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Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710


Picturing Japaneseness is the result of years of research, writing, and conference presentations on a relatively unexplored area of film history: the Japanese films produced between 1936 and 1941. Davis identifies a select group of films which he considers representative of the "monumental style" of that period. This "monumental style," according to the author, can be recognized by certain characteristic hallmarks: an epic sweep, ponderous narrative, long takes [in terms of the duration of a sequence] and long shots [in terms of the distance from the character or object being filmed], and a general mood of reverence and ceremony.

Davis argues strongly for a consideration of this "monumental style" as a celebration and exaltation of traditional Japanese elements that came to the fore because of the relative absence of foreign elements in the film industry of this period.


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