Monday, March 15, 2010

Japanese Film Workshop at Meiji Gakuin University

Still looking for something to do during spring break? Here is a suggestion from H-Japan:

The next meeting of the Japanese Film Workshop is on Thursday, March 25, from 7 to 9PM, at Meiji Gakuin University, Shirokane Campus. PLEASE BE SURE that the venue has changed to *room 7418* on the 4th floor of the Hepburn hall (a tall building standing next to the main building). The Japanese Film Workshop is open to all, and directions from stations and the campus map can be found at:

An Impure Film: Chi to rei

Diane Wei Lewis
PhD Candidate, University of Chicago

My paper uses Mizoguchi Kenji's lost Expressionist film Chi to rei (Blood and Soul) as a departure point for discussing screen and spatial aesthetics in early 1920s Japan. Japanese reviews of German Expressionist films often complained about their lack of cohesion. The preexistence of Expressionist painting, literature, dance, architecture, sculpture, and drama magnified the demand for a specifically cinematic Expressionism that would be more than just the amalgamation of foregoing strains. Chi to rei was made at the height of the interest in Expressionist films, only a few months before the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. The film concerns a Chinese jeweler living in Nagasaki whose bizarre hereditary disease compels him to steal and kill. It too was panned as a poor study in Expressionist techniques, cited as additional proof that a fully-integrated, thoroughgoing Expressionist film style had yet to be found. Yet, surviving materials related to the film suggest that the filmmakers intentionally embraced the heterogeneity critics denounced. Read against the grain, criticism of Chi to rei (and Expressionist films in general) suggests various ways in which the prioritization of the cinematic image (and even more specifically, the notion of cinema as a screen-based medium) was defined in terms of exclusion.

For more information, please contact:


Anonymous said...

Do you have any more information on the Film workshop? Do we have to have signed up already?

visual gonthros said...

As the post says, for more info contact