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January 2009, Week 3


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Aaron Gerow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 16 Jan 2009 08:50:21 -0500
text/plain (64 lines)
This may be a commercial product (and in the interests of full  
disclosure, it is sold by my wife's company), but I thought this may  
be of interest to scholars studying animation or Japanese film.

Aaron Gerow
Yale University

This is the announcement:

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our company, Zakka  
Films, and the release of our first DVD, The Roots of Japanese Anime,  
which presents 8 classic films, many of which are appearing for the  
first time on DVD with English subtitles.

Zakka Films is new venture dedicated to introducing rare and  
important Japanese films, particularly anime and documentary, to  
North American audiences.  Many of the powerful and wonderful films  
we love aren't available outside Japan, so our mission is to change  

Starting with The Roots of Japanese Anime, we'll present some of the  
great works of Japanese cinema on information-rich, high-quality DVDs  
ideal for individual, scholarly, and classroom use. Every DVD will  
come stocked with extra bonus features and commentaries by noted  
scholars sure to enlighten students, researchers, and even the casual  
observer of Japan.

The Roots of Japanese Anime is our first release and contains 8  
ground-breaking films from the developmental years of Japanese anime.  
The centerpiece is Momotaro's Sea Eagle (director: Mitsuyo Seo),  
Japan's first feature animated film from 1942 notorious for showing  
"Peach Boy" and his cute animal forces attacking Pearl Harbor. As an  
example of both Japanese wartime propaganda and the great leaps made  
in the evolution of Japanese anime, Momotaro's Sea Eagle has been the  
subject of great interest amongst scholars and fans, but is coming  
out in North America here for the first time.

The other 7 films introduce the delightful variety of Japanese pre- 
WWII anime and the popular everyday culture it represented. There are  
masterworks by anime pioneers such as Noburo Ofuji, Kenzo Masaoka,  
and Yasuji Murata; cartoons presenting folk tales and legendary  
samurai heroes; sing-a-long films; and even a wonderful work  
introducing the day in the life of a young girl from the 1930s.

The DVD includes a 12-page booklet describing the history of early  
anime and the background of each film written by prominent scholars.

For more information on the DVD and to view the trailer, please visit  
us at The Roots of Japanese Anime will  
also be showing on Saturday, March 28, 9:00 AM at the 2009  
Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Thank you very much!

Seiko Ono
Zakka Films
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite