly love. It's a story told from the daughter's point of view. The daughter is also a lesbian and figuring this all out and how it applies to her own relationship through the film. 

Memories of Matsuko - Tetsuya Nakashima - 2006
-This is about a boy learning about his Aunt's life when he is asked to clean her apartment up after she dies. It's very powerful, and nothing at all like Nakashima's earlier work (except that it is also kind of whimsical). It does start before 1989, though. 

The Hanging Garden - Toyoda Toshiaki - 2005
-This is also kind of Ozu-ish, about a family that is anything but what they look like on the surface. 

Distance - Hirokazu Koreeda - 2001
Canary (Kanaria) - Akihiko Shiota - 2005

-These two deal with how the families of Aum Shinrikyo-type cult members dealt with the aftermath. Distance, from the point of view of fathers and siblings of various members getting together to mourn, and Canary from the point of view of children of one member. 

Wild Berries - Miwa Nishikawa - 2003

-Nishikawa was Koreeda's protegee of sorts after working under him on Distance. He produced this film for her, which is about a modern family and the death of the grandfather. 

Taste of Tea - Katsuhito Ishii - 2004

-This is a film about kind of an oddball family and how they interact and relate to each other and the outside world. It's an impossible film to describe, really. 

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 6:51 PM, Abraheme Hassan <abe.hassan2 at gmail.com> wrote:

To all list members, 

This is my present thesis.

  Japanese Identity and Cultural Politics in the 1980s

1900 to the end of the Taisho era (1926), Japanese cinema was solely
made for, and by the Japanese. As Japan modernized due to Western
influence after the Taisho era, Japanese cinema bloomed with a variety
of genres, and their national cinema had to appeal to foreign
audiences, not only for domestic viewing and commercial success. 
The period to be examined is the 1980s. Following numerous cultural,
political and economic transformations after WWII and prior to the
massive 1989 political and economic reforms, there are a number of
themes related to Japanese identity that I propose to discuss and
analyze in my thesis. Through the mediums of film and literature of the
1980s, I will study specific linguistic, social and psychological
standards and contradictions of Japanese society. Among others I will
be examining the works of Wakamatsu Koji, Oshima Nagisa and Imamura
Shohei, and selected writers like Murakami Haruki, Yamamoto Michiki and
Oe Kenzaburo, etc.
     I plan to pursue and acquire the information
through library research, interpretation of films, literature, and
interviews. I will present my research findings in a minimum
thirty-page paper. 
thesis is way to large to tackle. And I have decided to narrow down to
family structure through film and literature in Japan during modern
times. However, I can not decide on the time frame of analyzing the
family structure, perhaps from 1989 onwards because of major economic
and political reforms?

The only films that come mind and I haven't been in touch with
contemporary Japanese films, is "Nobody Knows" by Hirokazu Nikeeda and
Cafe Lumiere by Tsai Ming Liang ( which was a tribute to Ozu, says

Any suggestions about films, books, and on the thesis would be  highly  appreciated.


Abraheme Hassan



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