Who are the main moviemakers of Japan?
After the end of World War II, American movies flowed into Japan and the popularity of movies as a pastime increased, but Japanese moviemakers also became active with the rise of a series of talented artists.
Here we will look at three such moviemakers.
First is Kurosawa Akira (1910-98).
His Rashomon (1950) received the Grand Prize at the Venice International Film Festival in 1951, putting international focus on the high level of Japan's film industry.
This was followed by Ikiru (1952, To Live), Shichinin no Samurai (1954, Seven Samurai), and other acclaimed films that made Kurosawa a respected film director around the world.
Then there is Ozu Yasujiro (1903－63), whose directing technique also had an effect on moviemakers throughout the world.
His low-camera angles and long shots that quietly revealed the emotions of typical family life in films such as Banshun (1953, Late Spring), and Tokyo Monogatari (1953, Tokyo Story) create a freshness that can be appreciated even today.
From around 1960, the popularity of movies has fallen with pressure from television, but new movie directors have continued to make their debuts one after another, including Kitano Takeshi (1947- ), who well represents the moviemakers of today.
Kitano, also known as a comedian, directed and starred in HANA-BI which won the Grand Prize at the Venice International Film Festival in 1997.
The movie's sparse script and sharp screen development won hish praise.