Category Archives: Cinephilia

Imagined Worlds in “Spirited Away”

Spirited Away is a highly imaginative film in which we watch several characters plunged into a land of their own imagination. Like most Miyazake films, this one attracts adults as much as it does children.  A far cry from something … Continue reading

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Kobayashi’s Use of the Frame to Denote Restriction and Conflict in Samurai Rebellion

Kobayashi begins his 1967 film with a shot that tracks slowly against a rocky surface.  Throughout the opening credits, the camera cuts between several lengthy takes of a samurai compound, each time organizing the architecture of the building into frames … Continue reading

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24 City – What’s true in a documentary mixed with fiction?

Jia Zhangke’s “24 City” resists the typical genre labels we might try to ascribe to it.  Although it deals with real spaces, changing over time, it also includes several actors in staged situations, intermingling the real and unreal.  This mixture … Continue reading

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House of Flying Daggers – Messages about Gender in a WuXia Film

“House of Flying Daggers,” the English title of Zhang Yimou’s 2004 film, suggests an action-driven martial arts movie filled with life-and-death struggles.  In fact, for an American audience with some familiarity with the ‘wuxia’ genre (i.e. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” … Continue reading

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