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Contemporary Japanese Cinema: Media Ecologies and Superflat Aesthetics

Date: 3 April 2018 (Tuesday)
Time: 4:30-6:00pm
Venue: Room 7.58, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

This talk analyzes the formal play within popular Japanese films beginning around 2000 to explore cinema’s shifting identity in relation to digital technologies and other visual forms of culture. It draws on Murakami Takashi’s notion of Superflat art to situate these stylistic features within both Japan’s contemporary visual environment and the global media landscape. In doing so, the presentation investigates how dynamic interconnections across visual forms have generated a new, highly sensorial mode of viewership marked by a directed engagement with the materiality of the onscreen image. This manifestation within mainstream filmmaking represents a tendency that was previously located only in experimental practices, echoing Murakami’s bold assertion that, in the contemporary moment, it is in fact lowbrow, popular forms of culture that comprise the artistic avant-garde.

Speaker: Laura Lee

Dr. Lee completed her PhD in 2010 at the University of Chicago, with a thesis entitled Cinema of the Interval: Stop-Motion Animation and Japanese Film Aesthetics. She also holds an MA from Yale in the East Asian Studies and an MA from the University of Iowa in film studies. In 2917, her book Japanese Cinema between Frames was published by Palgrave Macmillan. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Japanese Program Director at Florida State University in the U.S..

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