Japanese cinema is in a league of
its own where they have their own particular approach towards how to go about
making an effective film. They are heavily influenced by their traditional
values that relate to their people and the zeitgeist that has formed out of
centuries of art that the nation has created. This approach allows them to keep
telling effective stories but also slowly develop in order to create something
fresh or something distinct. These then later turn into prominent techniques
starting off as a director’s signature, to an effective way of conveying
narratives.

In this dissertation, I will be
exploring a sequential editing technique known as “aspect to aspect transition”
(or dubbed “pillow shots” in cinematic terms) that is mainly only seen in
Japanese media and their cinema. I will be starting off by looking over editing
in general first and delve into Western film approaches of Alfred Hitchcock to
create a contrast to see how film makers use specific styles and techniques to
make their film reach out to their audience and why Western filmmakers may not the
favour to use this particular technique. After, I will introduce a film from
the Japanese cinema by the film maker Mamoru Oshii to juxtapose and see
possible reasons and delve further into the cultural difference in between
them; to discover a possible cause for this choice in editing.

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I will be looking into examples of
these and going over its effectiveness, its distinct feature, possible origin
from references to pinnacle works of Japanese arts over centuries and its
development over time. I will then be exploring recent art forms that convey
narratives such as films, manga, and anime mainly, and looking into the
utilisation of this technique whilst analysing their reasons as well as see
what significance this choice has created in the overall conveying of the story.
I want to understand why Japanese cinema differs so much and if this sequential
technique plays major role in this. I will also be preparing experiments of my
own where I will be creating sequences inspired by directors I would be
analysing in my case studies. I believe putting my knowledge into practice
might help me understand how to go about making one and even improve its effect
as well.

To understand the purpose of
editing in general; editing in a film is the most crucial part of putting
together the load of various footage that has been shot for your film. Being
vague during this process can make even the best footage in your film seem
ineffective. It helps to make your film expressive and build an emotional
relationship with the audience to give a meaningful experience that they can take away; “psychological history of cinema…
an external aggregate that neurophysiologically gathers and transits human
feelings,… regulating human emotions, sensations, and experiences with
apparatuses”[1]. Ute Holl writes about the use of pre-existing knowledge of
human affiliation to things in general such as pop-culture, political views,
networks/communities, etc. to create films in an almost industrialised,
production manner. With an emphasis on manipulating what is shown, a good editor
is able to make you believe what you see on the screen is true instead of
asking you to believe that it is happening.

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