Widely considered the leading Western authority on Japan, Richie has a particular affinity for the nation'sfilms, as is evident on every page of this authoritative survey. He emphasizes the collaborative nature of film,which is particularly appropriate since in Japanese culture the collective usually trumps the individual, andshows how Japanese cinema largely eschewed realism and narrative until it fell under Western influence. Thesection on the silent era, when live narrators, benshi, described films' stories to audiences, is particularlyrevelatory, since 90 percent of pre-1945 Japanese films haven't survived. Richie comments insightfully on theacknowledged masters-- Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Kurosawa--and also on other notable directors who are virtuallyunknown to even the most avid American cineasts. He finds less to praise about contemporary filmmakers, whoseflashier, Westernized approach seems less to his liking. The impressive amount of information on films renownedand obscure and Richie's enthusiasm and critical acumen make this essential for film studies collections. Briefreviews of about 200 films, with notations on video availability, top things off nicely.
Title.....:A Hundred Years of Japanese Film
Years.....:August 1, 2005
ISBN......:9784770029959 / 4770029950