Next Kinema Club
The symposium seeks to establish a forum for re-opening the discussion on the era traditionally identified as the Golden Age of Japanese cinema, the 1950s. This is when the local film industry was entering its most prosperous phase, audiences were steadily growing, the total number of films produced was rising on an annual basis, and Japanese cinema began to have a considerable international following. The era is typically considered to have been characterised by liberal humanism as seen in the canonical works of Mizoguchi Kenji, Ozu Yasujirō, Kurosawa Akira and others. In order to balance this received understanding, the aim of the symposium is to focus attention on a number of seminal filmmakers hitherto underrepresented in Western academic discourse. This contextualised auteurist focus will be complemented by a focus on the system of stars and genres, and the interdependence between industry and the audiences. Papers will explore how individual films and production companies reworked traditional genres in the context of Japan’s recent historical experience, bringing a precise sociopolitical focus to popular genres. While widening academic attention to 1950s Japanese cinema beyond a relatively narrow focus of humanism and auteurist theories, this conference will also aim to readjust the general focus of Japanese film studies, which has recently shifted to the 1930s and 1960s.
Organised by Dr Lauri Kitsnik and Dr Alexander Jacoby (Oxford Brookes University) with support from the Sainsbury Institute.
The symposium is free to attend and open to students and scholars interested in the subject. Registration is essential as seats are limited. Please contact the Sainsbury Institute to book your place on 01603 597 507 or email us.