The Cinema chronicle of Denys Clabaut. At the mere mention of the words “Japan” and “Cinema”, I see many readers here thinking of manga (or rather, to be more precise, “animated”), these cartoons long ostracized from film production of quality to be rightly elevated to the rank of indisputably recognized works. But Japan and the cinema is not only that!
In real shots or in animation, Japanese cinema gives us to see what Japanese urban or rural society is, this society that is said to be hardworking, patriarchal and of an often reactionary conformism, but also a society that doubtful, shaken, fragile and fallible. Would Japan also be an iron giant with feet of clay? After all, why would he escape more than others from what seems to be the typical portrait of any nation today?
Imagination and memory
In Japanese culture, the imagination is of paramount importance. It crosses and inspires the whole society of all ages and backgrounds. Where our Western societies leave the story to childhood, the story magnified and adorned with myths continues to inspire and intellectually nourish the Japanese whether child or adult, worker or boss, rich or poor…
Japan is the country of maintained, persistent memory. A memory that disturbs the present, shakes it up and makes it fragile and uncertain, creates doubt… the better to jump into the heat of the moment. Is this the reason why the great Japanese filmmakers, often misunderstood by the West of which we are, have favored a singular vision of the world, that of the marginalized, of children, of the elderly, of those to whom modern society does not give speech, or misunderstanding it? She who expresses with sensitivity the violence of a society where a few years ago we walked with wooden getas, lived under the thumb of an emperor raised to the rank of divinity, and who today, in less than a century, ranks third among the world’s richest countries?
Is it thanks to or despite its history that this metamorphosis was possible? And above all, is it really without consequence? And if so, what consequences?
Through dramas, comedies, animations and exploring all forms of cinema, from documentary to fiction, from animation to live action, from short to feature film, Japanese cinema has been able to tell us about these paradoxes. historical, without however, in turn, denying being completely inspired, steeped in Japanese cultural traditions, giving pride of place to psychological narratives without artificial shadows, transcending the “Nature” to which this people remains unfailingly attached.
For all these reasons and many more, why not treat yourself to a trip to Japan from April 20 to May 3? On the bill at the Cinéma Veo Castelnaudary: “La nuit des femmes”, a masterpiece of the Japanese new wave; “Tales of chance and other fantasies”, an unexpected love triangle, an attempt at seduction that goes wrong and a meeting born of a misunderstanding; “Aristocrats”, a sharp, yet tender and ironic look at Japanese society today; “On the other side of the sky”, in preview, a magical hymn to difference and ecology; “Jujutsu Kaisen 0”, an explosive first film with neat animation of a manga that has become cult; “Detective Conan”, in preview, the Shibuya district of Tokyo in the middle of Halloween: culture shock guaranteed!