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Trifonova, Temenuga: "Nouvelle manga and cinema." In: Studies in Comics 3.1 (2012), S. 47–62.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Trifonova2012
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Keywords: Boilet. Frédéric, Film, Frankreich, Intermedialität, Japan, Manga
Collection: Studies in Comics
This article argues that drawing in comics is, fundamentally, a narrative process. Thus, the turn in comics away from the literary, towards the visual arts (especially cinema) has also been a result of comic artists aligning their visual aesthetics with new innovative narratives: the visual turn is not merely a rejection of the literary or textual aspect of comics but a readjustment to new non-sequential narratives (like those of the nouvelle vague). Only in this way can we explain the paradox that nouvelle manga’s self-proclaimed interest in storytelling over illustration does not seem to fit with the general critical agreement about a ‘visual turn’ in comics since the early 1990s. To call nouvelle manga ‘cinematic’, then, is to refer not only to particular visual techniques that we have come to associate with cinema, but also to a particular type of storytelling characteristic of the nouvelle vague and of Japanese cinema. There are undeniable similarities between nouvelle vague’s episodic narrative structure and what David Desser calls ‘the classical paradigm’ of Japanese cinema, best exemplified by Ozu’s films whose narrational mode Desser compares to Kabuki plays and Japanese novels. Ozu’s films disrupt narrative linearity, stress spatial manipulations, rely on temporal ellipsis, employ an episodic structure and avoid climactic moments to explore the mundaneness of daily life. Frédéric Boilet, author of the Nouvelle Manga manifesto, wanted nouvelle manga to use the everyday stories of Japanese manga to counterbalance the excessive emphasis on illustration he found in French BD. Paradoxically, however, the incorporation of everyday stories does not result in a greater emphasis on storytelling; just the opposite: in fact, nouvelle manga’s loose, episodic narrative or lack of narrative has served to refocus attention on the visual plane.
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