Review by Choice Review
This filmography of 89 films produced during a 70-year period documents the rich tradition of Japanese film culture. The criteria for selecting the representative films are diverse, such as receiving critical acclaim, enjoying box office success, or being indicative of a certain period of Japanese history or filmmaking. No one would quibble with the selection; one might wish only for a longer list. The entries, arranged chronologically, consist of credits, an indication of video or film rental sources if any, a plot summary and a commentary. The need for such detailed plot summaries is questionable and the commentaries are somewhat lame, consisting of film gossip and general "cultural criticism." Rarely is there any mention of the visual aspects of the films. However, there are tidbits of interest for novices and experts alike. A directory of video and film sources (organized by distributor) and the selected, annotated bibliography of books and periodical articles in English are very useful additions. The book is written with an enthusiasm for the topic and provides enough information to make a contribution to film and Japanese studies. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections. -R. G. Sewell, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.