Konno Yuuji / televised film criticism/ novelizations
Jonathan M. Hall
jmhall at pomona.edu
Thu Aug 5 15:15:57 EDT 2010
Usually, announcements of deaths and passings made here are of Japanese actors, critics, and directors who have led long and full lives. It's all the more sad to report, then, the death of Konno Yuji (66), from suicide a few days ago. Konno's regular appearance on the late night show "11PM" made him one of Japan's very few broadcast film commentators.
Yodogawa Nagaharu might come to mind, but as far as I know, his televisual personality was more as a critic/presenter of worthy films being televised usually well after their theatrical release. Besides Osugi and Pico, what other tv film critics come to mind? This would be a suitable time to think about the status of tv-based film criticism--or perhaps about the prevalence of gay film critics on the airwaves. I don't believe Konno was public about his sexuality, which is another way for me to say that I have no idea what it was. But some of his reviews left viewers wondering. I was taken aback by the homophobic reactions to the 2ch. reporting of his death.
Konno also has a number of film novelizations to his name. While our discussions on this list about novelization usually have focused on the director novelizing her/his own work (Aoyama, Hashiguchi, etc...), in Konno's case, he novelized successful foreign films including Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet and Christopher Nolan's Memento. I hope that person among us working on novelizations will include this mode of the art as well.
Konno also promoted musicians such as Boy George and Roxy Music, and penned lyrics.
Jonathan M Hall
JSPS Visiting Fellow 2009-2011
Institute for Language and Culture
Meiji Gakuin University
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