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324 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Other essays, however, begin to trouble this portrait of the artist, particularly those dealing with screen adaptation (the majority of his films are adaptations of novels). From the angle of adaptation, Ichikawa appears less as an innovator and creator, and more as a follower and collaborator. Screenwriter Natto Wada, for instance, adapted the novels for many of Ichikawa=s renowned movies. One here gains the impression of a filmmaker who shadows the material, who follows it closely yet furtively, at a distance; who wishes to see through it. Ichikawa is the gumshoe stealthily pursuing his leads only to appear at the end to unmask the book=s crime (as in his adaptation of Ishihara=s Punishment Room or Tanizaki=s Kagi) B Wada is the >smart dame= with a thing or two to teach the detective about human nature. A complex image of filmmaking emerges here B an urban politics. This image of filmmaking is more in evidence in the numerous interviews with Ichikawa, but it is fellow director Yasuzo Masamura who sharply and insightfully hones it. His essay makes it easier to understand why more politically rebellious directors would see Ichikawa as one who, like the detective, remains on the side of law and order (the industry) while dubiously and cynically aware of their power of corruption. Still other essays present thoughtful critiques of, and alternatives to, auteur-centred film criticism. All the fuss over establishing Ichikawa (rather belatedly) as an auteur affords an opportunity to rethink how film history and commentary have traditionally been organized B on the basis of author and works. Michael Raine resituates Ichikawa=s distinctive visual style in Punishment Room within broader historical trends around the emergence of youth film. Eric Cazdyn sees a common problem with origins in adaptation and nationalism, which suggests to him a contradictory response to nationalism and capitalism in Ichikawa=s approach to adaptation. David Desser reads The Makioka Sisters intertextually, as nostalgically referencing not only prewar Japan but also cinematic spaces (Ozu and Mizoguchi). Aaron Gerow=s contribution brilliantly tracks Ichikawa=s box-office success by showing how Ichikawa=s procedures proved ideally suited to transformations in the film industry after 1976. Because it brings together so many perspectives on such a prolific and long-lived filmmaker, Kon Ichikawa provides many ways of thinking about the history of Japanese cinema. (THOMAS LAMARRE) Arthur Davis, editor. Collected Works of George Grant: Volume 2, 1951B59 University of Toronto Press. xxxv1, 564. $125.00 This admirable volume, the second in a projected three-volume set of Grant=s collected works, brings together Grant=s writings from 1951 to 1959, the years he was professor of philosophy at Dalhousie University. Today George Grant is remembered as a champion of Canadian nationalism humanities 325 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 and a critic of technological progress. Neither of these themes stands out in this volume: the one entry on Canada is a short article for the Encyclopedia Canadiana. Yet the later Grant is clearly emerging. At this stage he was a stormy oppositional figure within the academy, waging an intellectual guerilla war against academic philosophy from his bunker at Dalhousie. Grant announced his opposition to contemporary philosophy in the opening sentence of his report to the Royal Commission study on the arts. He wrote: >The study of philosophy is the analysis of the traditions of our society ... against our varying intuitions of the perfection of God.= The simple matter-of-factness and presumed self-evidence of this statement read to many like a pronouncement from the medieval papacy and threw Grant=s fellow philosophers into a rage. In these postwar years, philosophy, and indeed the whole university system in Canada, were proudly emancipating themselves from religion. In the eye of his colleagues, especially F.H. Anderson at the University of Toronto, Grant=s call came from the bowels of reaction. But the volume shows that Grant is more complicated than this. He clearly thought of himself as a progressive. Today, his essays on Sartre and Dostoevsky can be cited to show that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 324-326
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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