Japanese film can be quite different from Hollywood productions. In the same way that American film uses a cultural context as a vessel, Japanese film tends to focus on its own cultural background in order to enrich the experience. You see different themes, different values, different styles and event different filmmaking techniques. However, some things are traded and borrowed.
Japanese film genres are a little different too. There are
- Monster movies
- Samurai movies
- Yakuza movies
- Horror movies
- Modern life movies
- Historical movies
…and more than that. Japan’s trade-off with Hollywood stretches across many of these genres; samurai films of the 60s and 70s were largely influenced by American westerns and many westerns took plot, themes and imagery from samurai films. Japanese detective fiction on film, which began in the early postwar period, drew heavily on the film noir movement that was gaining momentum in the US at the time.
I don’t like all Japanese film, nor do I like all American film. But I’d like to share some of the films that I enjoyed, the ones I think are a good representation of what good Japanese film is. I like stylistic stuff.