ISBN 10: 0773446737 / ISBN 13: 9780773446731
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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Numerous books on Japanese film have focused on important directors, such as Gosho, Naruse, Kurosawa and Ozu, and many fine histories of Japanese film have been written. Sorensen's English-language book focuses exclusively upon the occupation period and its effects on cinema. By offering this interpretation of cinema during the occupation, Sorensen gives us a new cultural history of the period. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Very few English-language books have focused exclusively upon the occupation period and its effects on cinema. This book investigates how Japanese fiction films produced during the American occupation (1945-1952) subverted occupation film censorship. It is based on extensive archival research and focuses primarily on the films of Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa. The introduction discusses the prevailing narrative of the relationship between victors and vanquished, which has the Japanese in the role of the good losers and the Americans in the role of the good winners. This powerful historical discourse of the benevolent occupation rubbed off on film historical writings. As a consequence, the analysis of resistance in the occupation films of Ozu and Kurosawa is virtually nonexistent. Since meaning is made by movie-goers, I present a general outline of the interpretive framework peculiar to Japanese audiences during the occupation in chapter two. Subsequently, the history, structure and daily practice of U.S. censorship is described.The analysis of films, film criticism, and censorship documents on Ozu's and Kurosawa's films show that both directors repeatedly probed the limits of censorship, at times dodged censorship and frequently managed to denounce the occupiers and their imposed modernization. Ozu's resistance was especially concerned with the status of women in contemporary Japanese society. Kurosawa continued to foreground many of the nationalist themes of his wartime propaganda films in his occupation films, and tended to dress his criminal characters up as westerners with the presumable intent to denounce both the occupiers and those Japanese who embraced the ways of the occupiers. Finally, the book argues that Kurosawa's international breakthrough, "Rashomon" (1950), lends itself to an interpretation bordering on anti-Americanism by the contemporary Japanese audience.

Review: "Sorensen argues that many filmmakers sought out subtle forms of resistance, oblique ways of countering or questioning the censors and the larger project of the occupation that lay behind them. By offering this interpretation of cinema during the occupation, Sorensen gives us a new cultural history of the period." - Prof. Stephen Prince Virginia Tech "... provides an important corrective to the prevailing understanding of two of the most important figures in the Japanese cinema, calling attention to aspects of Ozu's and Kurosawa's film-making that previous writers have overlooked or misunderstood..." - Prof. Casper Tybjerg University of Copenhagen"

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