Ideology and Revolution in Japanese Cinema
This course presents modern Japanese cinema through its connection to politics and ideology. Grounded upon the assumption that all works are informed by a certain belief system, whether capitalism, religion, or revolutionary communism, this advanced course investigates important works of Japanese cinema, as well as relevant works of visual, pop, and televisual culture, through the lens of ideological structures. The course will also connect course texts, films, and other media to global modernism and post-modernism. Although largely chronological, the course is thematically driven, starting with the “Modern Girl” (moga) in the 1920s, continuing through the revolutionary avant-garde film movements of the 1960s, and ending with contemporary responses to Fukushima. Themes discussed in the course include gender and sexuality, the effect of Western and capitalist economies on daily life, war trauma and memory, revolutionary subcultures, and postwar liberation movements. This interactive course will include nearby screenings and lectures, will entail a few short papers, and will conclude with a final presentation (which can have a transnational and comparative component).