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"Benshi" jako współautor filmu
"Benshi" as a Film Co-author

Author(s): Krzysztof Loska
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Benshi; Japanese Cinema; Author

Summary/Abstract: Loska explores the phenomenon of benshi, the Japanese narrators and commentators of silent movies. The benshis were expected to both translate the subtitles and also to add a live commentary to the images presented on the screen; an oral story that would clarify the meaning the commentator extracted from the film by. In this sense, the benshis were actually co-authors of the story; they were responsible for unfolding the storyline. The benshi did not emerge just because it was necessary to clarify the meaning of moving pictures to Japanese viewers but rather because of their attachment to a certain form of presentation and the style of performance combining various means of expression. The presence of the benshis can be attributed both to the tradition of oral commentary and mixed theatrical forms as well as the societal and moral changes taking place in Japan at the turn of the centuries. Then we will come to understand that the role of the benshi was not restricted to passing of an aesthetic tradition but also participating in the process of modernisation. Loska focuses on what an ideal benshi should be like, and traces the development of the profession in the early stages of the evolution of Japan’s cinema.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 59
  • Page Range: 59-65
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Polish