Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema

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Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema is the definitive guide to the life and work of one of the greatest film-makers of the twentieth century. Born at the end of the nineteenth century into a wealthy family, Mizoguchi's early life influenced the themes he would take up in his work. His father's ambitious business ventures failed and the family fell into poverty.

His mother died and his elder sister was obliged to enter a geisha house to support the family. Her earnings paid for Mizoguchi's education.

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Weak and deluded men and strong, self-sacrificing women - these were to become the obsessive motifs of Mizoguchi's films. Mizoguchi's apprenticeship in cinema was peculiarly Japanese. His concerns - the role of women and the realist representation of the inequities of Japanese society - were not.

'One scene/one shot,' one director

Through two World Wars, Japan's culture changed. Though censored, Mizoguchi continued to produce films. Mizoguchi s key films, cinematographic techniques and his social and aesthetic concerns are all discussed and set in the context of Japan s changing popular and political culture.

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For reasons of space I have chosen to restrict this bibliography to full-length books. Close Menu Search Criterion Submit. Even though Mizoguchi was very knowledgeable about Western art, his style owed above all to the classical Japanese tradition. Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema is the definitive guide to the life and work of one of the greatest film-makers of the twentieth century. The Fate of Matinee Idols 6.

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Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. For example, Sato is concerned with revealed character on the screen and can directly and meaningfully generalize.

MIZOGUCHI, Kenji

Sato gives strong indications of the critical climate within Japan as well as when he writes about the various attacks the director suffered, being thought old- fashioned at best and reactionary at worst. Sato points out that such criticism was based on the notion that film ought to be analytical, but — he argues — this is not achieved when a number of short detailed shots are selected and then simply edited together. It is just as easy or as difficult to analyze a single scene if it also contains a like variety of images — as do those long, static scenes of Mizoguchi.

This finds the long long-shot far predominating over fast cutting — technically a preference for mise-en-scene over montage. Serious directors now seem more often to opt for the single scene, shown complete. This choice, Sato tells us, is ethical.