- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Kodansha International; Revised, Updated edition (September 7, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568364393
- ISBN-13: 978-1568364391
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History, with a Selective Guide to DVDs and Videos Revised, Updated Edition
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Widely considered the leading Western authority on Japan, Richie has a particular affinity for the nation's films, as is evident on every page of this authoritative survey. He emphasizes the collaborative nature of film, which is particularly appropriate since in Japanese culture the collective usually trumps the individual, and shows how Japanese cinema largely eschewed realism and narrative until it fell under Western influence. The section on the silent era, when live narrators, benshi, described films' stories to audiences, is particularly revelatory, since 90 percent of pre-1945 Japanese films haven't survived. Richie comments insightfully on the acknowledged masters-- Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Kurosawa--and also on other notable directors who are virtually unknown to even the most avid American cineasts. He finds less to praise about contemporary filmmakers, whose flashier, Westernized approach seems less to his liking. The impressive amount of information on films renowned and obscure and Richie's enthusiasm and critical acumen make this essential for film studies collections. Brief reviews of about 200 films, with notations on video availability, top things off nicely. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"What Boswell was to Johnson, what Gibbon was to ancient Rome, Donald Richie is to the Japanese cinema." —Premiere Magazine
"[An] essential study."—The New York Times, "Arts and Leisure"
"The guide to DVDs and videos includes the names of the principals and capsule-summaries of the films and it alone worth the price of the book. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film is both illuminating and thought-provoking." —The Bloomsbury Review
"...Through classic works by Akira Kurosawa, Shimizu Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi, and into modern day films by Takeshi Kitano, Hirokazu Kore'eda and Hayao Miyazaki. A selective guide for film aficionados of all ages." —Rafu Shimpo
"Richie's sense of both future and past remains as sharp as ever." —Film Comment
"Donald Richie is the leading U.S. authority on Japanese film." —American Cinematographer
"Donald Richie, whom we may call the 'Emperor' of Japanese film history, has done it again! This is probably the best, extensive 'digest' on all aspects of Japanese cinema to be available today in English." —Cinemaya
"Superb." —In These Times
"A concise, beautifully realized guide to the expansive history of Japanese film." —A Magazine: Inside Asian America
"Richie's expertise is hard to miss; surely he overlooks no aspect of these films." —Library Journal
"The impressive amount of information ... and Richie's enthusiasm and critical acumen make this essential for film studies and collections." —Booklist
"Richie's awareness of various film theories and criticism and his sensitivity to historical specificity and to new trends in Japanese film make this book an extremely inspiring one." —Persimmon
"A new book by Richie is always a welcome event ... He writes with an insider's view of Japanese culture. ...Both funny and refreshingly critical. He is the perfect guide to little-known styles, directors, and studios of his adopted land... For all collections." —Choice
"Monumental. Tracing the roots of Japanese film while exploring artistic and industrial intricacies of the business, A Hundred Years of Japanese Film is encyclopedic and laced with wonderful insights." —Tucson Weekly
"Richie's journey through a century of Japanese cinema is designed to fascinate. Like a master tour guide, he uses his encyclopedic knowledge of Japanese art, theater and history to show us how and why this national cinema is so fundamentally different from others." —Pacific Reader
"A Hundred Years of Japanese Film is a well-informed, insightful, and accessible (not loaded down with jargon) product of a lifetime devoted to the study and appreciation of his subject." —Hawai'i Herald
"For a scholarly, thoughtful, in-depth analysis on just about every classic Japanese movie, as well as a meaningful overview about the genre as a whole, A Hundred Years of Japanese Film is clearly and justifiably the principle reference to consult!" —Midwest Book Review
"A gorgeous book, written out of love by an obsessive film fan, and its only potential drawback is that it's likely to convert readers into equally obsessive fans." —Bookreporter.com
"A fitting coda to a lifetime of work from a writer who, to no small degree, helped to save the Japanese cinema from what might have easily been one hundred years of obscurity." —Japan Times
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Also, the author Donald Richie, has done the commentary of many of the above films, which means I already have a feel of where he is going with his views and observations. Overall the author is a very serious person when it comes to Japanese films, how they developed and what has happened to them over the years. A great book for anybody already deeply interested on the subject.