Author Spotlight

Joan Mellen

Joan Mellen is the author of several books about Japanese cinema, including Voices from the Japanese Cinema and The Waves at Genji’s Door as well as monographs for the BFI on Seven Samurai and In the Realm of the Senses. Her most recent book is A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History. This piece originally appeared in the Criterion Collection’s 2005 DVD edition of Harakiri.

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“My Mind Was Always on the Commoners”: Shindo on Kuroneko in His Body of Work
The following is excerpted from a 1972 interview that film scholar Joan Mellen conducted with director Kaneto Shindo. The interview originally appeared in the 1975 book Voices from the Japanese Cinema. I find the social dimension of your films very c…

By Joan Mellen

Harakiri: Kobayashi and History

Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi came of age in the postwar moment, a time when filmmakers were at the vanguard of dissident expression in that country. Drawing upon a rich history of protest in Japanese cinema, which had fallen dormant during t

By Joan Mellen