The Relationship Between Women and Film

The Relationship Between Women and Film
My hypothesis is ?the representation of women in Japanese action/thriller films and, Hollywood action/thriller films focusing on the Asian genre, are different?. I started my investigation by looking at secondary research; the first being the internet. I used the search engine ?Google? which was useful in providing a range of sites focusing on my hypothesis. I started by typing in ?Japanese representation of women vs. Hollywood representation of women?. This search was too broad, and I realised that I needed to refine my search to get specific areas of interest regarding my hypothesis. The internet is a mass media platform that needs to be used correctly to search for the correct information needed, and thus searches cannot be too broad. Therefore, I decided to search for specific films that I would be referencing. These films included ?The Ring? (Japanese ? 1998 and Hollywood version ? 2002), Japanese anime with specific reference to ?Princess Mononoke? (1997), ?Kill Bill Vol.1? (2003) and ?Mulan? (1998), a Disney film reflecting Asian culture and genre. I started by looking at the films? synopses to work out how each film reflected the representation of women. Two sites which proved really useful were www.imdb.com and www.cinema.com that provided detailed plot analysis and reviewsHowever, I wanted to gain further knowledge about the representation of women in these films, and not just about the film plot itself. As I was going to later research into ?Kill Bill Vol. 1? with a textual analysis and questionnaire, I wanted information about Quentin Tarantino and his views on his film. I typed in ?Tarantino interviews about Kill Bill?. This provided a large amount of sites about the film. The first site I came across was the official movie site www.killbillmovies.go.com/vol1. This was useful in providing information on the movie, cast and crew. However, it was much more like a marketing promotion for the film rather than analytical information. I then came across two more sites with interviews with Tarantino about the making of ?Kill Bill Vol.1? and his influences, views and so forth. www.japattack.com/japattack/film/tarantino.html was useful as it provided a Japanese online magazine interview with Tarantino. This was interesting as it allowed me to understand the Asian perspective and Japanese culture behind the film as the interview contained vast information about Tarantino?s Japanese influences in his film. Although the site was overall very useful, I still wanted to read the Hollywood or ?Western? world view of Tarantino. I thus went on another search and came across a bbc interview with Tarantino online at www.bbc.co.uk/films/203/10/06/quentin_tarantino_kill_bill_volume1_interview.shtml. This displayed similar questions regarding Tarantino?s influences and his views on the women?s characters ?the bride? and ?Oren Ishii?, however it did lack in depth and analysis compared to the Japanese interview. Thus, it proved to be slightly less useful in giving me a large amount of information. Finally, I used the internet to research ?Japanese anime representation of women vs. Disney representation of women?. This also provided a large search as my topic was once again too broad. It provided a range of information linking to the connection and differences between films such as ?Treasure Island? and Japanese anime. Thus, I had to refine my search specifically thriller and action films by typing in ?Japanese anime representation of women vs. Mulan? but this proved with similar results and not proving to be helpful. Therefore, I decided to start my book research. As I had a lack of information on Japanese cinema, with no information at my sixth form library, I had the privilege of going to the soas library of University of London; a library specific to African and Asian studies. This was extremely beneficial as I managed to take out books I otherwise would not have been able to find in a smaller library. These books were ?Women in Mizoguchi Films? by Freda Freiberg (1981), ?Currents in Japanese Cinema? by Tadao Sato (1982) and ?The Erotic Anime Movie Guide? by McCarthy and Clements (1999). As I had not collected much information about Japanese representation of women in anime, I decided to search for a book and came across ?The Erotic Anime Movie Guide? by McCarthy and Clements (1999). Although, this was more based on hentai rather than traditional manga or anime, the book was extremely useful as it provided a chapter purely based on the role of females in anime. This reflected on key stereotypes such as ?the dragon lady?, ?the school girl? and ?the older woman? which are key female roles in Japanese anime. This information was useful as it reflected on stereotypical gender representation and how they reinforced or challenged Japanese culture. I then wanted to research some depth into theory and came across two books ?Currents in Japanese Cinema? by Tadao Sato (1982) and ?Contemporary Hollywood Cinema? by Stephen Neale (1998). Although these books did not focus entirely on the representation of women or even the representation of Women in Japanese or Hollywood action/thriller films, it still provided an insight into the feminist theory behind the traditional stereotypes of women being weak, and how or even if, cinema challenged or reinforced these stereotypes. ?Women in Mizoguchi Film? by Freda Freiberg also provided some information about feminist theory applied to Japanese cinema, however, the majority of the book was focused on Mizoguchi films and was very out of date. My final secondary research was to look at ?Sight and Sound? magazines. In our sixth form media library, we are privileged to hold a large stock of recent and past magazines. I attempted to search for information based on female representation in Hollywood action films, however most were concentrated on film reviews, and director interviews and thus not proving useful. I then started my own primary research. I decided to go back on the internet to visit message boards. I registered on www.imdb.com and created a message topic based on my hypothesis in hope that people would provide their opinions. I received ten replies, majority being useful in providing opinions of a public that are enthusiastic about cinema from a worldwide perspective. However, the message boards were only partly useful, as they were still just opinion and not fully authorative. Secondly, I decided to do my own textual analysis on the films I had researched about on the internet. These were the two versions of ?The Ring?, ?Kill Bill Vol.1?, ?Mulan? and anime such as ?Princess Mononoke?. I also decided to get a range of opinions and created a questionnaire to give out to an audience who could watch the films and comment on their views. I created a quantitative questionnaire asking questions such as ?Do you think the woman is represented as weak in this scene?? or ?Do you think the representation of women challenge typical stereotypes?? However, I found the questionnaire restricting as it only allowed brief answers in the form of ?yes or no? questions. Thus, I decided to engage in a small discussion group to get others to voice their opinions proving more useful as I gained more information. I used a dictaphone to record the discussion group as well as taking brief notes of key issues discussed. Questionnaires are difficult to create to specify for a certain topic, and by having a discussion as well, it was even more useful to find out how women felt about being represented in stereotypical ways, and if they think they still exist. In addition, it was useful in hearing views and comments about the similarities and differences of Japanese and Hollywood representations of the Asian genre. Finally, I wanted to obtain an authorative opinion. I wanted to go back to soas and ask a professor about their views on representation of women in Hollywood cinema reflecting the Asian genre. However, I was unable to schedule a one to one interview. Nonetheless, I managed to get hold via email one of the professors, Dr. Isolde Standish. Although the email correspondence lacked in detail compared to what a longer interview would have been, her expertise views on Japanese cinema provided more depth and analysis into my argument that the representation of women in Japanese action/thriller films and Hollywood action/thriller films focusing on the Asian genre are different. Overall, the variety of research methods used were useful for providing me with a range of views and opinions about my research topic. Each had its advantages and disadvantages, but the ability to access a variety of platforms and modes of research led to a greater depth of finding conclusions to my hypothesis.

The Relationship Between Women and Film 7.2 of 10 on the basis of 2401 Review.