Dr Isolde Standish
BA(Ballarat); BA, PhD(London)
Reader in Film and Media Studies, Department of Japan and Korea
Academic Staff, Centre of Korean Studies
Academic Staff, Japan Research Centre
- Dr Isolde Standish
- Email address:
- 020 7898 4227
- SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
- Russell Square: College Buildings
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As a graduate of (Hollywood and European) Film and Media Studies in 1984, I found myself seeking new directions, both academic and geographical, to launch my post-graduate studies. As chance would have it, I found a teaching post in Japan where I discovered a fascinating and often different way of representing the world through cinema. My curiosity then led me to Korea and, more recently, is taking me into World Cinema.
- 1990's South Korean cinema: A critical Survey
- Cinema, Nation and the Transcultural
- Dissertation in Film and History
- Japanese Cinema: A Critical Survey
- Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
- Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli
PhD Students supervised
- Irene Gonzalez Lopez , Prostitution in Postwar Japanese Cinema
- Iris Haukamp, Reassessing a German-Japanese film-project during World War 2 : Why context(s) matter(s)
- Jennifer Coates, "National Crisis and the Female Image: Expressions of Trauma in Japanese Film 1945-1964".
- Kerstin Fooken, Japanese Cinema in Times of profound socio-economic Change: The Image of the Modern Girl in the visual Culture of interwar Japan
- Lawrence Carter, Going Global: Studio Ghibli, Anime and the Popularisation of a Global Genre
- Veluree Metaveevinij, (Re)constructing Thainess on screen: Government Policies towards Thai Cinema during 2001-2012
Past PhD students include:
- Montre Aza Missouri Black Magic Women: Race, Sex and Afro-Religiosity in Narrative Film (Lecturer in Film Studies at Howard University, Washington);
- Katsuyuki Hidaka Consuming the Past: Japanese Media at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century (Lecturer in Media Studies at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto); and
- Ozlem Guclu Silent Female Characters in the New Cinema of Turkey: Gender, Nation and the Past (Research Associate at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul).
To date, my writing has centred on the history of Japanese Cinema and to a lesser extent, Korean Cinema. I have published three single-authored books along with various journal articles and chapters in edited books. My first book, Myth and Masculinity in the Japanese Cinema: Towards a Political Reading of the Tragic Hero (Routledge/Curzon 2000), drew on gender studies to explore the ‘homosocial’ codes that underpinned Japanese films from the war-retro and yakuza genres as a principal site of audience (mainly male) pleasure. This I then framed within the wider question of how film fixes history as popular memory.
My second book, A New History of Japanese Cinema: a Century of Narrative Film (Continuum 2005) took, as its starting point, the view that the auteur theory, around which much scholarship on Japanese Cinema has been framed, was inadequate to explain how Japanese cinema functioned within Japanese cultural life. In this study, I took an essayistic approach that focused on historical themes central to the economic and social transitions Japan underwent from pre-modern to a post-war industrial market economy – modernism, nationalism, humanism, transgression and censorship.
My third book, Politics, Porn and Protest: Japanese Avant-Garde Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s, also published by Continuum in June 2011, locates the Japanese avant-garde film movement of the 1960s and 1970s as a dissentient intellectual group of filmmakers who saw cinema as an instrument through which to challenge the conservatism of Japanese post-war politics driven by US imperial imperatives – the Japan/US Security Treaty, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Reacting against realist film movements and adapting Sartrean-derived existentialism (via Sakaguchi Ango), in theoretical terms, they politicised the ‘body’ in what amounted to an assault on social morality, ultimately challenging the censorship laws. In terms of visual style, they problematised the nature of ‘time’ as linear, challenging mainstream conceptions of history as popular memory. Following on from my work on the Japanese avant-garde, I have begun work on my fourth single-authored monograph the title of which is Ōshima Nagisa: the Politics of Cinema.
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- Special Study Programmes
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- East Asia
- Korea South
Standish, Isolde (2011) Politics, Porn and Protest: Japanese Avant-Garde Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Standish, Isolde (2005) A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film. Continuum.
Standish, Isolde (2000) Myth and Masculinity in the Japanese Cinema: Towards a Political Reading of the Tragic Hero. Curzon.
Standish, Isolde (2007) 'Transgression and the Politics of Porn. Oshima Nagisa's In the Realm of the Senses (1976).' In: Phillips, A. and Stringer, J., (eds.), Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Routledge, pp. 217-228.
Standish, Isolde (1998) 'Akira: Postmodernism and Resistance.' In: Martinez, D.P., (ed.), The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture: Gender Shifting Boundaries and Global Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 56-74. (Contemporary Japanese society)
Standish, Isolde (2012) 'The Ephemeral as Transcultural Aesthetic: a Contextualization of the Early Films of Ozu Yasujiro.' Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 4 (1). pp. 3-14.
Standish, Isolde (2011) 'The jidaigeki television series: myth, iteration and the domestication of the samurai hero.' Japan Forum, 23 (3). pp. 431-440.
Standish, Isolde (2010) 'Night and Fog in Japan: Fifty Years On.' Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 1 (2). pp. 143-155.
Standish, Isolde (2006) 'Film and Narrative in the Yakuza Genre.' Cinemaya, 1 (2). pp. 20-23.
Standish, Isolde (2005) 'Chushingura and the Japanese Studio System.' Japan Forum, 17 (1). pp. 69-86.
Standish, Isolde (2005) 'Mediators of Modernity: 'Photo-Interpreters' in Japanese Silent Cinema.' Oral Tradition, 20 (1). pp. 93-110.
Standish, Isolde (1993) 'Korean Cinema and the New Realism: Text and Context.' East-West Film Journal, 7 (2). pp. 54-80.