Shinozaki, etc.

Chuck Stephens cougar71 at
Sat Jul 27 13:47:06 EDT 2002

>The echo of Kunikida Doppo's well-known collection of sketches from 
>the Meiji period, "Wasureenu Hitobito," typically translated 
>"unforgettable people" is too close for me to shake.  I meant to ask 
>Shinozaki if he intended it at the screening, what with the archaic 
>"-nu" ending, but the taidan with Professor Fujii went on for most 
>of the allotted time, and I didn't get a chance.  Do you know if he 
>meant to allude to that?

No, I surely don't. I only know that *Not Forgotten* already has an 
English-language title, your associative invention notwithstanding, 
and that Shinozaki has made more films than it appeared you had 
noticed. Curiously, though, while your observations on the linguistic 
resonances of the Japanese title(s) are fascinating, the notion that 
an English-language title like *Unforgettable People* would be 
appropriate for this film -- which is in every way about events, 
individuals and actors which/who are "not forgotten" -- or for 
anything other than a film starring, oh, Debra Winger, say, or 
Shirley MacLaine, is indeed "hysterical".

Oh, and it's *Terajima* Susumu, who always seemed amply emotive to me 
in the Kitano films, though I felt for him plenty in Miike's *Dead or 
Alive*, and never more than in Go Riju's *Elephant Song*.

>As for whether the incidence of "hysteric" and its various forms is 
>indeed statistically more prevalent than before, as is my 
>impression, or not so, as is yours, that would need to be determined 
>by a Kon Wajiro-type longitudinal urban street ethnology, something 
>marketing and advertising firms undoubtedly already have in place 
>and functioning.  I'm sure the data is out there.

The beans are in your counter. If your interest in female hysteria in 
recent Japanese film persists, you might want to seek out Otani 
Kentaro's *A Woman's Work* -- or not, since it is a decidedly tedious 
film on the topic, despite featuring one of Tsukamoto Shinya's more 
winsome performances. (Sure beats his work in Ichiro Naoki's dreadful 
*A Drowning Man*, a recent film about hysterical husbandry.)

>The larger point is that, as much as I like Okaeri, it's another 
>story about a sick wife, who begins with a modicum of financial and 
>personal independence,is reduced to helplessness by mental illness 
>and ends judged before doctors and collapsed into her husbands arms, 
>who cradles her in his arms and tells her to shush.  Who's 
>wish-fulfillment that might represent, I don't know. I think 
>clinically it is a not at all careless representation of the onset 
>of schizophrenia, but it stacks up with a number of motifs of 
>longstanding in melodramatic fiction and film, cf. Laura Mulvey.

This is a "larger point"? "Larger" than the deep-in-the-stacks 
triumvirate of names you felt compelled to drop in your retort? You 
needn't seem so defensive, Professor; with Laura Mulvey as your 
triumphal Zorro-flourish, your Phd. clearly precedes you.


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