Japanese Cinema: the 1960s
In this course, we will study Japanese cinema of the 1960s through the lens of relevant works of film theory and analysis. Through screenings, readings, and discussion of exemplary works by directors working during the 1960s, we will explore how postwar Japanese film has represented society, class, gender, the family, love, the nation, and socio-political conflict. We will take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to consider recent debates concerning the dynamics of national specificity. Beyond considering cinema as a means for understanding society, politics, and culture, we will explore the nature of cinematic texts themselves, not so much as expressions or reflections of cultural identity, but as reflexive constructions which themselves create meaning. This course invites you to productively engage with a variety of analytical concepts such as: criticism; interpretation; stardom; mass culture; form; narrative; and more.
This course provides an opportunity for you to both expand your critical understanding of cinema, and to hone the skills necessary to write effective, personal responses to films and film-critical texts. In addition to exploring screen culture, you will be introduced to a series of texts that exemplify different styles of analysis and forms of persuasive argument. For the final writing assignment, you will learn strategies for effective use of both primary and secondary sources though summary, paraphrase, quotation, and proper citation. In this fashion, this course will familiarize you with the kinds of writing that are specific to the discipline of film studies.