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Cover image of Akira Kurosawa and Intertextual Cinema
Cover image of Akira Kurosawa and Intertextual Cinema
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Akira Kurosawa and Intertextual Cinema

James Goodwin

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In Akira Kurosawa and Intertextual Cinema, James Goodwin draws on contemporary theoretical and critical approaches to explore the Japanese director's use of a variety of texts to create films that are uniquely intertextual and intercultural. Surveying all of Kurosawa's films and examining six films in depth—The Idiot, The Lower Depths, Rashomon, Ikiru, Throne of Blood, and Ran—Goodwin finds in Kurosawa's themes and techniques the capacity to restructure perceptions of Western and Japanese cultures and to establish new meanings in each.



Goodwin's analysis is most interesting in this account of how many Kurosawa plots (like Rashomon and Ikiru) feature a modernist competition between texts to argue a version of what 'really' happened.

A dense, theoretically sophisticated account of the intertextual nature of film as a medium. Goodwin discusses here, among other things, interculturality, the problematic notion of the auteur, and the dialogic production processes employed by Kurosawa. Above all, Kurosawa is described as a film-maker for whom life and art are always in the process of becoming, never static or singular.

This is the first book that attempts to link his work to trends and issues that cut across national boundaries and transcend immediate historical circumstances. Extremely well written, well considered, and provocative, it moves Kurosawa's cinema into the realm of international culture where it belongs.


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James Goodwin

James Goodwin is a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.