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With detailed reference to your findings, discuss your conclusions regarding the relationship between women and film.

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Introduction

With detailed reference to your findings, discuss your conclusions regarding 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. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, the film is created in a more sympathetic way with a more sensitive and emotional character role of the woman. The Hollywood film reinforces the stereotype of women being more sensitive. On the other hand, the Japanese version refers to a Japanese culture of 'work, work, work'. The mother is seen as more 'un-caring' with more emphasis on finding more about the curse itself for a story scoop rather than sympathising with the girl in the video, which the Hollywood film interprets. In addition, the role of 'the ghost' and the 'disturbed girl' in the Japanese version takes a similar view to what Nakata was stating i.e. that she is revengeful of what her father did albeit still 'appealing to her father for help'. The Hollywood version makes the audience sympathise with the girl rather than regarding her as 'evil' or 'ruthless'. Whilst embarking in a discussion with a group of ten women about the two films, one commented that 'the Japanese film is effective in invoking stark realism and dark terror whereas the remake takes a more surreal view'. She implied that the Japanese representation of women was more realistic even if the woman is represented in a different way to Hollywood. Contrary, the Hollywood version glamorises the representations of women within the film to appeal to the target audience and reflect the Hollywood dominant ideology of America, whether it reinforces or challenges stereotypes. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Mulan' (1998), the Disney version of an Asian girl in 'combat' to show patriotism for her country by fighting (aka Joan of Arc tale) shows a Hollywood version of the Asian female. Whereas, anime such as 'Akira', 'Sailor Moon' and 'Princess Mononoke' shows the women as ruthless, strong, powerful and dominant, Mulan shows a strong figure whilst still emphasising sensitivity and emotion. Whilst this is going away from complete stereotypes of a weak and powerless women figure, the character is considered a 'new age' and 'kick ass' woman similar to the role of 'the bride' in 'Kill Bill Vol.1'. Although they are strong, they still show emotions as evident in Mulan's attempt to stay close to her family by sticking to her father's word as well as falling in love with a fellow soldier. In 'Kill 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 mother'. 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. ...read more.

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