Blissful Saturday

Saturday, oh Saturday, could hardly wait for your arrival, but now that you are here, am looking at almost two-foot-high stack of Women’s Lit journals and final exams that need to be graded by Wednesday. So, where does self’s Saturday go?

Yesterday, watched Disturbia, was treated to rather unappetizing glimpses (even close-ups) of hero Shia LaBeouf’s feet, would much rather have seen more of Carrie Ann Moss, and story was fairly stupid. But, hey, as teen thrillers go, suppose this was not that bad. How could any movie be that bad, with Carrie Ann Moss in it?

A few days ago, appeared in the mail the spring issue of the Stanford East Asian Studies newsletter, which they send to self because self is an alumna of said department, although self never shows her face at any of the events. So here are a few of the events (films and lectures), including one by Edward Shaughnessy at University of Chicago, and all self wants to know is: could this be the same Edward Shaughnessy who was TA in self’s Chinese language courses, who used to chuckle over her translations of stories by Mao Dun? Could this be that (blonde and blue-eyed) Edward Shaugnessy, whose Mandarin slayed all? (Am happy to report that it is, dear blog reader: self googled him and found pic on U of Chicago website)


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Japan 1960: Classic Cinema Meets the New Wave

May 4 : Akira Kurosawa’s The Bad Sleep Well

Kurosawa’s brilliant reworking of the tale of Hamlet, set in the corridors of power in the Japanese corporate world. Kurosawa intensifies the atmosphere of this tale of revenge by employing the moody lighting, deep-focus black and white photography and oppressive camera angles associated with the classic Hollywood film noir.

May 11 : Kon Ichikawa’s Her Brother

Among the many memorable films produced during 1960, Ichikawa’s stark depiction of a dysfunctional prewar family emerged as the work most praised by critics, awarded the coveted Kinema Jumpo Best Film award for the year. Ichikawa offers a moving yet never cloying story of a sister who cares for her dying brother.

May 18 : Kaneto Shindo’s The Island

Pursuing an artistic dream, Shindo produced this unique cinematic poem with his own money. Without dialogue, the film depicts the endless struggles of a farming family to subsist on a small island in the Inland Sea.

May 25 : Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Autumn

One of Ozu’s last masterpieces, this film revisits the familiar theme of a widowed parent trying to convince a sheltered daughter to leave the nest and marry. Exhibiting a lighter touch than his earlier treatments of this issue, Ozu enlivens the scenario with a trio of meddling middle-aged men who all carry a torch for the widowed mother.

June 1 : Shohei Imamura’s Hogs and Battleships

Known for his appreciation of the messy side of life, Imamura explores the underbelly of Japanese postwar society in this film. Specifically, he considers the corrupting effects of the U.S. – Japanese relationship from the perspective of the gangsters and prostitutes who cater to the needs of US sailors stationed in Japan. The film climaxes with a bravura scene in which Imamura has a pack of pigs rampage through the streets of Yokosuka.

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May 8 : 12 – 1:15 PM
Andrew Walder, Professor of Sociology, Stanford
Red Guard Violence: History versus Cultural Revolution Myth
Location: Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Red Guard violence was spearheaded by elite high school students from official families who saw themselves as “naturally red” due to birth, and who sought to defend the status quo and divert persecution onto helpless victims. Closer examination of the documentary record for Beijing in the last half of 1966 shows that in fact students from this background were the only ones to object loudly and publicly to Maoist officials who encouraged such violence. As a result they were subsequently scapegoated by these same officials as uniquely violent and reactionary — a myth.

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Colloquia on Japanese Religion

May 10 : 4:15 – 5:45 PM
David Gardiner, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Colorado College
Visualizing versus Envisionings: Metaphorical Theology and Mandalas in Shingon
Location: Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor East

May 18 : 4:15 – 5:45 PM
Jamese Ketelaar, Professor in History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago
Emotion and Religion in Japanese History
Location: Encina Hall West, Room 208

May 21 : 4:15 – 5:45 PM
Abe Ryuichi, Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions, Harvard University
Ryokan in the Spring of 1916 — Rethinking Buddhism, Writing and Modernity
Location: Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

May 31 : 4:15 – 5:45 PM
Caroline Hirasawa, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of British Columbia
Morally Determined Malleable Bodies: Images of Transmigration in the Six Realms
Location: Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

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