FMMC 0240

Gun and Sword: Japan&US Films

Guns and Swords: Violence and Masculinity in Japanese and American Films
Cowboys, samurai, gangsters, and yakuza are fabled figures embodying national myths of honor and resistance in American and Japanese films. Swordfight and gunfight genres grapple with the issue of lethal weapons in the hands of individuals when the power of the state is absent, corrupt, or ineffectual. Familiar motifs, archetypal characters, and straightforward plots uphold traditional aspirations threatened by the forces of modernity. Japanese and American directors have exploited these conventions to create cinematic masterpieces about questions of violence, righteousness, and masculinity. In this course we will explore cross-cultural influences between swordfight and gunfight genres as we compare their heroes, antiheroes, conflicts, and codes. Films for study include Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, The Tale of Zatoichi, The Searchers, High Noon, Unforgiven, Pale Flower, Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill, White Heat, The Godfather, and Goodfellas. 3hrs. lect/disc.
Film & Media Culture
Film & Media Culture
Requirements Fulfilled:
Equivalent Courses:
AMST 0240 *
JAPN 0240 *
ENGL 0240


Fall 2018

FMMC0240A-F18 Lecture (Cavanaugh)
FMMC0240Z-F18 Screening (Cavanaugh)

Fall 2017

FMMC0240A-F17 Lecture (Cavanaugh)

Fall 2007

FMMC0240A-F07 Lecture (Mitchell)

Fall 2006

FMMC0240A-F06 Lecture (Mitchell)

Fall 2005

FMMC0240A-F05 Lecture (Mitchell)

Fall 2004

FMMC0240A-F04 Lecture (Mitchell)

Fall 2003

FMMC0240A-F03 Lecture (Mitchell)