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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article traces the historical role of film criticism in Japan, specifically focusing on its relation to film theory and spectatorship. Starting from the Pure Film Movement in the 1910s and continuing to the postmillennium film world, it narrates the development of two dominant tendencies, impressionist and ideological criticism, as well as the alternatives to them explored before and after the New Wave by figures such as Tsurumi Shunsuke, Ogawa Tōru, and Hasumi Shigehiko. In this history, film criticism has functioned less to represent film reception than to serve as a site for struggle over the nature of spectatorship. But it is its inadequate relation to theory, especially its lack of self-critical awareness of its own role, the article argues, that has left it ineffective in responding to the decline of criticism in the age of new media.

Keywords: film criticism, film theory, spectatorship, reception, impressionism, ideology, New Wave

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