themes

Japanese New Wave

Japanese New Wave

A group of loosely connected daredevil filmmakers, commonly known as the Japanese New Wave, brought about the creative revitalization of Japanese cinema in the 1960s—even if the term itself was borrowed from the concurrent movement happening in France. Tired of the traditional forms of classical Japanese cinema, directors like Shohei Imamura (a lapsed Ozu acolyte), Nagisa Oshima (a former studio filmmaker whose films had finally proved too controversial), Seijun Suzuki (a bad-boy rebel increasingly uninterested in adhering to narrative logic), and Hiroshi Teshigahara (a flower artist, potter, and calligrapher as well as a filmmaker), created challenging works—both thematically, dealing with such hitherto taboo themes as sexual violence, racism, political radicalism, and the devastating aftermath of World War II, and, in some cases, formally, employing unorthodox editing strategies, shock effects, and confrontational imagery.