Olga V. Solovieva

Dec 22, 2023

The Russian Kurosawa

Transnational Cinema, Or the Art of Speaking Differently

Oxford University Press 2023

Olga V. Solovieva's book The Russian Kurosawa: Transnational Cinema, Or the Art of Speaking Differently (Oxford UP. 2023) offers a new historical perspective on the work of the renowned Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa. It uncovers Kurosawa's debt to the intellectual tradition of Japanese-Russian democratic dissent, reflected in the affinity for Kurosawa's worldview expressed by such Russian directors as Grigory Kozintsev and Andrei Tarkovsky. Through a detailed discussion of the Russian subtext of Kurosawa's cinema, most clearly manifested in the director's films based on Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev, the book shows that Kurosawa used Russian intertexts to deal with the most politically sensitive topics of postwar Japan. Locating the director in the cultural tradition of Russian-inflected Japanese anarchism, the book challenges prevalent views of Akira Kurosawa as an apolitical art house director or a conformist studio filmmaker of muddled ideological alliances by offering a philosophically consistent picture of the director's participation in post-war debates on cultural and political reconstruction.

Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.

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Jingyi Li

Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.

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