- Title: Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom
- Author: Daisuke Miyao
- ISBN: 9780822339694
- Page: 392
- Format: Paperback
While the actor Sessue Hayakawa 1886 1973 is perhaps best known today for his Oscar nominated turn as a Japanese military officer in The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 , in the early twentieth century he was an internationally renowned silent film star, as recognizable as Charlie Chaplin or Douglas Fairbanks In this critical study of Hayakawa s stardom, Daisuke Miyao reWhile the actor Sessue Hayakawa 1886 1973 is perhaps best known today for his Oscar nominated turn as a Japanese military officer in The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 , in the early twentieth century he was an internationally renowned silent film star, as recognizable as Charlie Chaplin or Douglas Fairbanks In this critical study of Hayakawa s stardom, Daisuke Miyao reconstructs the Japanese actor s remarkable career, from the films that preceded his meteoric rise to fame as the star of Cecil B DeMille s The Cheat 1915 through his reign as a matinee idol and the subsequent decline and resurrection of his Hollywood fortunes.Drawing on early twentieth century sources in both English and Japanese, including Japanese language newspapers in the United States, Miyao illuminates the construction and reception of Hayakawa s stardom as an ongoing process of cross cultural negotiation Hayakawa s early work included short films about Japan that were popular with American audiences as well as spy films that played upon anxieties about Japanese nationalism The Jesse L Lasky production company sought to shape Hayakawa s image by emphasizing the actor s Japanese traits while portraying him as safely assimilated into U.S culture Hayakawa himself struggled to maintain his sympathetic persona while creating complex Japanese characters that would appeal to both American and Japanese audiences The star s initial success with U.S audiences created ambivalence in Japan, where some described him as traitorously Americanized and others as a positive icon of modernized Japan This unique history of transnational silent film stardom focuses attention on the ways that race, ethnicity, and nationality influenced the early development of the global film industry.
Recent Comments "Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom"
Okay, so my main impression was that Daisuke Miyao's book on Sessue Hayakawa was not completely finished. It felt like there was a layer of analysis missing, kind of like a layer cake without any filling in between the layers, but everything else is there. The information Miyao presents is very good, and he draws from a great many sources, which is nice. He has a clear and concise method of presenting the themes and ideas at work in Hayakawa's career and position in film history. But the book re [...]
Although we judge history through a lens of modern day values, there's no denying that America and the world were racist places back during the 1910s. This was a time of D.W. Griffith's BIRTH OF A NATION, which had a racist view of African-Americans, and Japanese people were not allowed to become naturalized citizens due to their ancestry. This makes it remarkable that Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa burst on the Hollywood scene in 1915 with THE CHEAT. While never a huge star, he was definitely a [...]
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