production company to direct his own films. After the release of his most famous film Hadaka no shima ('The naked island', 1960) he tried, often unsuccessfully, to bring some experimental elements to his work.
Television broadcasting began in Japan in 1953, and to cope with this new competition Japanese film companies moved towards the adoption of colour and the widescreen format. Nikkatsu made its first colour film in 1955, and Toei made the first widescreen film in 1957. By the late 1950s colour and widescreen were prerequisites for a film's commercial success.
In the Japanese cinema of the 1930s the coexistence of sound and silent film had continued for many years due to insufficient capital and special cultural circumstances. The 1940s cinema can be divided into two completely opposing periods; the Fascist ideology films of the war years and the films of democracy from the second half of the decade. The ideological changes established by the occupation did not add anything fundamentally new to the form of Japanese cinema, as the assimilation of the American cinema style had already been achieved by the 1930s. The majority of film art in post-war Japan was created by directors with an occidental vision, like Kurosawa. However, at the same time Mizoguchi and Ozu, two important, if very different, directors from the pre-war period, could carry on developing their Japanese aesthetic in the post-war era. The war and liberation gave Japanese cinema the opportunity to foster both occidental and Japanese sensibilities.
Anderson, Joseph L., and Richie, Donald ( 1982), The Japanese Film: Art and Industry.
Hirano, Kyoko ( 1992), Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo.
Nolletti, Arthur Jr., and Desser, David (eds.) ( 1992), Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre and History.
Sato, Tadao, et al. (eds.) ( 1986), Koza Nihon Eiga, vols. iii-v.
Tanaka, Junichiro ( 1976), Nihon Eiga Hattatsu Shi, vol. iii.
Projected films were first commercially exhibited in Australia on 22 August 1896 by an American magician, Carl Hertz, using British films and apparatus obtained from (R. W.) Paul's Animatograph Works, Ltd. If this event may be considered the 'birth' of Australian cinema, the infant's parentage is both unquestioned and significant. Like other parents, the United States and Britain came to be simultaneously loved and hated by the film industry they fostered, and to serve their progeny as models of patronage and exploitation, to be imitated and overcome.
The film business in Australia was at first chiefly a business of exhibition. Many of the 'pioneer' Australian exhibitors T. J. West, Cozzens Spencer, and J. D. Williams (all of whom branched into production in some way) were British or American. For the first thirteen years the most successful and influential exhibitor and producer, however, was the Salvation Army, whose Limelight Division toured the country with shows featuring non-fiction and fiction films, slides, lectures, and live music. Birmingham-born Joseph Perry conceived, produced, and organized these elevating evenings of entertainment, becoming in the process Australia's premier, if not absolutely its first, filmmaker.
Perry's evening-long programmes sometimes contained more than one hour of footage on a single non-fiction topic -- what today would be called 'feature-length documentaries' -- and in 1904 he made a short fiction film about Australian bushranging, almost undoubtedly the earliest example of 'an Australian cinema par excellence', blending movement, landscape, and mythology in a kind of counterpart to the American Western. Within two years William Gibson, Millard Johnson, and John and Nevin Tait had combined Perry's multi-reel documentaries and the bushranging legend into The Story of the Kelly Gang, a show featuring four reels of film tableaux glorifying the bandit rebel Ned Kelly along with a lecture commentary, musical accompaniment, and sound effects.
The critical and commercial success of the Salvation Army and The Story of the Kelly Gang provided the impetus for six years of local multi-reel production before such lengthy films were common in most of the rest of the world, and set the pattern for the peculiarly Australian genre of bushranging films, which flourished until such films were banned by the state government of New South Wales in 1912 for their supposed pernicious (social and political) influence. Bushranging films have continued to be produced sporadically, at times secretly, to the present day.
The vogue for bushranging films seems to have contributed to a short-lived boom in early Australian production. Between the release of John Gavin's bushranging melodrama Thunderbolt in November 1910 and July 1912 some seventy-nine titles were released, at least nineteen