Stella Dallas P.S.

Bernardi-Buralli dburall1 at
Tue Nov 7 13:38:06 EST 2000

The (Tokyo) National Film Center program I mentioned in earlier message is
no. 86, pp. 47-49, they should have this in their library but I can send you
a copy of the "kaisetsu" and "arasuji" etc. if you can't locate it--

Joanne B.

>From: "kiseko minaguchi" <kiko at>
>To: <KineJapan at>
>Subject: RE: Colorado Conference---catharsis/divorce/sex
>Date: Mon, Nov 6, 2000, 10:57 PM

> Could any member give me an info about Stella Dallas (1925)? Which film
> center has the film? I could at most appreciate getting the outline of the
> narrative. I only saw 1937 version of it and need to figure out the imapct
> of the original.
> Minaguchi, Teikyo U.
> -----Original Message-----
> ·ol : Aaron Gerow <gerow at>
> ˆ¶æ : KineJapan <KineJapan at>
> “úŽž : 2000”N11ŒŽ6“ú 16:43
> Œ–¼ : Re: Colorado Conference---catharsis/divorce/sex
>>Markus asked,
>>>My question, and this would be an interesting thing to discuss on
> KineJapan,
>>>has to do with the way that discussions of the wonders of Nikkatsu Roman
>>>Porno and pink eiga never---a word I take seriously---consider the
>>>filmmaking in tandem with the reception context. When people point out
> how,
>>>with the disintegration of the studio system, the pink film becomes the
>>>training ground for moves into the mainstream (and the survival of
> countless
>>>directors, technicians and cameramen who otherwise wouldn't be able to
> work
>>>in film), it makes sense to me. However, when discussions turn to the
>>>progressive politics of the films, or their worthiness as art, what does
> it
>>>mean to ignore what's going on on ground level, in the theaters? How is
> this
>>>not a looping between the production and reception contexts, one big
>>>self-love fest?
>>Much of the problem is in an impressionist based film criticism dominant
>>in Japan that only looks at one point of reception: the critic.
>>Markus's question deserves more of a pursuit, but let me just add another
>>issue to the problem: industry.  Even those who praise Roman Poruno or
>>pink film as a valuable training ground rarely sit down and consider the
>>industrial conditions for all this (beyond, as with regard to Nikkatsu,
>>expressing a nostalgia about it being the last bastion of a program
>>picture studio system).
>>But when Zeze Takahisa came to my Meigaku class to talk, some of these
>>issues did come up in relation to Hamano in our discussion afterwards.
>>First, it should be pointed out that pink films are essentially produced
>>on a subcontractor basis.  Essentially, the company gives the director
>>about 3 million yen and expects him or her to deliver the film with that
>>(I don't know the specifics about developing and other peripheral costs).
>> Thus this is not a studio system where the studio makes up budget and
>>then produces it in house (this is a major difference with Roman Poruno
>>and again reminds us Roman Poruno and contemporary pink films are not the
>>same); and there is no real producer system (it is almost an ironic
>>epitome of the director system: I'm reminded of Shochiku's contract with
>>Kinugasa Teinosuke in the 1920s for something similar in Japanese film
>>history).  If the director ends up spending less than 3 million in making
>>the film, he or she pockets that amount.  Zeze noted this in relation to
>>a shift in his films from more group to more individual oriented
>>narratives: the former were just too costly and it was he, not the
>>studio, who was bearing the loss; the latter were just cheaper and thus
>>the shift was partially a measure of financial necessity.
>>Given this situation, one would imagine that pink directors would
>>incorporate themselves, or create their own production companies, for
>>various reasons (tax reasons, debt indemnity, etc.). But many like Zeze,
>>who himself confesses a lack of business acumen, do not do that.  Hamano,
>>however, has done that and thus reflects a different attitude towards
>>production as well as different industrial conditions.  I don't think we
>>need to buy into the stereotype of artists unconcerned with business, but
>>at least in Zeze's mind, Hamano is a shewd business player who makes sure
>>she is on good financial standing.  On the one hand, this can ensure the
>>kind of industrial "freedom" she spoke of, but on the other, it clearly
>>ties her in with the financial interests of the industry--i.e., to make
>>films for mostly rural men to "jack off" to.  Perhaps her incorporated
>>status can allow for a power to express her own vision, but do remember
>>she is still only a subcontractor, not the contractor.  Her willingness
>>to use different names for herself depending on the company (so that the
>>same name does not emblazon the releases of competing pink film
>>companies) was also cited by Zeze to exemplify her willingness to work
>>with the companies.
>>More research is needed before we can judge Hamano's industrial status,
>>but I think it is also worth noting in terms of reception that Hamano has
>>not been subject to resistance on the level of reception that I know of.
>>Zeze and the Shitenno, however, were, as many rural theaters and their
>>customers complained about their films--perhaps because they were not
>>easy to "jack off" to.
>>I think we need to think about these issues some more before accepting
>>Hamano's self-depiction as a feminist filmmaker.
>>Aaron Gerow
>>Associate Professor
>>International Student Center
>>Yokohama National University
>>79-1 Tokiwadai
>>Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501
>>E-mail: gerow at
>>Phone: 81-45-339-3170
>>Fax: 81-45-339-3171

More information about the KineJapan mailing list