Japanese Cinema Essay

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The 1950s are considered the Golden Age of Japanese cinema. The aftermath of WW2 and particularly the atomic bomb, and the subsequent American Occupation left the country scarred, but filled with inspiration and eagerness to start over. As Japanese economy started to rise once more, five major studios emerged that shaped Japanese cinema. Toho, Daiei, Shochiku, Nikkatsu and Toei, hired the most gifted artist of the era and financed their movies, in a tactic that ended up in a plethora of masterpieces. In the process, they also made a lot of money, as the people, having their pockets filled due to rapid economical growth filled the cinemas. At the same time, the prowess of Japanese cinema became an international phenomenon, with films winning…show more content…
However, the film's biggest assets lie in the technical department, as it features sublime cinematography, costumes and set designs. Particularly the opening battle scenes, the horse race, and the final confrontation are so elaborate that still look stunning, after all these years. 16. The Sound of the Mountain (Mikio Naruse, 1954) The film is adapted from the homonymous novel by Nobel Prize winner author Yasunari Kawabata, and is Naruse's favorite work. Suichi, a successful entrepreneur leaves with his wife, Kikuko and his parents, Shingo and Yasuko. Kikuko is an exemplary wife and takes care of her husband's parents, but Shuichi has a mistress. When Shingo learns this, he visits the girl, and is surprised to learn that she is pregnant and plans to keep the child. This event, along with Kikuko's pregnancy and his daughter's failed marriage, who has also forced her to move to the house with her two children, makes Shingo takes a closer look to his role as a father and patriarch. Narrated from the perspective of Shingo, the film functions as a meditation of aging, while stressing the immorality of the post-war generation. Shingo blames himself for his children's failed marriages and feels regret for his past acts. This guilt provokes him to think about life, love, and

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