5001 Nights at the Movies by Pauline Kael

By Pauline Kael

Shrewdpermanent, humorous, and unforgettable, Pauline Kael is the main fascinating and influential movie critic in the US. Her skill to skewer an actor or director and her wit, perception, and thorough wisdom of the movie company make her by way of a long way the main worthwhile standard observer of the motion picture scene. This new assortment covers motion pictures that experience pop out because the past 1985 variation.

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The left-wing tendencies of some films in the 1920s were of particular concern to censors. The Prokino (Proletarian Film League of Japan) movement, founded in 1929 and influenced in particular by Soviet Film, aimed to produce films (documentaries mainly, but also fiction films) that examined the ‘realistic’ lives of working-class people and documented historical events of importance. The Prokino was outlawed in 1933, but these leftist tendencies would re-emerge in the New Wave cinema of the 1960s, and many of the horror films of the decade, such as Pitfall (Teshigahara: 1962) and Kwaidan, would utilise codes and conventions of horror in order to criticise modernity and capitalism obliquely.

At the same time, the Occupation saw the liberalisation of traditional Japanese values towards sexuality, which, as we have seen, were paradoxically constructed in relation to the West. Both Anderson and Richie (1982: 176) and Standish (2005: 162–5) point out that the ‘cinematic kiss’ was one result of new, more liberal values during the Occupation. Previously, even in Japanese films with romantic overtones, couples were never seen kissing. On May 1946, two films opened simultaneously: Yasaki’s Twenty-Year-Old-Youth and Chiba’s A Certain Night’s Kiss, both of which featured (heterosexual) kissing, giving birth to the seppun eiga (kissing film).

Writing about the radical changes in Japanese socio-economic structures as a consequence of the democratisation of Japan during the Allied Occupation, Noreiga points to the fact that most of the reforms implemented went far beyond what could be found at the time in America: Reform gave women full legal equality and ended the authority of the clan over the family and the father over adult children. Compulsory 36 introduction to japanese horror film education was extended to nine years, further reducing paternal influence.

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