recent women

Jonathan M. Hall jmhall
Mon Jul 29 01:13:33 EDT 2002

The trope of the "weak" woman supported by the liberal man was dominant in
the gay boom films, for example, of the early 90s. You see the alcoholic
wife in Twinkle (Kira-kira hikaru), the molested Sayoko in Okoge, and the
wheelchair bound female love object in 800 Two Lap Runners.  I address this
problematic in my article, "Japan's Progessive Sex," which appears in Andrew
Grossman, ed., Queer Asian Cinema.  But, the phenomenon is hardly limited to
that arena--and nor can it be read in cookie-cutter format.  What Okoge
suggests is far different, I believe, than what Matsuoka's Twinkle did.

What is interesting for me is the way in which Hashiguchi Ryosuke takes that
model of pathological dependence and inverts it, pushing it to its explosive
limit in his recent Hush!.  Now, I am trying to think through the
connections and differences between Hashiguchi's Hush! and Yaguchi's
hyperbolic Down the Drain ( a film Joe has written on).  The latter film
came to mind as I was watching the former--and I was somehow gratified to
see Cine Quint selling the Yaguchi DVD in the same line-up as its Hush!

I know Anne McKnight has also discussed Zeze films in referential rejection
of that model as well.  Whether it is Mulvey's starting point or recent
elaborations and modification--even rejections--of her argument, I do see
much relevance for Japanese film.


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Jonathan M. Hall
Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
301 Wieboldt Hall
University of Chicago
1050 E. 59th Street, Chicago IL 60637
1-773-834-8346 office tel./messages
1-773-834-1323 fax 
jmhall at

From: "M Arnold" <ma_iku at>
Reply-To: KineJapan at
Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002 20:06:06 +0900
To: <KineJapan at>
Subject: Re: Shinozaki, etc.

From: joseph murphy <mailto:urj7 at>

>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.

How common is this in recent film?  This may be a little different, but what
was that drama a few years back with Kimutaku as some kind of audio/light
technician for concerts (?) with a wheelchair-bound girlfriend?  My memory
is hazy, but I remember reading comments on the series that praised the show
for featuring a relatively independent disabled character, but the few
episodes I watched seemed to be looking at the issue a different way.  There
was another drama 3 or 4 years ago that I remember even less clearly,
featuring a mentally disabled young woman character.  As far as I watched
that too tried to find her disability as "adorable" or something.  I was
curious about the wives in Kurosawa Kiyoshi's Korei and especially Cure as
well, but in those cases the husbands don't seem so thrilled about caring
for their adorably sick women.  I supppose something like Hanako (the
documentary, not the horror story) may also be something of a contrast to
those examples.

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