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Pain Recovery Complex: Pure Love In Criss Cross Of Time And Space In East Asian Romance Films

1120 words - 5 pages

When it comes to Asian films, the audience can seldom avoid mentioning pure love films, one of the most outstanding film genres in East Asia, featured by delicate sentiment, touching plot and unique aestheticism. In these tear gases the viewers can easily find that pain-recovery complex does exist: unrealistic romance beyond time and space can heal the audience’s pain to some extent. The paper argues pure love in East Asian romance films in crisscross of time and space plays a significant role in relieving historical, national or individual pain through parallel narrative styles, taking Japanese pure love film Love Letter (1995), South Korean romantic film The Classic (2003) and Hong Kong nostalgia film The City of Glass (1998) for example. So the following paragraphs will analyze these films from three aspects: socio-cultural characteristics in each region and parallel narrative styles, as well as the thematic trait of pain-recovery.

Socio-cultural characteristics
History and society exert a major effect on cultural products, including films. Despite different social, political and geographical influences the three movies share similar creation background: turbulent society results in domestic trauma.
Japan has experienced great economy recovery after World War II, thanks to America’s financial assistance and the rapid development of heavy industry. It became the first Asian country that hosted Tokyo Olympics Games in 1964 and Osaka World Expo in 1970, reaching an average annual economic growth of more than 10 percent, becoming the world's second largest economy in 1970s and achieving 30 years of economic growth until the 1980s. Implicated by the appreciation of the Yen and low interest rate policy, however, Japan has undergone breathtakingly bubble economy since late 1980s, resulting in an unprecedentedly large scale of enterprise bankruptcy and high unemployment rate. Not only economic recession discourages the public’s morale and aggregates social crime, but it also weakens Japan’s international influence.(Qiu,49)Overwhelmed by both internal and external problems, Japanese people starts to recall the “good old days”—the 1980s when domestic economy is prosperous and folk custom is sincere—in order to escape temporally from painful current situation, and this desire does inspire filmmakers to make lots of nostalgic pure love movies since mid-1990s, such as Love Letter (1995), Yomigaeri: Resurrection (2003), Be with you (2004), Crying Out Love in the Center of the World (2004) and I heard that you love me (2006). With a purpose of giving the Japanese audience nostalgic life experience that is more shinning, warmer, brighter and full of hope, these films have provided a psychological healer to Japanese people in the era of economic recession.
Similar to Japanese trauma, Korean pain can be attributed to the fact that people cannot control their self-destiny throughout the history. Foreign invasions and civil wars have contributed to Korean...

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