Cinema around the world I (Fareast and India)

Japanese Cinema

The cinema of Japan has a history that spans more than 100 years. Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world

1950s

The 1950s were the zenith, or Golden Age, of Japanese cinema. Three Japanese films from this decade (Rashomon,Seven Samurai and Tokyo Story) made the Sight & Sound‘s 2002 Critics and Directors Poll for the best films of all time. This era after the American Occupation period also lead to the rise of diversity in movie distribution with the increased output and popularity of the film studios.The first Japanese film in color is Carmen Comes Home directed byKeisuke Kinoshita was also made in this era, the black and white print of which was also available.

Other examples of film from this era inculde

The Gate of HellSeven SamuraiThe Magnificent SevenGojira (Godzilla)The Burmese Harp , Fires On The Plain,Enjo, The Life of Oharu, Sansho the Bailiff , RepastLate Chrysanthemums,The Sound of the Mountain , Floating Clouds and last but not the least two of the (The Human Condition Trilogy films).No Greater Love , and The Road To Eternity.

1960s

This period was the decade with the greatest number of new movies, with 547 movies being produced. Production in the Japanese film industry reached its quantitative peak in the 1960s. It can also be regarded as the peak years of the Japanese New Wave movement, which began in the 50′s and continued through the early 70′s. examples of newwave include Oshima’s Cruel Story of YouthNight and Fog in Japan and Death By Hanging, Shindo’s Onibaba, Hani’s She And He and Imamura’s The Insect Woman.

Other examples of film from this era inculde

Yojimbo, ‘Man with No Name‘ ,An Autumn AfternoonWhen a Woman Ascends the StairsScattered CloudsWoman in the Dunes

1970s

Yoji Yamada introduced the commercially successful Tora-San series, while also directing other films, notably the popular The Yellow Handkerchief.

Toshiya Fujita made the revenge film Lady Snowblood in 1973. It would go on to become a popular cult film in the West.

New wave filmmakers Susumu Hani and Shohei Imamura retreated to documentary work, though Imamura made a dramatic return to feature filmmaking with Vengeance Is Mine (1979).

Korean Cinema

Korean cinema encompasses the motion picture industries of North Korea and South Korea. As with all aspects of Korean life during the past century, the film industry has often been at the mercy of political events.The civil war broke in the 1950s, during this era, only five or six films were produced each year from 1950 to 1953. Much worse for Korea’s film legacy, the vast majority of Korea’s film history was lost in this devastating

Golden Age (1955-1973)

With the armistice of 1953, South Korean president Syngman Rhee made an effort to help rejuvenate the local film industry exempting it from taxation. The rebirth that almost occurred after 1945 can be said to have truly began with director Lee Kyu-hwan’s tremendously successful remake of Chunhyang-jon

With Korean cinema for the first time working under something similar to conditions in other countries, both the quality and quantity of film-making had increased rapidly by the end of the 1950s. South Korean films began winning international awards. In dramatic contrast to the beginning of the 1950s, when only 5 movies were made per year, 111 films were produced in South Korea in 1959.

Korean cinema enjoyed a brief period of unprecedented freedom during the 1960-1961 However with the ascension of Park Chung Hee to the presidency in 1962, government control over the film industry increased substantially. Under the Motion Picture Law of 1963, a series of increasingly restrictive measures were placed on the film industry. The number of films produced and imported were limited under a strict quota system. The new regulations dropped the number of domestic film-production companies from 71 to 16 within a year. Government censorship at this time also became very strict, focusing mainly on any hint of pro-communist messages or obscenity.

Despite these repressive governmental policies, however, a consistently large and devoted theater-going audience, and many quality films continued to give South Korea a healthy cinematic culture throughout the 1960s. Also, theGrand Bell Awards were established in 1962. Called Korea’s equivalent to the Academy Awards, they are the country’s longest-running film award.

Hong Kong cinema

The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside thecinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan.

For decades, Hong Kong was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Indian Cinema andHollywood) and the second largest exporter.

The 1940s-1960s

Postwar Hong Kong cinema, like postwar Hong Kong industries in general, was catalyzed by the continuing influx of capital and talents from Mainland Chinathe civil war definitively shifted the center of Chinese-language cinema to Hong Kong.

1970s

Mandarin-dialect film in general and the Shaw Brothers studio in particular began the 1970s in apparent positions of unassailable strength. Cantonese cinema virtually vanished in the face of Mandarin studios and Cantonese television, which became available to the general population in 1967; in 1972 no films in the local dialect were made. The Shaws saw their longtime rival Cathay ceasing film production, leaving themselves the only megastudio. The martial arts subgenre of the kung fu movie exploded into popularity internationally, with the Shaws driving and dominating the wave. But changes were beginning that would greatly alter the industry by the end of the decade.

 

Chinese Cinema

The Communist era, 1950s-1960s

With the Communist takeover in 1949, the government saw motion pictures as an important mass production art form and tool for propaganda. Starting from 1951, pre-1949 Chinese films and Hollywood and Hong Kong productions were banned as the Communist Party of China sought to tighten control over mass media, producing instead movies centering around peasants, soldiers and workers such as Bridge (1949) and The White Haired Girl (1950). One of the production bases in the middle of all the transition was the Changchun Film Studio.

The number of movie-viewers increased sharply, from 47 million in 1949 to 415 million in 1959. In the 17 years between the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the Cultural Revolution, 603 feature films and 8,342 reels of documentaries and newsreels were produced, sponsored mostly as Communist propaganda by the government. Chinese filmmakers were sent to Moscow to study Soviet filmmaking. In 1956, the Beijing Film Academywas opened. The first wide-screen Chinese film was produced in 1960.

The Cultural Revolution and its Aftermath

During the Cultural Revolution, the film industry was severely restricted. Almost all previous films were banned, and only a few new ones were produced

In the years immediately following the Cultural Revolution, the film industry again flourished as a medium of popular entertainment. Domestically produced films played to large audiences, and tickets for foreign film festivals sold quickly. The industry tried to revive crowds by making more innovative and “exploratory” films like their counterparts in the West.

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