A new filmic style, the feature film that uses documentary technique as its primary mode of expression, has appeared in the contemporary Japanese cinema. At the level of production, the influence of digital technology is most apparent in the increased use of digital cameras in filmmaking, which has resulted in a blurring of boundaries between film and video, fiction and documentary. Eschewing the cost of filming on sets, this method of filmmaking emphasizes shooting in Japanese locales and representing the contemporary experiences of ordinary people, and yet it also shares aesthetic similarities with other national cinemas created under parallel industrial conditions. This essay examines a style of "authenticity" in contemporary Japanese fiction and documentary films, especially the personal documentary. Three films are at the center of my discussion: Dare mo shiranai/Nob ody Knows (Kore'eda Hirokazu, 2004); Tarachime (Kawase Naomi, 2006), and Atarashii kamisama/The New God (Tsuchiya Yutaka, 1999). Drawing upon the documentary tradition, these films highlight the stylistic merging of fiction and documentary, and express a sense of unstable actuality by playing with digital aesthetics and the idea of "authenticity." CJFS/RCEC

Additional Metadata
Journal Canadian Journal of Film Studies
Citation
Wada-Marciano, M. (2009). Capturing "authenticity": Digital aesthetics in the post-studio japanese cinema. Canadian Journal of Film Studies (Vol. 18, pp. 71–93).