'Was Ozu Against Sound?'
- Screen Studies Conference, 3 July, 2011, University of Glasgow
This paper re-examines the early history of the talkies in Japanese cinema through the discourses on the director Ozu Yasujiro’s belated adoption of the technology. Rather than asking a confusing question, ‘Why did Ozu keep making silent films?’, I take the opposite approach, asking how much Ozu was interested in sound cinema and how he was preparing for it. By interweaving Ozu with the historical context of film industry and critical discourses, I intend this paper to re-define the silent auteur as a ‘modern’ filmmaker in constant conversation with the times.
'When Modern Girl Sheds Tears: Shinpa Melodrama and the Everyday in Ozu Yasujiro's Pre-war Woman's Films'
- Asia Exposure: East Asian Cinema in a Global Context, 11 February, 2011, Coventry University
This paper, while exploring various kinds of the narrative forms of shinpa melodrama in relation to gender power relationship, aims to present a different spectrum in Japanese women’s films from the shinpa’s norm, especially in dealing with the modern girl figures. I examine how everyday spaces and objects in Ozu Yasujiro’s prewar woman’s films construct solidarity in the relationship of female characters, which works against the pressure of the patriarchal ideology in narrative.
‘Digesting Modernity: Eating and Drinking Out Spaces of Ozu’
- The Josai International University Media Studies Department Media Workshop, 23 May, 2009, Josai University
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the prototypic use of eating and drinking out space in prewar Ozu's films can be characterised and compared to his postwar cases. I argue that the restaurant and bar spaces are, as in many other aspects of Ozu's early films, diverse in nature and ambiguous in its position in relation to the modernised environment.