IMANARI Bujihei (1837-1881) was a wealthy landlord and local politician, and above all, a pioneer photographer in Muikamachi (Niigata, Japan). Bujihei and his family experimented wth wet-collodion process and left many stage photographs of Ji-shibai (regional Kabuki produced by the community) during early Meiji era (c. 1866-1873). Their photographic practice is a clue to understanding the spreading process of photography in Japanese rural areas. In this paper, an effort is made to examine the relationship between their photographic practice and preceding visual culture.
The Imanaris' stage photographs are under the influence of the practices and conventions of "Kabuki Culture": commercially-made Kabuki played in big cities, Jishibai, Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints) and preceding stage photographs of Kabuki and their ways of creating and representing scenes. However, theu way of depicting scenes differs from the conventions of "Kabuki Culture", and, therefore, was regarded as strange by people at that time.
To clarify the difference between the Imanaris' stage photographs and their ancestral Ukiyoe, I examine two of the Imanaris' photographs and one of Kuniyoshi's Ukiyoe both of which depict the same battle scene in Shiraishi-Banashi. The conclusion to be reached is that, while Kuniyoshi conflates sequences of actions into one picture to represent the scene, the Imanaris' photographs represent two sequential images which depict each single specific moment of the performance.
Hitchcock's famous use of long takes and a tracking camera in Rope (1948) was criticized by Truffaut and others as being a rejection of montage. Hitchcock himself considered the film 'pure cinema' - the movement of camera and performers creating new compositions and maintaining continuity. French Nouvelle Vague directors, Rohmer and Chabrol, noted the film's 'sense of continuous space'. This paper examines Rope, in reference to their analysis, and posits that the moving camera creates a moral dimension.
The film uses long takes for its entire running length, resulting in a tension between the visible (the party) and the invisible (the hidden dead body). The tracking camera inevitably presents the spaces between characters and objects, emphasizes their relationships and implies their inner thoughts.
Despite its seeming continuity, however, there are nine hidden cuts. Some of them are eyeline matches to represent the moral leader's viewpoint. Others are edited in the black space of a character's back or the upturned lid of a chest. By moving the camera in such moments to exchange two characters' positions, Hitchcock not only creates a 'sense of continuous space' but represents the 'transfer of guilt'. Thus, 'pure' cinematographic technique is used to represent morality.
In Robert Altman's film Thieves Like Us (1974), various radio programs are employed-more than twenty times over the course of the film. Most of these are presented as diegetic sounds; only in three bank robbery scenes do radio sounds of unclear origin (neither diegetic nor nondiegetic) appear.
This paper demonstrates that these "unsourced" radio sounds yield another narrative that renders the bank robbery scenes differently. With reference to Thomas Elsaesser's concept of the "unmotivated hero," one of the salient features of the New Hollywood in the 1970s, I argue that while the film's protagonist, Bowie, lacks motivation to act, the minor character Chicamaw desires media attention, which is why he hits banks. In other words, Chicamaw desires to be the "protagonist" in some kind of "narrative," and the bank robbery scenes are narrated as parts of a Chicamaw-centered story. The radio sounds in the bank robbery scenes exaggerate this aspect of Chicamaw, painting him as the "villain."
This paper considers the construction and failure of this potential "story" in this film through analysis of images and sound and, eventually, places it vis-à-vis Altman's other works.