Takashi Miike and the Dynamics of Cult Authorship
Hickinbottom, Joseph William
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Since the release of 'Audition' in 1999, Takashi Miike has become one of the most visible Japanese directors in Western film culture. This thesis offers an extensive critical history of the reception of Miike and his cinema that has thus far been absent from English-language scholarship on the director. Miike’s work has been defined by his prolific rate of production, his protean approach to genre, and the often “extreme” content of some of his titles, yet the enduring framework through which the filmmaker has been negotiated is as a distinctly singular "cult auteur." Viewed through the specific lens of Miike’s reputation as a cult auteur, this study explores notions of cinematic authorship and of cult film in its examination of the many ways in which the director’s work has been promoted, presented, and understood. Each chapter traces a distinct phase in the development of Miike’s career, centred around the distribution and reception of a number of key releases. In a largely chronological fashion, the chapters map a distinct narrative of the "emergence," the "discovery," the "reverence," and the "internationalisation" of Miike and his cinema, since the very beginning of his filmmaking career. The studies carried out across this thesis demonstrate how Miike’s reception in the West has been significantly shaped by his distinct cult authorship, whilst working towards a definition of the concept of a “cult auteur” that considers its function as an important structuring principle in film culture.
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Lim, Song Hwee
PhD in Film