“The Sword And The Screen: The Japanese Period Film 1915-1960” was a groundbreaking collaboration between the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University and the National Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, marking the first time Japan’s national film archive had co-sponsored an event with a foreign university. The film series presented rare Japanese samurai films from the collection of the National Film Center, highlighting the abundant variety of Japan's most famous film genre. There are social critiques, melodramas, comedies, ghost films and even musicals, directed by some of the masters of Japanese cinema who, in part because they worked in popular cinema, have rarely been presented abroad. The event, which took place over a period of four weeks in January and February 2012, culminated with a symposium featuring such scholars as David Desser (Emeritus, University of Illinois) and Itakura Fumiaki (Curator, National Film Center, Tokyo). In conjunction with the series, the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University produced a pamphlet that features introductions to each of the twelve films shown, as well as critical overviews of the genre penned by Desser and Itakura. The publication was produced by the graduate students in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale under the supervision of Professor Aaron Gerow (East Asian Languages and Literatures; Film and Media Studies), and provides a detailed and enlightening introduction to one of the major streams of Japanese cinema.The film series was also supported by the Whitney Humanities Center, the Film Studies Center, and the Film Studies Program at Yale University.
Gerow, Aaron; Amit, Rea; Cook, Ryan; Good, Samuel; Malissa, Samuel; Poland, Stephen; Ting, Grace; Tsunoda, Takuya; Dresser, David; and Itakura, Fumiaki, "The Sword and The Screen: The Japanese Period Film 1915-1960" (2012). Film Series Commentaries. Paper 1.