Imamura's Warm Water Under a Red Bridge

Arnold M ma_iku at
Thu Nov 8 01:44:45 EST 2001

Many thanks to Aaron Gerow for posting his review of Imamura's film here.

I suppose part of my dissatisfaction has to do with the seemingly immediate 
assumption that a story about a woman with a "strange" sexual condition 
simply must be the product of a sexist male fantasy, especially when it's 
so difficult to take the story seriously.  (I and the other few viewers 
were laughing a little during the film... maybe it was just a nervous 
laugh.)  I largely agree with Aaron's comments though, especially the point 
that ultimately the woman was very "shallow".  She didn't command much 
attention (except from her partner).  Maybe it was just my imagination 
getting away with me, but the factory and industrial-polluted rivers 
subplot, along with flashbacks of Saeko's crazed, phallus-worshipping 
mother, seemed to be trying to reveal this woman's legendary ability itself 
as a male construction, making a joke of the hero's dreams of returning to 
the amniotic fluids.  Conscious or not, through exaggeration the idea of 
women's super-natural life 'energy' almost became a parody of itself.  
Unfortunately, the only womb Sasano returns to at the end is one of cold 
concrete, accepting Saeko as a male fantasy or whatever she is.

I think it was definitely a movie aimed at (heterosexual) men.  But still, 
I have to wonder how many of Imamura's other films succeeded in being 
relevent to "women" or their other intended (?) subjects.  Anyway, my 
friend gave me two tickets, so I should go see it again before I dig myself 
into an even deeper hole.  (Sorry, no pun intended.)

Does anyone know anything about the story's author?

For "worst movie" would that count Japanese films from 2001 only, or 
Japanese films we saw in 2001?  Otogiriso would probably be my worst from 
2001, Freeze Me my worst watched in 2001.  Miyazaki's new movie might take 
the "most disappointing" award.

Michael Arnold

かわいい & 使えるブラウザで、インターネット生活もっと楽しくなる!

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