Deleuze, Japanese Cinema, and the Atom Bomb: The Spectre of Impossibility.pdf

Deleuze, Japanese Cinema, and the Atom Bomb: The Spectre of Impossibility.pdf


David Deamer establishes the first ever sustained encounter between Gilles Deleuze's Cinema books and post-war Japanese cinema, exploring how Japanese films responded to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From the early days of occupation political censorship to the social and cultural freedoms of the 1960s and beyond, the book examines how images of the nuclear event appear in post-war Japanese cinema. Each chapter begins by focusing upon one or more of three key Deleuzian themes - image, history and thought - before going on to look at a selection of films from 1945 to the present day. These include movies by well-known directors Kurosawa Akira, Shindo Kaneto, Oshima Nagisa and Imamura Shohei; popular and cult classics - Godzilla (1954), Akira (1988) and Tetsuo (1989); contemporary genre flicks - Ring (1998), Dead or Alive (1999) and Casshern (2004); the avant-garde and rarely seen documentaries. The author provides a series of tables to clarify the conceptual components deployed within the text, establishing a unique addition to Deleuze and cinema studies.

This ambitious book brings together three different constellations: the national cinema of Japan; the atom bombs thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and Deleuze. Surprising though this may sound, the book patiently and expertly weaves these three strands together to the point of making us feel that the Deleuzian cineosis was conceived to address precisely this kind of historico-cinematic encounter. Moving away from reductive ideas of genre, Deamer tackles the complexity of a wide and extremely varied body of films united by the catastrophe of the atom bomb, allowing for a re-evaluation of forgotten gems as well as celebrated masterpieces. Unveiling not one but many Japans, this book testifies to the enduring power and infinite uses of Deleuze's vision of cinema. -- Lucia Nagib, Professor of Film, University of Reading, UK Deamer's study is exemplary in its interweaving of film and philosophy. From a philosophical perspective, the book provides a clear, rigorous, and concrete reading of Deleuze's semiotics of cinema and its philosophical grounds. From a cinematic perspective, the book provides a fascinating, detailed study of Japanese cinema, demonstrating the continuing importance of the event of Hiroshima. It provides a thoroughly convincing case for the importance to Japanese cinema of the atom bomb, and the importance to the analysis of cinema more generally of Deleuze's philosophy of film. Highly recommended. -- Henry Somers-Hall, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

David Deamer is Associate Lecturer in film at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He has published in Martin-Jones and Brown's Deleuze and Film; Bell and Colebrook's Deleuze and History; Deleuze Studies; and the online A/V Journal, of which he was co-founder. He blogs on Deleuze and cinema at

Acknowledgements Introduction: event, cinema, cineosis 1. Special images, contingent centres Movement-images: Bergson, sensory-motor process The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Ito Sueo, 1946) Children of the Atom Bomb (Shindo Kaneto, 1952) Godzilla (Honda Ishiro, 1954) 2. Horizons of history Action-images: Nietzsche, history Terror of Mechagodzilla (Honda Ishiro, 1975) Lucky Dragon No. 5 (Shindo Kaneto, 1959) Barefoot Gen (Masaki Mori, 1983) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) 3. Traces: symptoms and figures Impulse-images; reflection-images: Peirce, semiosis The Naked Island (Shindo Kaneto, 1960) Dead or Alive (Takashi Miike, 1999) Ring (Nakata Hideo, 1998) Kwaidan (Kobayashi Masaki, 1964) The Face of Another (Teshigahara Hiroshi, 1966) Navel and A-bomb (Eikoh Hosoe, 1960) Tetsuo (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989) Face of Jizo (Kuroki Kazuo, 2004) 4. Consummation (and crisis) Mental-images: Bergson, memory I Live in Fear (Kurosawa Akira, 1955) Rashomon (Kurosawa Akira, 1950) Dreams (Kurosawa Akira, 1990) Rhapsody in August (Kurosawa Akira, 1991) 5. Impure anarchic multiplicities Time-images: Deleuze, syntheses of time Casshern (Kiriya Kazuaki, 2004) The Pacific War (Nagisa Oshima, 1968) A History of Postwar Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess (Imamura Shohei, 1970) Black Rain (Imamura Shohei, 1989) Hiroshima (Sekigawa Hideo, 1953) Conclusion: spectres of impossibility Notes Index Select bibliography Select filmography


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