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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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14. From controversy to contemplation: The thematic areas of the new Japanese avant-garde and experimental film in comparison to the “old masters” of Japanese avant-garde (Agnieszka Kiejziewicz)

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Agnieszka Kiejziewicz

Instytut Sztuk Audiowizualnych, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Poland

14. From controversy to contemplation: The thematic areas of the new Japanese avant-garde and experimental film in comparison to the “old masters” of Japanese avant-garde

Abstract: After the year 2000, the rapid development of the visual experimental and avant-garde art in Japan can be noticed. The new generation of the creators, who considers themselves as the founders of “the new avant-garde movement,” focuses on expanding the technological and thematic areas set by the independent artists from the 1970s and 1980s. Observing the unique works of the famous Collective Plus [+] and other recognizable filmmakers, the viewer can experience a wide range of themes, including the spiritual contemplation, ecological issues and problems with rapid urban development. However, among the works of the new generation of the avant-garde and experimental filmmakers, it is almost impossible to find the controversial subjects and controversies on the screen. Comparing the new experimental visual art to the topics and the ways of presentation used by the “old masters” of the Japanese avant-garde (such as Shuji Terayama, Takahiko Iimura or later Shinya Tsukamoto) it can be easily observed that the new generation avoids the subjects that might be considered to be controversial. Instead, they encourage the viewer to contemplate the beauty of the abstract, technologically advanced visions.

In this chapter, the author focuses on the comparison of the thematic areas of two generations of the Japanese...

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