Ozu edited anthology - call for articles

full name / name of organization: 
Marc DiPaolo Assistant Professor of Film and English at Oklahoma City University and Brian DiPaolo, MFA Emerson College

Tentative Title: Ozu and Evolution: Reassessing an Icon of Japanese Cinema

Final Submission Deadline: February 1, 2012

Length of Contribution: 6,000 – 8,500 words (including notes)

Citation Style: latest Modern Language Association style

Subject: This edited anthology will collect new scholarship on the career of Yasujiro Ozu, the celebrated director and co-writer of such classic Japanese films as I Was Born, But… (1932), Late Spring (1949), and Tokyo Story (1953). The goals of this anthology are: to partly address the lingering shortage of English-language studies of Ozu; to cover the director's career in as comprehensive a fashion as possible (moving beyond the notion that only "late-period" Ozu is worthy of study); and to explore how Ozu's films can be taught effectively in today's classrooms (or introduced to contemporary audiences in other ways). The essays will cover all phases of Ozu's career, from his silent films (of which the earliest surviving is Days of Youth, 1929) through his final color film (An Autumn Afternoon, 1962). We are interested in receiving abstracts over the next few months, and completed papers that have not yet been published. We invite submissions from scholars of various disciplines, employing a range of critical approaches.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

§ Close readings of individual Ozu films

§ Analysis of recurring themes and motifs in Ozu films (e.g., alcohol use, parent-child relationships, gender relations, transitional periods in life)

§ Exploring differences between the various phases in Ozu's career (e.g., did Ozu's earlier films really have more of a "social conscience" than his later ones?)

§ Ozu's distinctive approaches to directing (e.g., low camera positions, "pillow" shots, use of color, lack of concern for continuity) and their impact on how his films are perceived

§ The accessibility of Ozu's films—or lack thereof—to contemporary audiences

§ The relationship between Ozu and the contemporary directors he has influenced (e.g., Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Mike Leigh)

§ The importance (or lack thereof) of concepts such as mu and mono no aware to understanding Ozu's films.

§ Ozu's position in the Japanese cinema canon, and his relationship to contemporary or near-contemporary Japanese directors (e.g., Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Imamura, Yamada)

§ Ozu's demanding treatment of actors/actresses and its impact on their performances

§ Ozu as co-scriptwriter of his films

§ How Ozu depicts key elements of office or "salaryman" culture, such as corporate hierarchies, retirement, commuting, and boredom

§ Teaching Ozu to today's college students (e.g., how can decades-old Japanese films be made relevant to a generation more accustomed to CGI spectacles?)

§ Analysis of earlier English-language scholarship on Ozu—including the studies by Donald Richie, David Bordwell, and Paul Schrader—and its impact on how Ozu's films are interpreted today

Contacts and editors: Marc DiPaolo, PhD, Assistant Professor at Oklahoma City University's Department of Moving Image Arts; Brian DiPaolo, MFA

MD e-mail: captainblackadder@hotmail.com
BD e-mail: brianofpaul@hotmail.com
(Please write to both at once.)

Please contact both of us with your ideas before beginning significant work on your submission, so we can ensure that contributors' efforts do not overlap (for example, we wouldn't want every essay to be a close reading of Tokyo Story). Ideally, we would like you to contact us with ideas by November 1. Final submissions are due February 1, 2012. Please send abstracts and/or final submissions, along with a brief biographical sketch, to both captainblackadder@hotmail.com and brianofpaul@hotmail.com.

A note about drafts: We would greatly appreciate it if you could submit a rough/partial draft of approximately 3,500–5,000 words sometime in December or January. This will enable the editors to: 1) gauge how the various essays might act in relation to each other, and provide feedback on that point as they move toward completion; and 2) expedite the publishing process, by helping us to secure publisher interest and commitment. If you cannot do this, or do not like to work in this manner, then this phase of production may be skipped and completed drafts submitted by the final deadline as stated above. Thank you for your interest.