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    Films in the Mirror

    Forty years of cinema in Japan (1980-2020)

    This edition proposes rethinking the last forty years of Japanese cinema along the following lines: industrial, aesthetic, thematic and theoretical. The history of cinema in Japan is still polarised into two “golden ages”: the 1930s and the 1950s, both periods of excellence through their production and artistry. The works of Ozu, Mizoguchi, Naruse and Kurosawa naturally come to mind for their expression of what is considered as quintessence of uniquely Japanese cinema. But the impact of a golden age is discernible only when in proportion to the decline that surrounds it: from the fits and starts of primitive cinema, to the provocations of the new waves, all the while snubbed by militaristic propaganda. Historiography would nevertheless find its model in this scansion between the peak and trough. But sixty years after the end of its last “golden age”, what relevance does such model still hold, if not to deplore the former glory of a production now adrift?

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