Hana And Alice Japanese Film Essay

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Keith Mitchell Since our departure from Chinese cinema we have explored Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese films. Through these films we have witnessed many powerful images, be it new creative ways to enjoy a ripened watermelon or the impermeability of a Japanese mobster. The most prevailing image that I have observed in our new series of films is one that continues to purvey in Japanese films. The way in which Japanese life has been portrayed in the films we have seen thus far is a life that I do not want to live. For this journal I want to discuss the portrayal of Japanese life as a mundane and trite existence through the film Hana and Alice. When viewing the average life of Japanese adolescents in the film Hana and Alice the viewer is engulfed in pettiness and triviality. From viewing the films that you have selected for us and listening to your in-depth lectures on Japanese culture, one can infer that life in modern Japan leaves much to be desired. The overwhelming majority of the clips shown to us in class were of both Hana and Alice marauding around rural Japan searching for some escape from boredom. They spend the bulk of their time they are together in an attempt to fill the void in their otherwise vapid existence. The empty and hollow existence that they possess is clearly evident in the way they spend there time, but is most apparent in their interactions with others. This is most palpable during Alice’s encounter with her estranged father. The duration of their lunch is uncomfortable and even perturbs the viewer. The communication is at best forced and resembles a relationship as insipid and empty as the society in which they both belong. The final scene of Hana and Alice culminates in a deliberate understatement befitting of modern Japanese society. The zenith of this film and perhaps this fictional character’s life is her chance to audition and dance

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