Acting the Role of Gods: Shinoda Masahiro's Cinematic Confrontations with the Absolute Image
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The narrative structure and formal style of the director Shinoda Masahiro's films reveal his ethical objective to encourage his viewer to engage with works of cinematic representation as the creative products of human agency that they are. Within his period films, Shinoda hopes to stimulate recognition of cinema's genealogical inheritance and reproduction of the absolutist propositions underlying traditional Japanese cultural forms. He posits that these have redirected essential human drives into masochistic self-effacement in tribute to a divine ideal imaged in the Imperial polity. By disrupting the illusion of cinematic realism which simply serves to reinforce Japanese culture's existent intertextual networks, Shinoda seeks to reground cultural expressions in their material and human origins. This acts as the first step to imagining a Japanese subject outside of the limited definitions posed by nostalgic absolutism and its reactionary antithesis in the equally self-destructive mode of global capitalism.