Middlebury

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.
Subject:
Film & Media Culture
Department:
Film & Media Culture
Division:
Arts
Requirements Fulfilled:
AAL ART CMP NOA
Equivalent Courses:
JAPN 0240 *
ENGL 0240

Sections in Fall 2006

Fall 2006

FMMC0240A-F06 Lecture (Mitchell)