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SUMIOKA's latest Papers and Lectures

Essays in English


MOVIE STRIOTICS is the technic to make excellent movies, especially two-hour features. Stories are duplexed: telling affairs on told affairs: storying on storia. Media like letters, pictures and films tell stories by themselves so that the tellers compose and tune the storying-media as the storying-director. Extracting storium from our daily life, history, imagination etc. is extorying.
Movies are storying media of film (moving-pictures). STRIOTICS is a brand-new name for storying-technic to make and to tell stories for extoriers and storiers. MOVIE STRIOTICS is STRIOTICS specialized for movies, in particular, for two-hour features. Our motto is "good story, well told."
In storia, the characters story (do storying) through actions within their Story World. It is not dialogue but diagogue. Even a speech is also an action. Movie-storia are, as it were, quoted objective examples exempted from any assessments. However, each character is bearing rather a different storium, mestorium (storium for 'me'), and he/she will live it.
Movie-storia are the common resources in the communication between the storying-directors and the audience. Although what the storying-director can do are at most to ask again some facts the audience overlook, movie-storia give the audience hints for life. Storying-directors should not add arbitrary conditions on the way of the storia. What is allowed them is only to prepare the causes and hide them in the premises that result unexpected situations later. They are plots. However, the audience also will catch out them. The bargains form the Grand T-Structure of movie.
A mythos is the entire of the storium that contain even things not storied. Which parts of the mythos and How to story them is elocution. Mythos plus elocution is a storium. A Grand T-Structure of movie has three depths: the mythos level before storied, the elocution level as actually storied, and the understanding level of each audience.
Life is a riddle full of puzzles. What it seems is not what it is. Although storia are not real lives, they are Thought Experiments. We examine how lives go with given a premise in our thought. Diaistoritics is the method to find truth through storia.

■ 2013 "Japanese Western Movies"

(The Manuscript for the invited lecture of GLOBAL WESTERN CONFERENCE in Germany, April 2013)

Although Japan is not the West of the US, Japan has a similar frontier called Ura-kaido (the back society) for the outcasts and outlaws inside it. Setting the story in it, many sentimental and nostalgic historical/modern drama had been made. These depicted the spirit, the struggle and demise of Ura-kaido as well as American Western. After WW II, historical drama was at the peak although the most was just a detective story with Chambara (sword fighting). Instead, Nikkatsu La Race du Soleil Drama / Stateless Action, Kurosawa and ZATO-ICHI adopted the American Western and got popular in the 1960s. These were exported to France and Italy and they made Nouvelle Vague and Spaghetti Western.
After that, Japanese theaters felt and were filled with the Ninkyo (anachronistic Yakuza) movies complaining the people’s morality while the TV sent a lot of the didactic detective Jidai-geki. Furthermore, films began to depict the real histories of the modern Yakuza by the support of the real Yakuza and TV Jidai-geki got absurd imitating the notorious later Spaghetti Western in the 1970s and 80s. However, in the 1990s, the relation with Yakuza got fell out of favor and bizarre Jidai-geki got tired.
In the recent years, not only the Yakuza movie but also the TV Jidai-geki is not made any more. Japanese in modern times cannot understand the morality and mentality of Jidai-geki. However, a new genre of loan shark stories comes in fashion where the hero solves the problem of the outcasts of the modern economic life with knowledge of laws and a shrewd con-game, not more with a sword and a gun.

■ 2012 "Bricolage: Coco Chanel vs. Levi-strauss"

The word ‘bricolage’ became known academically by Levi-Strauss’ book. He defined it ‘the amateur-work applying only the materials in hand.’ Looking back to the real history, the bricolage in modern times began rather professionally with the appearance of the new Middle Class. Between the two wars, it aimed radical Functionalism. However, it alienated the individuality like Communism and Fascism. After WW II, due to the shortage of man power, DIY -Do It Yourself- spread worldwide as a democratic lifestyle. Private home was born as the reverse of the industrial society of the modern times. DIY in home is free from the social dimension so that it can reread the concepts of the materials arbitrarily. The subjectivity breaks the static social structure as an unceasing ‘paradigm shift.’ In order to hold Structuralism at least in his theory, Levi-Strauss had to confine DIY to the amateur world and to charge it the limitation of ‘applying only the materials in hand’ with the name ‘bricolage.’ The point of bricolage is not ‘by amateur’, nor ‘only with the materials in hand,’ but the rereading and reproducing the concept of materials. By the excess of the lifestyle proposals by industries, our lives are already full of odds and ends. We need now the professional bricolage designers who show us the direction or dream under that we should arrange our lives for ourselves.

■ 2011 "The Invisible Beauty of Cinema"

The beauty of cinema consists not in the Physical image, but on a Metaphysical level in the story. By the Paragone problem, Aesthetic Metaphysics was lost, while the Stimulus Theory became superior instead. Especially Metz, denying Typage and Langue, reduced cinema to the enumeration of images. However, the meanings of images postulate the Genre as Cinema Langue in advance. After that, it is modified by the audience’s Doxa and at last corrected by the film story itself. Although we cannot see the Practical Idea directly, we catch the glimpse of the beauty negatively, refutatively or ontologically. The moved cinema experience not only clarifies the true meaning of things in the film, but also crushes down our distorted prejudice in the Reason, so that it is able to convert even our whole daily life.

■ 2009 "Critique of Art Interpretation"

Do we need Art-Science that interprets art with word? Art should be by nature self-evident. However, in the face of an artwork that does not belong to us, we began to use Iconography to translate it into our culture. Such an interpretation depends on Structuralism. Although the Enlightenment believed the universality of human Reason, after the Revolution and Napoleonic hegemony we had to admit the relativistic schemes to each personality and nationality. However, as Hegelianism without the Progressivism, Iconology has divested authors of their prerogatives in interpretation and has reduced all to the Reception Theory of our culture-code. In the meantime, Freudianism developed Aristotle’s Catharsis Theory into the Repression Theory. Although Structuralist claimes artists create only what is beforehand immanent in our culture-code, Foucault thought the very culture-code is the repression for us. It hides the thing itself. Nevertheless, we can see it by chance as something aweful. It exceeds our culture-code. Art does not show “sign” of our culture-code but such “shadow” of the truth. Indeed, Bricolage manages the thing itself regardless of the original purpose in order to make a new tool; but art has no purpose. It is an activity to show the awful existence with a unique exception and it breaks the repression of the dogmatic culture-code. Interpretation of an old artwork asserts its status as science and struggles against each other; however, it is by nature not science but artistic Bricolage with word; nevertheless, gathering and examining various interpretations will rather enable us to establish Art-Science.

■ 2005 "Isagogics for Cinema-Aesthetics"

In this essay, we try to clear the way to the general aesthetic theory of film with the hint by Baumgarten. To review the antecedent researches, although Eisenstein and the French Nouvelle Vague challenged the theoretical artificiality in their making films, the audience rejected such works and the attempt itself to make a general aesthetic theory of cinema has abandoned now. Their defeat is caused by their way to take shots one by one according to the script words. We name it ‘Articulativist Fallacy’. It lacks betweenness or movements, the most important essence for movie. In this background, there is Structuralism that analyses all things to the single function and tries to create a new mechanism by the combination. Additionally, Eisenstein and FNV were under the affection of the Hegel-Marx Dialectics; however, it is Plato who established Dialectics and the Hollywood learns it without intent. They developed the film-taking method by the multi-coverage with the huge budget as the Hollywood Griffith Style. However, his theme montage is more important. While the outside expressions are only able to mean the seeming, the various touchstone situations test the truth of the concept in the story. In addition to this Dialectics in the screen, there is another one between the screen and the audience, so we call this ‘Grand T Structure’ of cinema. Here the audience is able to discover and moved by the beauty of the universal truth in the specific story. Therefore, poetical Aesthetics of cinema beauty is determined by the fineness of the sensibilitive argumentum about the theme.

■ 2004 "Movie Grammar and Image Technique"

We study here the movie grammar as the story structure, especially of Feature Movies. In the cognition of the movie, we do it at the level of the Understanding with the concepts. There are two types of the shots grammar: ‘one by one’ to explain the space and ‘one after another’ to express the time. On the other hand, movies often use the ‘counterpoint’ technique against the limit of our sensibilities. Therefore, movies have the polyphonic ‘diagogue’ as the bones, and we should analyze movies by this point of view. Thus, a movie has the eight steps structure, as well as every scene fractionally has them. By the way, movies have such diagogue not only in the screen, but also with the audience. This is the 3-dimensional grand structure of the movie. We distinguish the levels of the movie story as ‘mythos’, ‘elocution’ and ‘interpretation’. At first, we have to make up a movie story with the perfect continuities. It consists of scenes or sequences as the partial diagogue. The event becomes common to all characters and the audience links them. The character-plot throughout the whole mythos is the main. We are going to arrange the episodes along it lineally for the elocution.

■ 1999 "The Concept of Justice"

Reviving the“Methodical Contract Theory”, Rawls conceptualized justice with the 'Fairness Principle.' It is valuable as a lodestar to solve our problem of the present age, namely the compatibility of contradicting liberty and equality. However, we are not able to derive 'justice'from it actually because we have also the liberty not to follow it. Therefore Rawls says that we need sanctions and compulsions against ‘egoist’. However, if we do something under menace, is it able to be‘justice’? Inversely, if someone is not 'egoist,' namely if he or she do 'justice' ignoring his or her own interest, then it is unnatural and irrational folly in fact. And there is the "Courage Principle" here that makes us true social-comrades. For this "Practical Contract," people have to gamble themselves. Nevertheless, we do it because 'justice' in our society is necessary for our own happiness.

■ 1985 "Dogmas of Modern Philosophy"

We name the principles of Subjectivism, Holism, and Descriptionalism, as the "three dogmas of modern philosophy." We can see a complete structure of these dogmas in the "Wisdom-Library Theory." It is an ideal kind of library that preserves, accumulates and evolves all the wisdom of mankind within the general form of language. However, first, even such a super-subject as the "Wisdom-Library" is not exempted from the self-righteousness problem of subject. Intending the whole consistency, it falls rather deeper in the problem. Second, there is much silence wisdom that is never talk out but supporting our daily lives, although such "Wisdom-Library" is not able to deal with it. Third, individual persons maintain the "Wisdom-Library" so partially, that its whole consistency and direct development are never guaranteed. However, 'description' does not depend on the correspondence with the reference but on the same reaction of the listeners as the reference so that we are able to accept it sufficiently as a speech-act to change the action of the listeners as well as the described reference itself. Also, although the illusion as if there were the 'whole' wisdom somewhere should be denied indeed, yet we need to consider it moderately to understand the possibility of the (mis)understanding of the listeners. Furthermore, 'subject' is not able to be the ground of all things nevertheless it is the status of the narrator as the owner of the authority and responsibility of the speech-act. And who judges an object is judged oneself about the personality of the judge-act. Then, trying to be judged ourselves by the whole world, we are able to show the whole world like mirror inversely.

Lecture Copies in German

■ 2008-9 "FILM als BUSINESS"

(Wintersemester 2008-09, Filmwissenschaft, JOGU)

  ○ Vorlesung 01: Prepro für Film

  ○ Vorlesung 02: Budgetmanagement

  ○ Vorlesung 03: Struktur der Story 1

  ○ Vorlesung 04: Struktur der Story 2

  ○ Vorlesung 05: Struktur der Story 3

  ○ Vorlesung 06: Spiegel und Touchstone

  ○ Vorlesung 07: Multicoverage und Action Line

  ○ Vorlesung 08: Katharsis und Nava Rasa

  ○ Vorlesung 09: Publikum Hereinziehen


(Sommersemester 2008, Filmwissenschaft, JOGU)

  ○ Vorlesung 10: Kleine Geschichte der MANGA und ANIME