Duke University Press
During the 1960s and early 1970s, Japanese avant-garde filmmakers intensely explored the shifting role of the image in political activism and media events. Known as the "season of politics," the era was filled with widely covered dramatic events from hijackings and hostage crises to student protests. This season of politics was, Yuriko Furuhata argues, the season of image politics. Well-known directors, including Oshima Nagisa, Matsumoto Toshio, Wakamatsu Kōji, and Adachi Masao, appropriated the sensationalized media coverage of current events, turning news stories into material for timely critique and intermedial experimentation. Cinema of Actuality analyzes Japanese avant-garde filmmakers' struggle to radicalize cinema in light of the intensifying politics of spectacle and a rapidly changing media environment, one that was increasingly dominated by television. Furuhata demonstrates how avant-garde filmmaking intersected with media history, and how sophisticated debates about film theory emerged out of dialogues with photography, television, and other visual arts.
"Cinema of Actuality is a tour de force, a potentially field-changing intervention in Japanese film studies, TV and media theory, and the study of postwar world film culture. Yuriko Furuhata shows that during the 1960s and 1970s, major political events and their portrayal in the media formed the basis for an entire Japanese cinema. At the same time, she poses vital questions about media theory and representation more broadly. This is a singularly important work."—Akira Mizuta Lippit, author of Ex-Cinema: From a Theory of Experimental Film and Video
"At last there's a book that reads the Japanese cinema of the 1960s and 1970s in a cross-media context and with a rigorous historical and theoretical eye. Elegantly and precisely argued, this is a book that is both exemplary and surprising. From manga to militant cinema, from landscape theory to pink film, Yuriko Furuhata gives readers the discursive and political history that allows a new understanding of the Japanese film and media of this era."—Miryam Sas, author of Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return
"Cinema of Actuality demonstrates that—despite the copious scholarship on Japanese films of the 1960s and 1970s—we know less about this period than we think. Yuriko Furuhata provides crucial new insights, deftly placing the films in the context of the era's media mix, while introducing us to the theoretical writings underpinning the filmmakers' creative practices. The result is a vital contribution to the history of film theory."—Abé Mark Nornes, author of Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary