Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo. "Imaging Modern Girls." Nippon Modern: Japanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. Honolulu: University of
Hawai'i Press, 2008. 76-110.
In this chapter from Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano's books, the author explores the idea of the modern girl (or moga). Wada-Marciano claims that the "woman's film genre" reflects the discourse on the experience of modernity. She elaborates by saying that the function of the modern girl in movies was to give form to an "invisible, unacknowledged Japanese anxiety" (88). The chapter ends by considering the dichotomy between the modern girl and the traditional woman as representative of the Japanese society as a whole.
We can consider Omocha to be Sisters of the Gion's modern girl. When contrasted to the other characters around her, she demonstrates progressive ideas (notably, equality between men and women). If we consider her further to represent a problem in to the Japanese socioeconomic status quo, Omocha does not only represent the threat of feminism to the geisha tradition but also the threat of a powerful, modern women successfully manipulating men in order to achieve her desires. Meanwhile, Umekichi can be seen as the status quo; she is undemanding and willing to accept what life hands her.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PR739.F45 A77 2003
""In imaging female subjectivity and addressing the spectator as female, feminist filmmakers have created films which transform and innovate cinematic codes and conventions." Smelik switches the focus of feminist discourse from spectator to filmmaker. Unwilling to revive the auteur theory, which she considers to be elitist and phallocentric, she nevertheless investigates the works of such filmmakers as Sander, Campion, Treut, and Adlon and discovers ways in which they subvert traditional cinematic subjectivity, affect, and modes of representation. Smelik's arguments are, of course, deeply rooted in the feminist theory of Lacan, Mulvey, Silverman, Kaplan, Irigaray, et al., but she also includes such figures as Eisenstein and Barthes. She does not privilege any particular theory but uses whatever works for the particular filmmaker she is dealing with. Her choice of films is as refreshing as her method: one is too used to reading about the same feminist films in book after book. Smelik's knowledge of the field is encyclopedic, and her analyses are consistently persuasive. This welcome addition to the ongoing feminist discourse is recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty." (Choice, February 1999)