East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks: Olga V. Solovieva - "The Russian Kurosawa" - Thomas Lamarre

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Olga V. Solovieva

Olga V. Solovieva will discuss The Russian Kurosawa: Transnational Cinema, or the Art of Speaking Differently. She will be joined in conversation by Thomas Lamarre.

Presented in partnership with The Center for East Asian Studies at The University of Chicago

Virtual Event


About the book: The Russian Kurosawa offers a new historical perspective on the work of the renowned Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa. It uncovers Kurosawa's debt to the intellectual tradition of Japanese-Russian democratic dissent, reflected in the affinity for Kurosawa's worldview expressed by such Russian directors as Grigory Kozintsev and Andrei Tarkovsky. Through a detailed discussion of the Russian subtext of Kurosawa's cinema, most clearly manifested in the director's films based on Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, and Arseniev, the book shows that Kurosawa used Russian intertexts to deal with the most politically sensitive topics of postwar Japan. Locating the director in the cultural tradition of Russian-inflected Japanese anarchism, the book challenges prevalent views of Akira Kurosawa as an apolitical art house director or a conformist studio filmmaker of muddled ideological alliances by offering a philosophically consistent picture of the director's participation in postwar debates
on cultural and political reconstruction.

About the author: Olga V. Solovieva is a scholar of Comparative Literature at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. She is co-editor of Japan's Russia: Challenging the East-West Paradigm (Cambria Press, 2021) and the author of The Russian Kurosawa: Transnational Cinema, or the Art of Speaking Differently (Oxford University Press, 2023). 

About the interlocutor: Thomas Lamarre teaches in the Departments of Cinema and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization at the University of Chicago. Recent publications include The Anime Ecology (2018) and the translation of Isabelle Stengers’s Making Sense in Common (2023). 

About CEAS: The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) and its three Committees — the Committee on Japanese Studies, the Committee on Chinese Studies, and the Committee on Korean Studies — work to enhance opportunities available to scholars both in the United States and abroad, and to foster communication and inter-disciplinary collaboration among the community of professors and students at the University of Chicago and throughout the wider East Asian Studies community.

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