Editors' Note : Japan Society presented a series of Japanese animated and live-action films of the ss, featuring benshi narration, from Feb. For more information about this program, please visit the Dawn of Japanese Animation listing on Japan Society's main website. From the very first showing of motion pictures in Japan in until the end of the silent era ina person, or a group of people, always supplied a verbal component to the motion picture show.
While one can find examples of similar motion picture narration elsewhere in the world, Japan is the only place where narrators proved to be an influential and integral part of silent cinema. During the initial decade of motion pictures, benshi typically appeared prior to the films, giving audiences rather detailed introductory remarks maesetsu about the content of the movies about to be shown.
Since most of the motion pictures were foreign imports, benshi primarily spent their time explaining Western exotica, customs, and places contained in the film. As movies became more narrative, benshi began summarizing film plots and characters in their introductory remarks. Some of these films were actual news reels of the fighting. Most, however, were staged re-creations, such as those Thomas Edison produced and filmed in New Jersey.
In front of packed houses, Benshi roused audiences into a nationalistic fervor by providing extremely patriotic and jingoistic commentaries. Following the Russo-Japanese War, benshi and their narrative art of setsumei entered an extended period of experimentation as motion pictures became much longer and more narrative. While benshi continued to provide introductory remarks maesetsu that outlined the plot and characters until the early s, there was increasing emphasis on the setsumei that took place while the film was showing.
During this period of experimentation, as benshi searched for the most appropriate sound, tone, and style for their emerging narrative art, a critical split emerged in setsumeiwith foreign films being narrated in one manner and Japanese movies in another.
For foreign films, a solo benshi engaged the audience by explaining what was transpiring on screen. For Japanese films, a performance style known as kowairo setsumei voice coloring emerged. Kowairo setsumei entailed a number of performers, usually from four to six, positioned out of sight on the wings of the stage, adding dialogue in mimetic voices to the characters on screen.
The illusion created by a kowairo setsumei performance was that of a dubbed film. Foreign films tended to be regarded as more high-brow and, as a consequence, foreign film benshi and their elucidating setsumei tended to be viewed as more intellectual than the benshi who provided mimetic dubbed kowairo setsumei. Although there was a split in setsumeithe two branches constantly influenced one another. In particular, the benshi who performed the solo style of foreign film setsumei began incorporating mimetic character voices into their narration.
A major turning point in the history of Japanese cinema was the Pure Film Movement of Within the pages of the cinema magazines of the time, the proponents of the Pure Film Movement attacked what they perceived to be the anachronistic elements of Japanese cinema, which they claimed were holding it back from achieving the quality of Western cinema.
In particular, they attacked the use of female impersonators onnagatta or oyama and benshi. Primarily because of the tradition of the stage theater noh and kabukiwhich used male actors for female roles, early motion pictures in Japan used men to play women as well. Audiences welcomed the sight of attractive Japanese women on the screen.
In the West, filmmakers had devised numerous cinematic techniques, such as editing and framing, which allowed them to tell a story visually. Yes, intertitles were used to help the audience follow along, but Western filmmakers tried to keep them to a minimum. In part because of benshiJapanese filmmakers were slow to adopt and develop cinematic storytelling techniques.
Japanese filmmakers knew that whatever they could not convey visually would be explained aurally by the benshi. It was because of this feature that the Pure Film Movement attacked benshi. They failed, however, in their attempt to get rid of benshi. The introductory remarks that benshi gave prior to the showing of a film as well as group kowairo setsumei died out. What survived was a form of setsumei performed by a solo benshi.As well as bringing vice to the forefront of Japanese cinema, the new wave challenged well-established filmmaking constructs with innovative editing, composition and narrative techniques.
But considering the radical, unconventional nature of the Japanese New Wave, it has a surprisingly corporate origin. The Japanese New Wave consistently pushed the boundaries of what could be shown in theatres, often discussing the carnality of mankind with stories of corruption, lewd realities and unadulterated societal truths.
Perhaps inevitably, the young filmmakers tasked with crafting the Japanese New Wave would become dissatisfied with their roles within large studios, allowing the movement to progress with independent productions and the ATG Arts Theatre Guild. I make movies about things I do not understand, but wish to. German Expressionism. French Impressionist Cinema. Soviet Montage. Italian Neorealism. Japanese New Wave.
British New Wave. French New Wave. Hong Kong New Wave. Dogme Movements In Film.
Movements In Film Explore the cinematic movements that shaped film history. Japanese New Wave Japan est. Japanese New Wave Films - Explore the Japanese New Wave movies that shaped film history.Written by Claudio September 5, - 3 minutes read.
The natural question that follows is: which of the two is better? Let me elaborate. In fact, in the early days of the industry, the English made a significant quantity of watches and clocks between and ; often better than the Swiss, incidentally. Switzerland was established as the definitive capital of watchmaking as a result of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century.
Thus the first Swiss watch brands date back to the same era. On the other side of the world, the Western system of timekeeping with hours of equal duration had not yet reached Japan at the start of the 19th century. The fledgling Japanese watchmaking industry flourished until the outbreak of the Second World War, the devastating effects of which almost wiped out the entire nation. But Japan would rebuild, its watchmaking industry included. By the dawn of the s, the level of quality of Japanese watch production was on a par with the demands of the global market.
Since the 70s, the Japanese watchmaking sector has been one of the biggest exporters of watches of its time. Although the quality of finishing might not always be up to scratch, Japanese movements are renowned for their reliability and sturdiness.
While the Swiss watchmaking industry still employs manual assembly for certain models of caliber, Japanese movements are mostly produced by an automated robot assembly line.
This allows for a much lower degree of error than the naked eye. Due to the nature of this method of assembly, Japanese movements are often cheaper than those from Switzerland, though this in no way implies inferior quality. With their high performance and attractive prices, Miyota movements have become unavoidable in the world of watchmaking, and now feature in the watches of a great many brands around the world, from entry-level to high-end.
There are also high-end manufacturers who often remain in the shadow of the big brands, developing custom-made movements; these include Concepto, Chronode and La Joux-Perret. Swiss movements are held in high esteem by many watchmakers and collectors for a variety of reasons. Finishing is an important aspect of Swiss mechanisms; from the way the metal is machined to the color of the jewels, each esthetic detail is considered during the design and construction processes.
For the most part, Swiss and Japanese manufacturers produce quality, reliable movements. In terms of industrial-type movements, you can see differences in precision between one model and the next. But the main difference for this type of movement is in the quality of the finishing; in this aspect, Swiss movements are typically a cut above. The precision and sturdiness of the movements are comparable, even if the ETA movement admittedly has a bit of an advantage in terms of finishing.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter.Although they did not make up a coherent movement, these artists shared a rejection of traditions and conventions of classical Japanese cinema in favor of more challenging works, both thematically and formally.
Coming to the fore in a time of national social change and unrest, the films made in this wave dealt with taboo subject matter, including sexual violenceradicalismyouth culture and deliquencyKorean discriminationand the aftermath of World War II. They also adopted more unorthodox and experimental approaches to compositionediting and narrative.
The trend borrows its name from the French Nouvelle vaguea concurrent movement that similarly scrapped the established traditions of their national cinema. Unlike the French counterpart, Japanese New Wave originated within the film studio establishment in an attempt to invigorate local cinema which was being undermined by television productions with new ideas from young directors.
Failing to thrive within the studio system, these filmmakers eventually formed independent production companies. Most notably, Art Theatre Guild significantly boosted the movement by producing and distributing several of the most renowned New Wave titles. David Desser in his Eros plus Massacre places the marginal comment:. To see the Japanese New Wave as an imitation of the French New Wave an impossibility since they arose simultaneously fails to see the Japanese context out of which the movement arose.
Unlike the French nouvelle vaguethe Japanese movement initially began within the studiosalbeit with young and previously little-known filmmakers. The term was first coined within the studios and in the media as a Japanese version of the French New Wave movement.
The Japanese movement developed at roughly the same time with several important s precursor filmsbut arose as more of a movement devoted to questioning, analyzing, critiquing and at times upsetting social conventions. One Japanese filmmaker who did emerge from a background akin to his French colleagues was Nagisa Oshimawho had been a leftist activist and an analytical film critic before being hired by a studio.
Oshima's earliest films —60 could be seen as direct outgrowths of opinions voiced in his earlier published analysis. Working separately, they explored a number of ideas previously not often seen in more traditional Japanese cinema: social outcasts as protagonists including criminals or delinquentsuninhibited sexuality,  changing roles of women in society, racism and the position of ethnic minorities in Japan,  and the critique of or deconstruction of social structures and assumptions.
Unlike other Japanese New Wave filmmakers, Susumu Hani directed his works almost entirely outside of the major studios. Hani moved into feature filmmaking from an earlier career in documentary filmand favored non-actors and improvisation when possible. The documentaries Hani had made during the s 's Children in the Classroomand 's Children Who Draw had introduced a style of cinema verite documentary to Japan, and were of great interest to other filmmakers.
Hani's feature debut, Bad Boys was based upon the actual experiences of the disaffected youth seen in a reformatory ; Hani felt that casting the same youth as actors would lend his film authenticity, blurring the lines between fiction and documentary in the process. I do not admire people, though I admire many persons.
But I don't like what society does to persons. It perverts them. Yet, I don't want to attack society. I am not that kind of person.
What I would like to do is ignore it. Or better, show something else. This is what I have done in my pictures, including the animal ones . Many of Hani's subsequent nature films were shot in Africa, an area he first explored in the Song of Bwana Toshi.
Imamura's work was less overtly political than Oshima or several filmmakers who emerged later in the s.Text size: A A A. About the BFI. Press releases and media enquiries.
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Classroom resources for teachers. Courses, training and conferences for teachers. BFI Film Academy. About BFI Education. Film industry statistics and reports. Future learning and skills — giving everyone the opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with film.Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world; as ofit was the fourth largest by number of feature films produced. The kinetoscopefirst shown commercially by Thomas Edison in the United States inwas first shown in Japan in November Tsunekichi Shibata made a number of early films, including Momijigarian record of two famous actors performing a scene from a well-known kabuki play.
At the dawn of the twentieth century theaters in Japan hired benshistorytellers who sat next to the screen and narrated silent movies.
22 movie movements that defined cinema
With the advent of sound in the early s, the benshi gradually declined. Onoe became Japan's first film starappearing in over 1, films, mostly shorts, between and The pair pioneered the jidaigeki genre.
Among intellectuals, critiques of Japanese cinema grew in the s and eventually developed into a movement that transformed Japanese film. In what was later named the Pure Film Movementwriters in magazines such as Kinema Record called for a broader use of such cinematic techniques. Some of these critics, such as Norimasa Kaeriyamawent on to put their ideas into practice by directing such films as The Glow of Lifewhich was one of the first films to use actresses in this case, Harumi Hanayagi.
There were parallel efforts elsewhere in the film industry. In his film The Captain's DaughterMasao Inoue started using techniques new to the silent film era, such as the close-up and cut back.
The Pure Film Movement was central in the development of the gendaigeki and scriptwriting. New studios established aroundsuch as Shochiku and Taikatsuaided the cause for reform. At Taikatsu, Thomas Kurihara directed films scripted by the novelist Junichiro Tanizakiwho was a strong advocate of film reform.
By the mids, actresses had replaced onnagata and films used more of the devices pioneered by Inoue. Japanese films gained popularity in the mids against foreign films, in part fueled by the popularity of movie stars and a new style of jidaigeki.
Director Teinosuke Kinugasa created a production company to produce the experimental masterpiece A Page of Madnessstarring Masao Inoue, in With the rise of left-wing political movements and labor unions at the end of the s, there arose so-called tendency films with left-leaning tendencies.
In contrast to these commercially produced 35 mm filmsthe Marxist Proletarian Film League of Japan Prokino made works independently in smaller gauges such as 9.
Such moves by the government had profound effects on the expression of political dissent in s cinema. A later version of The Captain's Daughter was one of the first talkie films.
It used the Mina Talkie System. The Japanese film industry later split into two groups; one retained the Mina Talkie System, while the other used the Iisutofyon Talkie System used to make Tojo Masaki's films.
The earthquakethe bombing of Tokyo during World War II, and the natural effects of time and Japan's humidity on flammable and unstable nitrate film have resulted in a great dearth of surviving films from this period. Unlike in the West, silent films were still being produced in Japan well into the s; as late asa third of Japanese films were silent. A few Japanese sound shorts were made in the s and s, but Japan's first feature-length talkie was Fujiwara Yoshie no furusatowhich used the Mina Talkie System.
Film criticism shared this vitality, with many film journals such as Kinema Junpo and newspapers printing detailed discussions of the cinema of the day, both at home and abroad. The s also saw increased government involvement in cinema, which was symbolized by the passing of the Film Lawwhich gave the state more authority over the film industry, in Sean Tirman.
Category: Style. In fact, the Japanese have a lot to be proud of in regards to the craft. Hell, Seiko actually invented the quartz movement — an innovation that altered the watchmaking landscape permanently.
Japanese New Wave
Perhaps obviously, the watchmaking landscape in Japan is not quite as vast as that of the Swiss — but there are still a fair number of brands producing spectacular watches that call Japan their home. And their offerings span a wide range of prices, styles, functionality, and more. Size: If the Bambino is a bit too dressed-up for you, never fear; Orient has plenty of other options.
One such offering is the Ray II automatic dive watch. For starters, the offset crown makes for more comfortable all-day wear regardless of the activity. And it has a dive timer bezel. However, perhaps the most enticing bit is that this watch boasts a solar-powered movement — meaning sunlight is all you need to keep it ticking indefinitely.
Another solar-powered offering from Citizen, the Nighthawk is vastly different from its diver-styled sibling. You see, this watch is designed for use by travelers and pilots alike.
In conjunction with its stainless steel case and link band, it boasts a slide rule — a handy tool that allows pilots to complete on-the-fly calculations without the help of digital instruments. Though their best-known watches most certainly come from their G-SHOCK sub-brand, Casio does make other watches for those looking for timekeepers with a bit more refinement in their styling. This Edifice EQBBR-1ACF is one such watch — boasting smartphone connectivity, a solar-assisted quartz movement, an onboard world timer, a tachymeter, and much more.Japanese full action movie
This new version retains much of the same iconic styling, but now comes in a completely metal case with a matching band. It also boasts a solar-powered movement, a Multi-Band 6 built-in antenna for accurate timekeeping at all times, Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app compatibility, plus plenty of other built-in features.
It boasts a stainless steel case with a matching link band, an automatic movement, a water-resistance rating of m, an offset crown, and more.