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Title: Demystifying Japanese uniqueness : representations of life and death in contemporary Japanese fiction cinema
Author: Savina, Anastasiya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 5097
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Demystifying Japanese Uniqueness. Representations of Life and Death in Contemporary Japanese Fiction Cinema strives to create a thorough analysis of selected contemporary Japanese films with a specific focus on the fictional drama genre produced in the period from the mid-1990s to present day in relation to specific social and political circumstances and critical of essentialisation. By investigating visual and narrative film patterns as well as its scholarly and critical readings, which contributed to interpretations of Japanese cinema through terminologies such as ‘obscurity’, ‘mysticism’ and most importantly the elusive concept of national ‘uniqueness’, this thesis works towards de- mystification. Chapter one – History, Monumental Style and Aesthetics of Shadows will give a historical background by investigating events within political, social and cultural developments, which influenced film production and contributed to the mystification discourse of Japanese cinematic patterns during its early phases. Chapter two – The Instruments of Mystification. Japanese Cinema in the Period of the 1990s–2000s consists of a detailed analysis of the instruments of ‘mystification’ such as the influence of pre-contemporary cinematic aesthetics, a non-linear concept of time, and the deliberate export and promotion of films that fulfil the criteria of being quintessentially Japanese. The analysis is created through a close reading of drama fiction film examples. Finally, the last chapter of the thesis – Japanese Cinema and the Significance of the Disasters argues the shift in cinematic consciousness and strives to uncover any significant changes in post-3.11 cinema production and how the incident has influenced the approached towards the representations of life and death in Japanese cinema as well as their ‘mystification’ over the last five years.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral