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Production History of Japanese Cinema

Eija Niskanen
language: English
subtitles: Polish, English, Dutch, Finnish, Italian


The lecture covers key moments and periods in Japan’s film production, in order to understand the context for the appearance of particular films. It starts with the formation of Japan’s classical period film studios and their production model. Then it covers New Wave and post-new wave new film companies with ATG and Kadokawa as examples. Through the 1990s new filmmaker boom, the lecture moves to this millennium and the production committee system.

Eija Niskanen

Eija Niskanen holds an MA from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), where she majored in art education and wrote her MA thesis on Akira Kurosawa, and an MA in Critical Studies in Film and Television from UCLA. She has compiled industrial research reports on Japanese film and anime industry, written articles on film festival research and Japanese anime for academic publications, and teaches Asian cinema and animation at the University of Helsinki. She is one of the founders of Helsinki International Film Festival and Helsinki Cine Aasia, and works as the programming director for the latter.


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Further reading

Japanese Cinema: An Introduction (1990), Donald Richie, Oxford University Press

The Imperial Screen: Japanese Film Culture in the Fifteen Years’ War, 1931-1945 (2003),  Peter B. High, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press Madison

The End of Japanese Cinema: Industrial Genres, National Times, and Media Ecologies (2017), Alex Zahlten, Duke University Press

Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan (2012), Marc Steinberg, University of Minnesota Press

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