Middlebury

JAPN0240

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.
Subject:
Japanese
Department:
Japanese Studies
Division:
Languages
Requirements Fulfilled:
AAL ART CMP NOA
Equivalent Courses:

Sections

Fall 2017

JAPN0240A-F17 Lecture (Cavanaugh)

Spring 2010

JAPN0240A-S10 Lecture (Silver)

Spring 2009

JAPN0240A-S09 Lecture (Silver)