Date(s) - Mon. May. 16, 2011 - Mon. May. 30, 2011
6:00 pm GMT - 9:00 pm GMT

Blue Sunshine



Mondays May 16, 23 + 30, 6-9pm
Instructor: Donato Totaro

(Participants under 18 must have a signed permission slip + ratings waiver from a parent or guardian. DOWNLOAD THE PERMISSION SLIP HERE)
The Japanese horror film burst onto the International scene in the late 1990s with a series of suspenseful, nerve-wracking chillers that brought mood, subtlety and terror back into a genre that was growing weary and stale. By the early 2000s the Japanese horror film became so popular, and its aesthetic approach so widespread and copied that it became a virtual cottage industry, spawning numerous American remakes, television series, comics, and a rekindling of other Asian horror cinemas. To the jaded horror fan J-horror felt alive and fresh, but the seminal figures such as Hideo Nakata, producer extraordinaire Taka Ichise, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Takashi Shimizu, and Takashi Miike were clearly drawing from a rich historical tradition of supernatural and ghost stories that go back to pre-Modern Japanese literature, theatre, and painting. The course will trace the importance of the pre-modern tradition (pre-1900), as seen in Japanese Kabuki and Noh theatre, literature and painting, on the first flowering of great Japanese horror in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s (Kenji Mizoguchi, Nobuo Nakagawa, Kaneto Shindo, Masaki Kobayashi), and then examine how the current new wave of J-horror drew from this older tradition of ghost/supernatural film and art and added a modern, technologically concerned sensibility. Films/extracts will include Ugetsu (1954), Jigoku (1960), Kwaidan (1964), Onibaba (1964), Ringu (1998), Uzumaki (2000), Kaïro (2001), Ju-on: The Grudge (2004), and Exte: Hair Extensions (2007).