Eros in Hell

Jonathan Mark Hall jmhall
Sat Jan 23 00:56:36 EST 1999

Dear LT and all,

Since I could not find the patience to read the book in full, I can offer
an opinion that is based more on perusal than study.  That said, I found
Eros in Hell to be of only questionable academic value.  As for thrills,
neither was it especially entertaining.  Still, it may be useful as a kind
of compendium or guidebook for those who do not have good access to
Japanese films.  Certainly, it does cover a number of films, and groups
them at times in interesting ways, but as LT suggested, it seems so
determined to present the "radical" nature of its subject that any subtlety
is lost.  The book also seems to rely heavily on a stereotyped notion of a
monolithic Japan against which a certain radicalism struggled.  One
wonders, then, of the differences among the films and contexts: what
elision is necessary to present them as seamlessly as done?  The peppering
of Japanese phrases and cultural tidbits was also irritating.  

Well, I do come across as an old grouch, don't I?


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