The Aesthetics of Shadow: Lighting in Japanese Cinema


ACLS Fellowship Program


East Asian Languages and Literatures

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project examines the practice of lighting technology in the formative decades of Japanese cinema. In a departure from current scholarly treatments, it tells a different story: that of film technologies as a highly contested field between global and local. It draws upon critical studies of cinema to explore Japanese film production practices and specific cross-cultural tensions and negotiations that shaped them. It compares the uses of lighting technologies in both Japanese and non-Japanese films, and traces critical discourses on these practices in film journals. The study helps to reformulate the way scholars think about cinematic practices and the sociopolitical and economic contexts in which they develop.