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Donald Richie didn’t just open a window on Japanese cinema — the renowned film critic broke down a wall and put in a cultural door.

A classic among his more than 45 books on Japanese film is 2001’s “A Hundred Years of Japanese Film,” which was revised in 2005. Not just for dedicated popcorn-munchers, this book is an important work for any student of Japanese culture. Richie examines Japanese film within the wider contexts of its artistic history, discussing how Japanese art approaches the audience-performer relationship as a stylized presentation, not merely a representation of reality.

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