Eros + Massacre (Yoshida Kiju, 1969)

Towards a Political Modernism? Critical Japanese Cinema of the 1960's & 1970's

Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 12:00am to Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 12:00am

Program Notes: 

PDF icon Nov2004ScrnSched_1.PDF
This symposium explores the poetics and politics of "independent" cinema in 1960s and 1970s Japan. The films from the period screened at the symposium reveal a cinema that contested dominant narratives of Japan's first modern century, frequently in reflexive forms that put narrative itself into question. Several of these films were produced by the Art Theater Guild, whose Shinjuku Bunka cinema became the main site where new Japanese cinema met its audience in a ferment of social, artistic, and political avant-gardes. Papers at the symposium analyze the decline of the mainstream studios and the development of alternative venues for the cinema, the relation between cinema and other contemporary arts, and the importance of political radicalism to filmmaking during this vibrant period in Japan's cultural history. Panels also study key theoretical problems: the subjectivity of the film auteur, the political situation, and "landscape theory." The symposium also highlights the work of director Yoshida Kiju Yoshishige, one of the central figures of post-new wave Japanese cinema. Two masterpieces from the period, Eros + Massacre and Martial Law, are screened and Yoshida's work as both critic and filmmaker is the subject of a panel discussion with the director.

Co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies, the Japan Committee, the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Japan Foundation, the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the Center for Gender Studies.