Shinozaki, etc.

Mark Anderson ander025
Sat Jul 27 18:43:34 EDT 2002

Dear Chuck Stephens,
    Do you have any larger points, other than dropping the names of films
you've seen, that you are in a bad mood and have no interest in the ABCs of
film theory? Being put off by the name Laura Mulvey is like being annoyed at
someone dropping the words "polling" and "electorate" in a discussion of
politics. How anti-intellectual is anti-intellectual enough? And why would
you be impressed if a Japanese film "already has an English title"? These
are made up by publicists and translators and typically approved by
directors who wouldn't know the difference. Translating a Japanese film
title is hardly going out on a speculative, academic limb.  Should Joe
Murphy be apologetic that he speaks a relevant foreign language? Should we
make a rule not to use big words on the website during certain hours of the
day? If you are going to bother to respond to posts, please try to find a
point before you hit "send" other than, "I'm irritated. I think I'll share
it with the world."

Mark Anderson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chuck Stephens" <cougar71 at>
To: <KineJapan at>
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2002 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: Shinozaki, etc.

> >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.
> cs

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