February 2010 Archives

Week 6


Post away!

I'm sorry about the terrible subtitles. This is the only version of the film currently available.
Unfortunately they've translated all the names from Chinese rather than Japanese.

The main character is Sugata Sanshiro, not Chee.

His teacher is Yano Shogoro (modeled on a real person named Kano Jigoro) not Master Chin. He invented judo in the 1880s. He's played by Okochi Denjiro, the actor who played Jirokichi twelve years before!

The school (not stream) that is competing with them practices jujitsu, a more traditional martial art.

Karate is a martial art invented in Okinawa and has nothing to do with this film.

The first opponent who dies during the match is named Momma.

The second opponent who is grateful to have been involved in such a great match is Murai Hansuke (Chuen). He is played by Shimura Takashi who appears in many of Kurosawa's most important films including Ikiru and Seven Samurai.

Sugata's arch-rival, and the villain of the film, is Higaki Gennosuke (Kuo).

The school that wins the big competition is set to become the official martial arts school of the police force. The competition is between the traditional school of jujitsu school and the modern school of judo. The judo folks win. This whole film is very loosely based on the true like exploits of an early student of judo. It is based on a novel written by the son of an actual student. It is also basically a rewrite of a 1930s serialized novel called Miyamoto Musashi, but with judo instead of swords and moved from the 1700s to the 1880s.

ALL3920 Jidaigeki; Writing Assignment #1

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Your first paper is due Tuesday, March 9th.

It should be 5-6 pages long.
You must have a minimum of
five references to books, journal articles, or websites
that were not assigned reading for the class. Only one
of the five may be a website and the website must be written
by someone with academic credentials or have references/links
in support of the arguments it makes.

I suggest you pick one of the films we have viewed in the
class so far and work out an interpretation of the film which
you support by a detailed analysis of several specific scenes
in the film.

You should present a specific methodology in
terms of which you are reading your film. For a useful introduction
to various possible methodologies, see Lois Tyson, Critical
Theory Today
(which is on two hour loan in Wilson library
reserve). It has sections on Marxism, Psychoanalysis,
Feminism, New Historicism, and Deconstruction, among
others. You should choose one of these perspectives as
the ground of your interpretation. You may combine them
if you feel confident that will strengthen your reading.

Other recommended resources include:
1. Hayward, Susan: Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts
available as an electronic resource by way of the
Wilson library catalog.

2. Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan,
also available in hard copy or as an electronic resource through the Wilson
library catalog.

You may use the Kodansha Encyclopedia to get a reliable overview
of a particular period in Japanese history, or to look up information
on fiction, politics, law, etc. It is generally very useful for the sort of
historical background information you would use for a new historicist
reading of a film.

I will place more books on course reserve in the very near

ALL3920 Week 5


Tuesday's class is canceled due to instructor illness.
I apologize for any inconvienience.

Please view the scheduled film. I will attempt to post
some notes on Humanity and Paper Balloons on this
blog before Thursday. Please check back soon.

I will also try to post guidelines for the first paper
as soon as possible.

Post your weekly position papers as comments to this

ALL3920 Week 4


Post away!

Week 3


Add your position papers as comments anytime now!

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