The Relationship Between Women and Film

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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


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 foun...

... middle of paper ...

...ll Bill’, this is evident

with the character of ‘the bride’ who although revengeful, still

remembers the loss of her child and shows herself as a ‘caring


Overall, the research used to create conclusions of my hypothesis

point out that as a whole, Japanese films represent women in a

stronger light reflecting the culture of anti-family and an emphasis

on success and a highly optimistic view. In addition, many films step

away from the patriarchal society created in Japan and challenge

stereotyped women’s roles within the films as emphasised by

Mizoguchi’s films. At the same time, the increase of globalisation has

led to a cross breeding of genre and increasing influences of Asian

genre in some Hollywood action/thriller films as seen through ‘Kill

Bill’. Yet, the representations of women are still different.

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