The Cinema of Virtuality: The Untimely Avant-garde of Matsumoto Toshio

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Scammell, Joshua Glen




Scholarship on the avant-garde in Japanese cinema tends to focus on the 1960s. Many scholars believe that the avant-garde vanishes from Japanese cinema in the early 1970s. This study aims to disrupt such narratives with the example of filmmaker/theorist Matsumoto Toshio. Matsumoto is one of the key figures of the 1960s political avant-garde, and this study argues that his 1970s films should also be considered part of the avant-garde. Following Yuriko Furuhata who calls the avant-garde of the 1960s “the cinema of actuality,” this thesis calls the avant-garde of the 1970s “the cinema of virtuality.” The cinema of virtuality will be seen to emphasize a particular type of contiguity with the spectator. This strategy will be discussed in relation to four of Matsumoto’s short films: Nishijin (1961), For the Damaged Right Eye (1968), Atman (1975), and Sway (1985) and a brief discussion of Funeral Parade of Roses (1969).






Carleton University

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Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Film Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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