film (93 total)
Moving images defined the 20th century in an unprecedented way. The Re-Envisioning Japan Research Collection focuses on small gauge films (16mm, Regular or Standard 8mm, and Super 8mm) that sometimes fall under the category of orphan works. The small gauge films in the REJ collection include amateur and educational films, stock footage, TV commercials, documentaries, and films marketed for home entertainment. There are critical intersections between small gauge film and tourism and education, especially during the 1920s and 1930s, and again after World War II. In the first half of the 20th century, the growing popularity of amateur travel films reflected the rise of popular tourism. Kodak showcased 16mm as an amateur format when it was introduced in 1923, but as such it was expensive at the time. Amateur filmmaking became increasingly economical with the introduction of Kodak's Regular 8mm (1933) and Super 8mm (1965) formats. Regular 8mm's introduction notably coincided with the introduction of more economical and accessible means of travel in the 1930s. 16mm educational and informational films about Japan’s postwar resurgence and culture, often sponsored by government entities like the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), were plentiful from the 1960-1980s. The REJ collection contains a number of 16mm films made by these organizations. The REJ Research Collection's 16mm and Super 8mm films are also accessible on separate Timelines (see main menu bar above). 16mm titles that are not yet available for streaming are pending copyright clearance. Metadata is continually updated and further contextualization is forthcoming with priority given to titles available for streaming. Regular 8mm titles necessitated a unique scanning workflow during the digitization process and we're currently taking additional steps (including color correction) to optimize them for online access. Please see Technical Details (main menu above) for information concerning the digitization process for currently accessible films. In presenting these films I made the curatorial decision to leave as much leader as possible for each print to enhance the sense of its physicality as a material object. Educational films routinely bear traces of the institutional libraries and working collections to which they once belonged. With some notable exceptions, the films made accessible here are survivors plucked from a vast diaspora of discarded and deaccessioned prints readily available through online auctions.