Cinema and Anime in Japan, Asian 2261 (3 credits)
Fall, 2010, Lectures, M, W, 11:15 to 12:05, Baker 335
Discussions, F, Dis 201, 11:15-12:05 in Rockefeller 132, Dis 203, 12:20-1:10 Baker 135
Film Screenings: Kurosawa Centennial at Cornell Cinema, otherwise Mondays at 7:30 in 132 Rockefeller. Students interested in following the entire centennial screening series may take a 1-point course with Professor de Bary. Purchase of Cornell Cinema passes is recommended.
Course Blackboard site: Please see the Blackboard site for Asian2261-deBary-Fall2010 for most readings assigned in the course. Students should enroll themselves on the site, using the password “straydog.”
Instructor, Brett de Bary, 376 Rockefeller
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:30 to 2:30 and by appointment
Teaching Assistant, Mina Ahn
Section One: Cinema
Thinking About Text and Context in Postwar Japan
Week of 8/25
W, 8/25 Introductory Lecture
Screening: Kurosawa Centennial, STRAY DOG (Norainu, Kurosawa Akira, 1949), 122 mins. WSH, 7pm (also 8/31 at 7pm)
Readings: from Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John Dower (Norton, 1999), pp. 33-120.
Isolde Standish, “The Question of War Culpability and the Tôhô Studio Strikes” and “The Post-Defeat Decade” in “Cinema and Humanism,” from A New History of Japanese Cinema (Continuum, 2005), pp. 174-190.
F 8/ 27 Discussion of Stray Dog.
Week of 8/30
M 8/30 Kurosawa: Framing and Filming Late ‘40’s Japan
Screening, Kurosawa Centennial, DRUNKEN ANGEL (Yoidore Tenshi, Kurosawa, 1948), 98 mins. WSH, 7pm (also 8/31 at 9:30pm)
Readings: “Viewing Kurosawa,” pp. 4-31, and Chapter Three, “Will Power Can Cure All Human Ills,” pp. 67-99, which take up Stray Dog and Drunken Angel, from The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa by Stephen Prince (Princeton University Press, 1991).
W 9/1 Concepts of Film Form
Readings: “The Significance of Film Form,” Chapter Two from Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson (McGraw Hill, 1993), pp. 41-63,
F 9/ 3 Discussion of DRUNKEN ANGEL
Week of 9/6 “Rashômon” (1950) as Pivotal Site in Japanese Film History
M 9/ 6—NO CLASS LABOR DAY
Screenings: Kurosawa Centennial, RASHÔMON (Kurosawa, 1951), 87 minutes, WSH Monday, 9/6 at 7pm or Tuesday, 9/7 at 9:15pm
W 9/ 8 RASHÔMON and Film Narrative as a Formal System
Readings: James Goodwin, “Modernist Narrative and Intertexuality,” in Akira Kurosawa and Intertextual Cinema ( Johns Hopkins, 1994), pp 113-161.
Bordwell and Thompson, “Narrative as a Formal System,” Chapter Three from Film Art, pp 64-101.
Recommended: Parker Tyler, “Rashômon as Modern Art,” pp. 195-208, and Donald Richie, “Kurosawa and Rashômon,” in Rashômon: A Film by Akira Kurosawa (Grove Press, 1969), pp. 222-240.
D. Martinez, “Rashômon and the Problem of Subjectivity,” in Remaking Kurosawa: Translations and Permutations in Global Cinema (Palgrave, 2009), p. 30-31.
F 9/ 10
Discussion of Rashômon.
**First Written Assignment Due** Segmentation of “Rashômon” (S/U Grade)
Week of 9/13
M 9/13 The A-Bomb, Ethics, and Science in Japanese Postwar Film
Screening: Gojira (Honda Ishirô, 1954), 108 mins. Assigned Classroom, 7:30pm
Reading: Mark Anderson, “Mobilizing Gojira: Mourning Modernity as Monstrosity,” from In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage ed, Tsutsui and Ito (Palgrave, 2006), pp. 21-40.
Yomota Inuhiko, “The Menace from the South Seas: Honda Ishirô’s Godzilla (1954) from Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts, ed. Philips and Stringer, ( Routledge, 2007), pp. 103-109.
W 9/15 Godzilla, in Japanese and U.S. versions
F, 9/ 17 Teaching Sessions on Cinematography and Editing
Reading: “The Shot: Cinematographic Properties,” pp. 163-231, and Chapter Seven, “What Editing Is,” especially the section on “Continuity Editing,” pp. 261-270, Film Art
Week of 9/20
M 9/ 20 Kurosawa and the Meanings of Postwar Humanism
Screening: Kurosawa Centennial, TO LIVE (Ikiru, Kurosawa, 1952), 143 mins, WSH, 7pm, also 9/21, 9:15
Reading: W 9/22 Complications of Cinematography, Editing, and Theme in Ikiru
Prince, “Will Power Can Cure All Human Ills,” analysis of Ikiru, pp. 99-114.
Yoshimoto Mitsuhiro, “Ikiru: Point of View and Subjectivity,” in Yoshimoto, Kurosawa (Duke UP, 2000), pp. 195-204.
F 9/ 24 Discussion of Ikiru.
Monday 9/27. First 3-page paper due. Compare treatments of cinematography and theme in Ikiru by Prince and Yoshimoto.
SECTION TWO: FILMS OF THE 1930’S AND 1940’S
Week of 9/27 Mizoguchi Kenji
M 9/27 Theater, Melodrama, and Monumental Style in Mizoguchi
Screening: STORY OF THE LAST CHRYSANTHEMUM (Zangiku monogatari, Mizoguchi Kenji, 1939), 142 mins. 132 Rock.
Reading, Sato Tadao, “An Original Spirit” (pp. 1-14) and “”Three Traditional Art Films (Geidaimono)” (pp. 77-85) in Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema by Tadao Sato (Berg, 2009).
Darrell Davis, “Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939): A Riptide of Reaction” from Picturing Japaneseness: Monumental Style, National Identity, Japanese Film (Columbia UP, 1996), pp. 107-129.
W 9/29 Noel Burch, Mizoguchi, and the “Difference” of Japanese Cinema
Reading: Noel Burch, Sections on Zangiku monogatari in “Mizoguchi Kenji,” in To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema (UC Berkeley, 1976), pp. 217-247.
F 10/1 Discussion of Story of the Last Chrysanthemum
Week of 10/4
M 10/4 Gender Relations in Mizoguchi
Screening: SISTERS OF THE GION (Gion no shimai, 1936) in 132 Rock.
Reading: Kirihara, Donald, “Sisters of the Gion,” in Patterns of Time: Mizoguchi and the 1930’s (Wisconsin UP, 1992), pp116-134.
Recommended: Burch, section on Gion no shimai in “Mizoguchi Kenji” chapter.
W 10/6 Gender and Geopolitics in Mizoguchi
Cazdyn, Eric, “Mizoguchi and Colonialism,” in The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan (Duke UP, 2002), pp. 215-222.
F 10/8 Discussion of Sisters of the Gion
Week of 10/11 Ozu Yasujiro (1903-1963)
Mon, Oct 11 Fall Break, No Class
W 10/13 Dekigokoro: Ozu’s Editing Strategies
In-class Screening: A PASSING FANCY (Dekigokoro, Ozu Yasujro, 1932)
Reading: David Bordwell, “Structures, Strictures, and Stratagems,” Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (Princeton UP, 1987), pp. 51-73.
F 10/15 Discussion of Dekigokoro.
Bring your shot-by-shot analyses of the first 10 minutes of the film, available on Youtube: http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=tFxaNvuxetc&feature=related
SECTION TWO: Postwar Mass Culture, Film, Anime
Week of 10/18
M 10/18 Americanization, Youth Culture, Military Bases
Screening: PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS (Buta to gunkan, Imamura Shohei, 1962), 108 mins.
Audie Bock, “Shohei Imamura,” in Japanese Film Directors (Kodansha International, 1978), pp. 285-309.
Kojima Nobuo, “American School,” from Contemporary Japanese Literature (Knopf, 1977).
Marilyn Ivy, “Formations of Mass Culture,” in Postwar Japan As History edited by Andrew Gordon (UC Press, 1993), pp. 239-259.
Recommended: Enloe, Cynthia, “Base Women,” in Bananas, Beaches, and Bases (UC Berkeley Press, 1990). Available through Electronic Access:
W 10/20 Meet in Olin Library for library session on research tools.
Fri, Oct 22 Discussion of Pigs and Battleships.
Week of 10/25
M, 10/ 25 Assessing Japan’s New Wave: Nagisa Oshima
No screening this week.
Reading: David Desser, “Introduction,” and “Night and Fog in Japan” from Eros plus Massacre (Indiana UP, 1988), pp. 1-39.
M, 10/ 27 The Anpo Struggle and the New Wave
M, 10/29 Oshima Clips and Discussion
****Friday, October 29, Second Paper Due. Write an essay on Last Chrysanthemum, Sisters of the Gion, Dekigokoro, or Pigs and Battleships. You may draw on any of our readings. 3 pages.*****
M, 11/1 New Japanese Film of the 1990’s
Screening: THE RING (Ringu, Nakata Hideo, 1998),
Reading: Brenda Jordan, “Yûrei: Tales of Female Ghosts,” in Japanese Ghosts and Demons, edited by Stephen Addiss (George Braziller and Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 1985), pp. 25-33.
Fernando Gutierrez, “Emakimono Depicting the Pains of the Damned,” Monumenta Nipponic, Vol. 22, no. ¾ (1967), 2278-289. Available through J-Stor.
W, 11/ 3 Class Discussion of The Ring.
F, 11/6 Research Presentations start.
M, 11/ 8 From “Cinematism” to “Animetism”
Screening: CASTLE IN THE SKY (Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta, Miyazaki Hayao, 1984), 124 minutes.
Reading: Thomas Lamarre, “The Multiplanar Image,” from The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation (Minnesota UP, 2009), pp. 55-86.
W, 11/10 Miyazaki and the Aesthetics/Ethics of Limited Animation
F, 11/ 12 Research Presentations.
Week of 11/15
M, 11/15 Kon Satoshi: Analyzing the Gaze
Screening: PERFECT BLUE ( Kon Satoshi, 1997)
Reading: Susan Napier, “Excuse Me, Who Are You?”: Performance, the Gaze, and the Female in the Works of Kon Satoshi” in Cinema Anime edited by Steven Brown (Palgrave, 2006).
W, 11/ 17 Discussion of Perfect Blue.
F, 11/19 Research Presentations.
Week of 11/22
M, 11/ 22 Revisiting Evangelion
Screening: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (Shinseiki Evangelion, Anno Hideaki, 1995-1996).
Reading: Mariana Ortega, “My Father, He Killed Me: My Mother, She Ate Me: Self, Desire, Engendering, and the Mother in Neon Genesis Evangelion” in, Lunning, ed., Networks of Desire (Mechademia 2, Minnesota UP, 2007.)
W, 11/24 Class Discussion of Evangelion.
F, 11/ 26 NO CLASS, Thanksgiving
Week of 11/29
No Screening this week.
M, 11/29 Research Presentations.
W, 12/1 Research Presentations.
F, 12/ 3 LAST CLASS
Final Papers Due in Professor de Bary’s mailbox, 350 Rockefeller Hall, by 4pm, December 7. Absolutely no extensions granted. The final paper should be a 10-page research paper on a topic related to post-1980 films or anime we have not seen in class, and should be accompanied by a bibliography of at least books are articles of relevance to your theme (not all need to be directly referenced in your paper). Each student will present a paper proposal to the class for comments and feedback.
1. Attend all class meetings. (Attendance will be taken.)
2. Screenings and readings must be completed by assigned discussion dates.
3. All written work must be submitted on time.
Reading Material: All course reading material is posted on Blackboard.
It is highly recommended that you purchase a used copy of Film Art, by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson in the 4th edition (1993) Bordwell and Thompson McGraw Hill
(ISBN-10: 007112943X; ISBN-13: 978-0071129435) for reference during the first month of the course. One copy of the book will be placed on Uris Reserve.
Participation in discussion sections (includes S/U exercises): 15%.
First 3 page paper: 15%
Second 3page paper: 15%
Oral research presentation: 15%
Final 10-page paper: 40%