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Izo: Takashi Miike's History Lesson

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Izo is thus a deliberately complex film needing close attention rather than instant dismissal. The film necessitates a knowledge of how it uses it cultural and historical conventions. But, like any challenging work, Izo can be analyzed and understood within the context of international cinematic conventions. Miike restructures the violent codes of samurai, supernatural, and yakuza genres to reveal them as manipulative forces within Japanese culture. Izo contains deliberately excessive violations of geographical, historical, spatial, and temporal conventions. They exist to challenge the audience in a manner akin to the cinematic experiments of Jean-Luc Godard in the late 1960s but never in a deliberately obscurantist manner.
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Keywords: Izo; Japanese culture; Takashi Miike; violence; westernization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Southern Illinois University

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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