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After the Wave: Sex, Violence, and Comedy in the Films of Takashi Miike

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The aims of this paper are to come to an understanding of the distinctive aspects in the films of Takashi Miike and to explore the continuities and discontinuities between the filmmakers of Japan's cinematic generations. Miike's films revolve around the use of social marginals, sex and violence, having some elements in common with the films of Shohei Imamura and Nagisa Oshima, representative directors in the Japanese New Wave of the 1960s. This article first examines how an emphasis on popular criticism over elitist criticism in Miike's cinema offers an example of going beyond conventional anti-establishment cinema. The next section discusses how Miike's emphasis on artificiality over primitivism challenges the failings of his New Wave predecessors. In the concluding section, I argue that an emphasis on comic presentation over realistic documentation in Miike's films contributes to the unique appeal of his work.

Keywords: Japanese new wave; Marxist text; Takashi Miike; self-reflexive comedy; social reality

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2007

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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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