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The Relationship Between Women And Film

2204 words - 9 pages

The Relationship Between Women and Film

The research topic I investigated was ‘the representation of women in
Japanese action/thriller films and, Hollywood action/thriller films
focusing on the Asian genre, are different’. When starting my
research, I wanted to prove that due to Eastern/Western ideological
differences in society, cinema produced reflects the culture. For
example, the target audience of a country influences how films are
produced in order to appeal to the specific audience. Thus, I proposed
that due to a divide in audience appeal for film based on varied
cultures, despite the same genre (i.e. Asian genre) being used,
representation of the women in the film will be different so as to
target the audience and link with the society’s views, customs and
values.

I started off by looking at how women are represented in Japanese
action/thriller films. Freda Freiberg argues in ‘Women in Mizoguchi
Films’ (1981) that Japanese cinema represents women as powerless
physically, but the stronger sex mentally. Although this book
concentrated primarily on Mizoguchi films created in the 1930s, 40s
and 50s, the book also spends time researching Japanese representation
of women in Japanese cinema as a whole, thus providing a brief
analysis of feminine theory.

Hideo Nakata, director of ‘The Ring’ (2002) and ‘Ring 2’ (2005)
expands on the views expressed by Freda Freiberg, with specific
reference to thriller films. He argues that in Japanese cinema women
might be killed off early showing weakness, however, their death
symbolises ruthlessness and the need to get revenge on the man that
killed them. He stated in an interview I found online at
www.kateigo.com/int/winos/horror-nakata.html that ‘It is horrifying to
consider the possibility of a person holding such strong, fixated
hatred towards someone else, and frightening to see someone turned
into such an inhumanely disfigured speaker’. Whilst typical
representations of women might be that they are emotional, sensitive,
weak, naïve and caring, Japanese thriller films break away from the
stereotypes and show the women as strong figures. Physically, she
might be considered weak, but mentally she is the stronger sex in mind
and spirit as seen through revenge. This is evident in the Japanese
version of ‘The Ring’ aka ‘Ringu’ (1998) where the murdered girl seeks
revenge on anyone who watches ‘the video’, and specifically in
reference of revenge of what her father did to her during her life.

I wanted to see the comparison between female representation in
Hollywood thrillers and Japanese thrillers. Hideo Nakata further
emphasises the difference in his interview: ‘The difference between
Japanese horror and Western horror can be traced back to the
difference in religious beliefs’. Whereas Japanese culture reflects a
spiritual aspect...

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