Kon Ichikawa


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Edited by James Quandt
416 pages
Cinematheque Ontario Monographs

Kon Ichikawa has long been internationally ac-knowledged as one of the most accomplished and prolific masters of Japanese cinema, in the exalted company of Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, and Yasujiro Ozu. Celebrated for his many adaptations of famous Japanese novels such as Fires on the Plain, Harp of Burma, Kagi, Conflagration, and The Makioka Sisters, Ichikawa is an artist with an astounding command of many genres, forms and tones, from ferociously humanist war films to sophisticated social satires, formalist documentaries (the acclaimed Tokyo Olympiad) to extravagant period pieces (An Actor’s Revenge.)

This volume, designed to accompany a retrospective of Ichikawa’s films, spans his entire career and includes essays and commentaries by such leading scholars of Japanese cinema as Donald Richie, Tadao Sato, Max Tessier, David Desser, Linda Erlich, and Keiko McDonald. Many articles and translations were commissioned for the book, including those by Tony Rayns, Aaron Gerow, Dennis Washburn and Catherine Russell. A new career interview with critic Mark Schilling is one of several illuminating discussions with the director included in this volume. Appraisals of Ichikawa by novelist Yukio Mishima, director Yasuzo Masumura, and critic Pauline Kael round out the portrait of a director prized for his elegant compositional style, venomous wit, and unerring humanism.