According to the Cultural Polysystems theory, the complex of creation, production, distribution, consumption, of cultural products is determined by a multilayered negotiation dynamic between multiple agents. In this lecture, we will study the international distribution of Japanese cinema in these terms, analyzing a specific mediation agent, film criticism, in a specific national environment, Spain.
This concept stablishes that there is no equivalence between languages, so every translation is actually a process of rewriting. As important as how to translate is what to translate. The selection of works that will be included in the catalogue responds to –and reinforces– the ideologies, prejudices and intentions lying behind translation decisions. In this process, it is not less important to understand what is chosen not to translate.
To understand the rewriting of contemporary Japanese cinema by Spanish film criticism, we will take close scrutiny on two specific cases: anime, as it is a recent addition to the catalogue; and comedy films, as an example of exclusion from this selection.