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JPST 354 Introduction to Japanese Film

Instructor: Nina Langton

Pre-requisites: Third year standing

2015 Course Outline

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes:

The goal of the course is to help students develop the tools to analyse and appreciate Japanese films. This will be done by viewing, discussing and writing about significant films produced since the post-war period. By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify major directors of the Japanese cinema and explain how their work related to the historical, social, and aesthetic context of their time.
  • Describe how the basic technical aspects of film (mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound) shape the finished product and the audience’s response to it.
  • Produce a plot segmentation outlining the narrative flow of a film
  • Reflect on and discuss critically and persuasively the merits and shortcomings of a film.
  • Produce a final essay or creative work that demonstrates an ability to critically analyse a film or films

Required Text: Richie, Donald. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History, with a Selective Guide to DVDs and Videos. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2001.

Films will be available on reserve at the library, and must be watched before the class they in which they are scheduled to be discussed.

Assignments & Grading

In-class assignments/exercises/quizzes 10%
Online Discussion 10%
Plot segmentation 5%
Short paper 15%
Midterm 20%
Film Survivor/“Canada Watches” 5%
Final Essay/Video essay 35%

Last reviewed shim1/21/2016 11:26:05 AM


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Nina Langton
Associate Professor, Department of Critical Studies 

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Alwyn Spies
Assistant Professor, Department of Critical Studies 


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