Download The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan by Eric Cazdyn PDF

By Eric Cazdyn

The Flash of Capital analyzes the hyperlinks among Japan’s capitalist historical past and its movie heritage, illuminating what those connections show approximately movie tradition and daily life in Japan. taking a look at a hundred-year background of movie and capitalism, Eric Cazdyn theorizes a cultural heritage that highlights the areas the place movie and the kingdom go beyond their commonplace borders—where tradition and capital crisscross—and, in doing so, develops a brand new manner of knowing old switch and transformation in sleek Japan and beyond.
Cazdyn makes a speciality of 3 key moments of historic contradiction: colonialism, post-war reconstruction, and globalization. contemplating nice classics of jap movie, documentaries, works of technology fiction, animation, and pornography, he brings to gentle cinematic makes an attempt to come back to phrases with the tensions inherent in each one old moment—tensions among the colonizer and the colonized, among the person and the collective, and among the nationwide and the transnational. Paying shut awareness to political context, Cazdyn exhibits how formal innovations within the geographical regions of performing, movie heritage and thought, thematics, documentary filmmaking, and edition articulate a fight to unravel implacable old difficulties. This leading edge paintings of cultural heritage and feedback deals factors of ancient swap that problem traditional differences among the cultured and the geopolitical.

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Revolution or restoration? Bourgeois or not? On whichever side of this debate we might fall, it should not prevent us from recognizing that a cultural revolution accompanied the Meiji Restoration. Crucial to this revolution was a transformation in perception. Here it is useful to return to Karatani’s discussion of the emergence of genbun itchi and his argument that this new system is what made possible the interiority, the ‘‘discovery of the self,’’ in the last decade of the nineteenth century.

Film not only reflects and explains but, more important, actively participates in the construction of these very transformations. Film also becomes the place to examine the concept of transformation—a gnarled concept, indeed, and one that seems particularly crucial to re-examine at this moment in which the global system is economically and culturally transforming. With globalization discourse split between those mouthing pious slogans about how the new world order will eliminate the horrors of labor and disseminate a democratic global culture, and others dismissing the nation-state altogether and touting the draconian measures taken by transnational corporations as they emerge as the only true superpower after the Cold War, the concept of transformation moves to the foreground as one crucial key to help make sense of contemporary Japan and the world.

It is contingent on social praxis and a particular historical conjuncture. In a very general sense, a similar logic can be detected within the history of commercial film forms. This is not to say that capitalist crises will immediately be reflected in crises of film forms; rather, film forms must always be expanding, however little this expansion may coordinate with the film forms’ own market needs (such as particular historical events in need of narrativization). Technology, spectators, directors, and even studio executives do not have the final say about the production of new film forms; the rule within the aesthetic economy requires film forms to expand or shut down.

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