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Japanese Cinema Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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Hardcover, September 1, 2009
$47.49 $19.83

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: TASCHEN America Llc; First Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822831565
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822831564
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,855,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stuart Galbraith IV is the author of seven books. He also makes DVD audio commentaries and liner note essays, writes a DVD column for the English edition of The Daily Yomiuri, and reviews DVDs at DVDTalk.com. He lives in Kyoto.

About the editor:
Paul Duncan
has edited 50 film books for TASCHEN, including the award-winning The Ingmar Bergman Archives, and authored Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick in the Film Series.
 


More About the Author

I was born at a very young age and have grown older ever since. I have passed the time sharing my passions for films, mystery fiction and comics by publishing, editing and writing books and magazines. I spent my teenage years publishing 'Ark: The Comics Magazine' (1980-1990) and writing graphic novels ('Second City', 'Overload', 'Beautiful People'), before graduating to a life of crime.
I co-founded 'Crime Time' magazine (1995-present), and edited 'The Third Degree: Crime Writers In Conversation', as well as writing some mystery short stories. It was during this time that I discovered the fantastic fiction of Gerald Kersh, who I have championed ever since through many articles and short story collections. (He's famous for the novel 'Night and the City', which was turned into a fantastic Film Noir by Jules Dassin in 1950.) One day, I'll even finish Kersh's biography. Promise.
Unemployed and in need of an income, I founded Pocket Essentials in 1999, edited around 50 titles in the series, and wrote eight of them, including 'Martin Scorsese', 'Alfred Hitchcock', 'Film Noir' and 'Noir Fiction'. This brought me to the attention of the illustrious Mr. Benedikt Taschen, who took me under his wing and told me to make film books. Since 2003, I have happily, if not ecstatically, carried out his wishes by editing over 50 film books for TASCHEN, big and small, including the award-winning 'The Ingmar Bergman Archives'. I've even written a couple of them. Yesterday, somebody told me I had the best job in the world, and for the life of me I cannot find anything wrong with that statement.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aaron S. Berman on September 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those who love Japanese movies also know how frustrating it can be trying to find wide-ranging books on the subject in English. With the single exception of Jasper Sharp and Tom Mes' "The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film" (one of the best film books I've ever come across in any genre, by the way), we've lacked a multi-genre compendium on the subject. Japanese film lovers ccould pick up separate books about Japanese Horror, early films, Godzilla-type monster movies, etc., all of varying degrees of quality.

Which is why I was so excited to see that Taschen was putting out a book touching upon most of Japanese cinema. I finally received my copy this week, and I was blown away. First off, it's packed with photos, many of them full page, rather than the business-card size pics and smaller that you usually find in film books today.

Movies and directors covered range from early (1920s-30s) all the way up through 21st century J-horror and beyond, hitting everything from Takeshi Kitano and anime flicks to the work of Miike and Tsukamoto.

Anyone who's picked up a Taschen book or two knows what to expect from this one: great photos. The author also does an admirable job of introducing readers to all the major trends in Japanese film from the last 50 years or so. While I've been reading about and watching Japanese movies for some 6 or 7 years now, I still came away from this book with a few titles jotted down for my DVD wish list.

My only complaint with "Japanese Cinema" is that I would have preferred something with twice the number of pages, similar to Taschen's "Cinema Now." But that's just me being greedy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By sheldon on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Well, simply said, I expected more. It is, indeed, packed full of photos which is what I would expect from a Taschen book but it just does not cover enough. It seems the author was trying to acquaint the reader with the lesson common genre's of japanese films (i.e. comedies, musicals) and less well known directors (Hideo Gosha, for one example) and he does but he skims over so much and it is such a quick read it did not seem worth the price. It is a coffee table book and you should not expect much more. At one point the author says that Roman Porno films are being disovered by "the younger generation of Japanese Film Scholars" which sounds slightly elitist. Even so, if you have an interest in japanese film, have exhausted other books on the subject or find yourself reading about the same films again and again, then this might help you discover a few you might not know of (and might never have access to). I do not quite understand the inclusion of the Filmography in the back (there are only 10 films.) or why the films that are there were chosen. There are better books out there. There are also much, much worse. The photos are great but not worth the price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Sinnott on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The aptly named reviewer "useless" advises people to "Stick to books by Donald Ritchie or Alan Silver if you want some real insight into Japanese film history." It's ironic that Donald Ritchie loves Galbraith's latest offering and described discusses the "valuable scholarship" by this "esteemed author." You can read the whole review at the Japan Times web site here: [...]

I agree with Ritchie. This is an informative and well illustrated overview of Japanese cinema that does not limit itself to only the usual directors and stars. It's well worth picking up a copy as it will make a great addition to any cinema buff's library.
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3 of 31 people found the following review helpful By useless on August 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you have never seen or read anything, and I mean ANYTHING about Japanese film you might enjoy this rehash of the same generic information and generic photos. What a waste of paper and money. UGGHHHH. Stick to books by Donald Ritchie or Alan Silver if you want some real insight into Japanese film history. Like his name Gailbraith the fourth, most of what you will get in this book is fourth generation at least. I come to expect more of Taschen.UGGGGGhh for a second, third and fourth time.
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