Distinguished Professor of Film Studies, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University
Dr. Russell went to Tokyo in 1997 for her Japan Foundation fellowship.
I did preliminary research for a book on the director NARUSE Mikio. My travel to Japan enabled me to find valuable research materials, and to view the film collection that at the time belonged to the Japan Foundation. I loved watching movies in the store room of the Japan Foundation, and at the screenings of 35 mm prints that were set up for me. I also learned a great deal about Japanese culture and society, the city of Tokyo, and I learned some Japanese language.
The fellowship was a great help to me at the time. It helped me prepare the groundwork for a book that was eventually published in 2008 called The Cinema of Naruse Mikio: Women and Japanese Modernity. In addition, I published many scholarly articles and DVD reviews, and a second book called Classical Japanese Cinema Revisited in 2011.
As a non-Japanese speaker I am very grateful for the Foundation’s support. However, in Japan no one seemed to be interested in my work. I generally felt that my feminist approach to Japanese cinema was not particularly appreciated despite the fellowship.