Session 29: Japanese (Tokyo) film: Dolls (screening then discussion), First session • AMQ
Topics for this session
❖ Amae (甘え in modern Japanese, not used in premodern, "playing the child", evoking the nurturing response, being vulnerable, revealing dependency, etc.)
❖ Recent cinema from Japan (Tokyo): Dolls, first session of four
Overall, persistent topics for this film:
- Layering: Non-linearity in timelines (Overall structure of telling three stories at the same time. Then, at the level of each story: Primary story is non-linear; Secondary story #1 (mafia) is past-oriented; Secondary story #2 is perhaps linear but close to static).
- Faithfulness/bonds/fate : Does this movie explore love as faithfulness or love as unbreakable bond or inescapable bond (fate) and do any of these positions grounded in Confucianism or Buddhism?
- Nihilism: If the "worldview" is fundamentally nihilistic, what is the status of love? (By nihilism, in this case, I mean a world where meaningful actions are either impossible or so weak as to be ultimately not a source of solice)
- Comparisons: role of memories in 2046 and Dolls (story-to-story differences / country-to-country differences)
- Comparisons: Dreaminess in Dolls and Genji.
- Comparisons: What is love? — in Dolls and Genji.
Possible topics for this session:
- Faithlessness and its repercussions as imagined by the director.
- Warmup: What is the place of love (choosing to love) in a context that suggests we are controlled by fate?
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DVD menu scenes 1-7 (0:00:00-0:36:33, elapsed time 0:37)
The entire film is screened in class. If you have missed a class session, the movie is available as follows:
- Media Resources Center (Moffitt): DVD 5994
Required—to be completed for today's session
Summer 2012: I am adding a reading by Doi but I have done this late so it is listed as optional. There are better sources for Doi's ideas but this one is online: The Hidden "I" in Amae: "Passive Love" and Japanese Social Perception.
Access through sidebar tab FILM MODULES:
✓ Dolls: General comments
✓ Dolls: Director (don't skip this)
✓ Dolls: Characters
✓ Dolls: First session questions (scene summaries optional)
✓ The Hidden "I" in Amae: "Passive Love" and Japanese Social Perception (optional Summer 2012, required after that) — skim for Doi's main ideas on amae
Texts, multimedia notes, links*
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*THOUGHTS: Reading before class probably helps follow session content, reading afterwards might help consolidate notes, revisiting for tests is recommended. Content might be added before class or anytime up until about 24 hours ahead of a midterm.
*TEXTS, MULTIMEDIA NOTES, LINKS: If I have read from something, shown something or presented audio that is not elsewhere mentioned, I usually include that information here for the curious, sometime after the class (since I often make last-minute decisions about including something). It might take a while and sometimes I forget. You can email me.
*OTHER: When possible I note here names, places, and other details that I have mentioned in a lecture that would otherwise not be accessible in the assigned materials or easily located on your own. As with "TEXTS ..." this is usually sometime after class and, again, I might not be able to get around to doing it.