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The Lights That Raised a Storm: Neon, Color Aesthetics, and the Image of Postwar Tokyo

Speaker

Will Carroll

My talk analyzes the relationship between the revitalizing nightlife districts of postwar Japan and emerging color aesthetics in 1950s Japanese Cinema. Focusing on the reemergence of neon lights in these districts, it argues that the neon lights shaped a cinematic color aesthetics determined by light instead of surface, and that this color aesthetics in turn shaped the broader image of postwar Tokyo.

About the speaker:

William Carroll is an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta, where he teaches on contemporary Japanese film, media, and culture. His first book, Suzuki Seijun and Postwar Japanese Cinema, was published in 2022 by Columbia University Press. He is currently working on a book about cinephile culture and film production in Japan from the 1980s through the present.