This article places two Japan-Korea collaboration films produced during the Pacific Warâ<i>Suicide Squad at the Watchtower</i> (<i>BÅrÅ no kesshitai</i>, 1943) and <i>Love and the Vow</i> (<i>Ai to chikai</i>, 1945)âwithin the broader colonial and transnational context of filmmaking. Specifically, it focuses on the relationship of these films to the careers of their co-directors, Imai Tadashi (1912-1991) and Ch'oe In-gyu (1911-1950?). At the same time, the article shows how cinematic and cultural conventions such as the bildungsroman and the "Victorian empire film," which are more commonly associated with cultural production in the modern West, can, with appropriate adjustments, be fruitfully used to understand the power and entertainment value of these films. <i>Suicide Squad at the Watchtower</i> portrays a joint Japanese-Korean police squad controlling the border between Manchuria and Korea and its service to the Japanese empire; <i>Love and the Vow</i> is a story about a Korean orphan boy who, after interviewing the family of a kamikaze pilot, is inspired to become an imperial soldier himself. These two films were joint projects between TÅhÅ Film in Japan, where Imai was employed, and the Korean Motion Picture Production Corporation, the only film production company in colonial Korea (and the company into which all Korean film production companies had been absorbed during the war).
Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 22, 2013