martes, 15 de febrero de 2011

"DESCARGAR - DOWNLOAD Japanese Documentary Film (The Meiji Era Through Hiroshima) - Abe Mark Nornes"

Among Asian countries-where until recently documentary filmmaking was largely the domain of central governments-Japan was exceptional for the vigor of its nonfiction film industry. And yet, for all its aesthetic, historical, and political interest, the Japanese documentary remains little known and largely unstudied outside of Japan. This is the first English-language study of the subject, an enlightening close look at the first fifty years of documentary film theory and practice in Japan.

Beginning with films made by foreigners in the nineteenth century and concluding with the first two films made after Japan's surrender in 1945, Abé Mark Nornes moves from a "prehistory of the documentary," through innovations of the proletarian film movement, to the hardening of style and conventions that started with the Manchurian Incident films and continued through the Pacific War. Nornes draws on a wide variety of archival sources-including Japanese studio records, secret police reports, government memos, letters, military tribunal testimonies, and more-to chart shifts in documentary style against developments in the history of modern Japan.

Abe Mark Nornes is associate professor at the University of Michigan, where he teaches in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Program in Film and Video Studies.


I came to write about Japanese documentary through a somewhat unusual route. Most historians dig into a segment of history with some sense of where they are and what they will find. They come to their subjects as scholars writing works of history. My approach has been far more roundabout. My introduction to the subject came when I was asked to coprogram, with Fukushima Yukio, a retrospective called “Nichi-Bei Eigasen” (Japan/America film wars) for the 1991 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. This event examined American and Japanese World War II–era documentaries covering the same themes or subject matter. We showed an American film and a Japanese film on a given subject back-toback, in a dialogical manner, so that the films implicitly commented on each other. In this manner, we explored the war cinema and the culture in both countries by comparing them with each other. The contrasts and connections that spontaneously emerged from these back-to-back screenings also taught us lessons for today’s televised version of the war film (our first research screenings at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, D.C., happened to coincide with the start of the Gulf War). I had already studied the American war documentary and seen most of the major American films; the Japanese side, by way of contrast, was new territory. English-language materials had little to say on the matter. The standard histories by Barnouw and Barsam devote only a page or two, and both rely heavily on the observations of Joseph Anderson and Donald Richie.1 The latter’s less-than-glowing assessment argues that Japanese documentary was “influenced more by German kulturfilme than by the British school of documentary. There was a pseudo-scientific, pseudoartistic approach which occasionally invalidated the subject and which one still sees in many contemporary Japanese documentaries.”2 Reading such scathing criticism, we worried that the Japanese side would pale in comparison with the American war documentary, leaving us with a lopsided program. We began reading Japanese histories, paging through old Japanese periodicals, and finally started seeing the extant films themselves in regular trips to the National Film Center of Japan. Although the majority of the films may have confirmed Anderson and Richie’s assessment, many were quite good, even powerful. We were pleasantly surprised at the depth of the history into which we had plunged blindly. Its complexity meant that our attempts to research it did not exhaust the possibilities for new, fascinating, and important areas of study. Although these efforts resulted in a book, we did not necessarily approach our work as scholars.3 We were film programmers, so our relationship to the films did not develop in the relatively solitary space between history and writing. This was a different style of history that involved screenings, reading, and constant discussions—between partners on how to structure a meaningful event, between audience members at festival screenings and discussion sessions, and among Japanese film historians ever since, as the event achieved some lasting notoriety in the Japanese film world. My experience of the films is inseparable from this involved process, and is in some sense the sum of those relationships.[...]


Note on Japanese Words and Names
1 A Prehistory of the Japanese Documentary
2 The Innovation of Prokino
3 A Hardening of Style
4 Stylish Charms: When Hard Style Becomes Hard Reality
5 The Last Stand of Theory
6 Kamei Fumio: Editing under Pressure
7 After Apocalypse: Obliteration of the Nation

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario