Miike Takashi and Contemporary Japanese Cinema

I had mentioned before that I had an article coming out on Miike Takashi. Well it's now out, as part of a special issue, entitled "Contemporary Japanese Cinema in Transition" and edited by Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano (author of Nippon Modern), of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies (volume 18, number 1).

Here are the main articles in the issue:

    Daisuke Miyao, "From Doppelganger to Monster: Kitano Takeshi’s Takeshis’"

    Aaron Gerow, "The Homelessness of Style and the Problems of Studying Miike Takashi"

    William Gardner, "The Cyber Sublime and the Virtual Mirror: Information and Media in the Works of Oshii Mamoru and Kon Satoshi"

    Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano, "Capturing 'Authenticity': Digital Aesthetics in the Post-Studio Japanese Cinema"

Quite an interesting set of articles by a bunch of great scholars (Daisuke penned Sessue Hayakawa and Will is author of Advertising Tower).

My article is yet another reworking of a piece I have presented in various forms since the Courmayeur Noir Festival in 1999. That appeared in Italian, so I first posted the English version on Asian Film Connections until that site ceased to be public. My ideas on Miike kept evolving, so I reworked the piece for the Italian anthology, Anime perdute, edited by Dario Tommasi, and then further reworked it for the CJFS issue. Here is the abstract to my contribution (you can read the abstracts to the other articles on the CJFS site):

    Most accounts of Miike Takashi’s film style attempt to locate it either in the realm of excess or in a deep outrage against Japanese society.  By focusing on his use of the long take alongside the fast editing and comic-book-like stylistics usually seen as “typical” of his cinema, this paper argues instead for a “homeless” quality in Miike’s filmmaking. This homeless quality is apparent in his stories of nomadic characters lacking a home and clear identity in a globalized world, and also in the shifts of style that complicate any attempt to locate his cinematic politics or his representations of the nation. Miike’s cinema raises fundamental questions for those studying popular cinema and the politics of Japanese film style.

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