The 37th GJS Seminar “What Japanese Cinema Matters? Anime and Comedy in Spanish Film Criticism”

Date and time:
May 29, 2017 (Mon.), 4:00-5:00PM


First Meeting Room (3F), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo


Jose Montaño (Lecturer, College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University)

Language: English

According to the Cultural Polysystems theory, the complex of creation, production, distribution, consumption, of cultural products is determined by a multilayered negotiation dynamic between multiple agents. In this lecture, we will study the international distribution of Japanese cinema in these terms, analyzing a specific mediation agent, film criticism, in a specific national environment, Spain.

Film criticism takes a central role in the process of shaping the understanding and predisposition of audiences and distributors towards films. But, how does film criticism constructs its discourse? Considering it as a form of translation –from an audiovisual media to a written one, but in this particular case also from a culture that is not only different but strongly regarded from the exoticizing viewpoint of the otherness–, we have approached this question from a theoretical framework developed in translation studies: the notion of Rewriting.

This concept stablishes that there is no equivalence between languages, so every translation is actually a process of rewriting. As important as how to translate is what to translate. The selection of works that will be included in the catalogue responds to –and reinforces– the ideologies, prejudices and intentions lying behind translation decisions. In this process, it is not less important to understand what is chosen not to translate.

To understand the rewriting of contemporary Japanese cinema by Spanish film criticism, we will take close scrutiny on two specific cases: anime, as it is a recent addition to the catalogue; and comedy films, as an example of exclusion from this selection.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)

Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studeis on Asia (IASA)

Contact: gjs[at]