Sunday, April 27, 2008

Markus Nornes/ Sato Makoto Film Screenings and Talk

Announcement from H-Japan... I don't expect many of us will be able to travel to Berkeley during Golden Week. But this announcement has a lot of interesting information and issues for visual anthropologists to ponder. And if you can go to this film screening and colloquium, I'll give extra credit for a report...

The University of California Berkeley Center for Japanese Studies Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures Berkeley Film Seminar Program in Film Studies Present ....

In 1992, director Sato Makoto released "Living on the River Agano", a documentary closely examined the impact of Minamata Disease on a rural community in the mountains of Niigata. It was the result of several years spent living with the old farmers in the area. Ten years later, Sato and his cameraman returned to Niigata to renew their friendships with the farmers at least those that had survived in the intervening years, and on this occasion, they made another film "Memories of Agano" (2004).

These two films posed a range of challenges to the subtitler, beginning with the remarkably thick dialect of Niigata. Sato wanted his sequel to steadfastly resist the reduction of these people to the Disease, deciding that his goals could be best served by forcing spectators to listen to how people spoke rather than simply what they were saying.

This posed a novel challenge to the English subtitler. Nornes used Memories of Agano as an opportunity to bring his theorization of an "abusive subtitling" into thorough practice. After screening his version of "Memories of Agano", Nornes will discuss his collaboration with Sato.

Abe Markus Nornes is the author of Cinema Babel (Minnesota UP), a theoretical and historical look at the role of translation in film history. He also wrote Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary and Japanese Documentary Film: From the Meiji Era to Hiroshima (both Minnesota UP). He co-edited Japan-American Film Wars (Routledge), In Praise of Film Studies (Kinema Club), and many film festival retrospective catalogs. He is on the editorial boards of Documentary Box (Japan), International Studies in Documentary, and Mechadamia and has been co-owner of the internet newsgroup KineJapan since its inception.

Sato Makoto Living on the River Agano
1992. 115 minutes
Thursday, May 1, 2008
7 PM-9 PM
142 Dwinelle Hall
Followed by Q&A with Markus Nornes

Subtitling Can be Disturbing: Memories of Agano & Abusive Translation
with a screening of Sato Makoto, Memories of Agano, 2004, 55 mins
Abe Markus Nornes
Screen Arts & Culture/Asian Languages & Cultures
University of Michigan
Friday, May 2, 2008
2:15 PM - 4:00 PM
142 Dwinelle Hall

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