The Chinese Program presented the talk entitled “Critical Lyricism in Postwar East Asian Cinema: Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town and Ozu Yasujiro’s Late Spring” on October 3, 2017. The speaker is Professor Satoru Hashimoto, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a specialist on comparative East Asian literature and culture.
In the talk, Professor Hashimoto discussed two films produced in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War in China and Japan, Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town (1948) and Ozu Yasujir’s Late Spring (1949), to explore possibilities of postwar East Asian cinema as a critical medium, especially in its historicization of wartime experience. While set against the backdrop of the tumultuous beginnings of the postwar era –– one in China during the Civil War and the other in Japan under the Occupation ––these films are characterized by their singular modes of lyricism which belies such eventful historical contexts. His lecture analyzed these work’s lyrical cinematic languages as an aesthetic topos which intertwines the exigencies of postwar national reconstruction with the long shadows of wartime trauma, thereby critically revisiting some of the ideological premises for conceptualizing the “postwar” in East Asia.
This talk was attended by more than 70 audiences from students and faculty at W&M. This event was organized by Chun-yu Lu and was generously sponsored by WMCI, Reves Center, and AMES.