War, work and witnessing: aesthetics and ideology in Shindō Kaneto’s cinema

Key information

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Russell Square: College Buildings

About this event

Speaker: Dr Lauri Kitsnik

Chair: Dr Marcos Centeno

Shindō Kaneto (1912-2012) was a prolific Japanese film director noted for works such as Children of Hiroshima (1952), The Naked Island (1960) and Onibaba (1964). He maintained an active and uninterrupted career for over seventy years, perhaps the longest in the entire cinematic history. His films have been both praised and criticised for their strong leftist agenda when dealing with social issues such as crime, poverty, disease and discrimination. However, there is currently a lack of consensus as to whether his work displays enough thematic or stylistic unity to be evaluated in auteurist terms. In this talk, by looking at Shindō’s films from different decades, I argue that his visual style underlined by excessive repetition effectively created a self-referencial system of cumulative images which offers insights into his worldview in both aesthetic and ideological terms.Lauri Kitsnik (PhD Cantab) is Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich. His research interests include international film history and theory, literary adaptation and screenwriting. His work has appeared in the Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema , Journal of Screenwriting and Women Screenwriters: An International Guide .

Dr Marcos Centeno is lecturer in film studies at SOAS, where he is also convener of the MA degree ‘Global Cinemas and the Transcultural’. He has been Research Associate at Waseda University (Japan) and Research Fellow at the University of Valencia (Spain). His research currently focuses on Japanese youth cinema, post-war avant-garde and documentary film – mainly Susumu Hani’s theoretical and practical contributions, and film representations of the Ainu people.

The Centre for Film Studies is grateful to the Centre for Media Studies, with whom we are co-hosting this seminar.