Posts Tagged ‘Aku Rei’

Angel Dust – Film Noir And The Patriarchal Agenda

Posted 13 Oct 2010 — by contributor
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Corey Birkhofer

Angel Dust, Japan, 1994

Directed by Sogo Ishii

Ryoko TakizawaFeminism and its viewpoints on the portrayal of woman in the history of film focus primarily on patriarchy and how it functions to reinforce the status of women in any given society.  This status is one of submissiveness to men and undying conformity to the good of the male-dominated social system. Since film could simply be said to be a visual medium that is chiefly influenced by the culture from which it spawns, then the societal practices within said culture are transferred to film, and thus influence and reinforce the individuals who see them. In the case of film noir, the presence of patriarchal influence is more than evident, and in Sogo Ishii’s 1994 film noir, Angel Dust, we see what happens to those who conform and those who do not in a patriarchal society.

Film noir is a French term literally meaning “black film.” The name, coined by French film critic Nino Frank in 1946, captures the essence of this style of Hollywood filmmaking. “In fashioning film noir,” Frank says, “Hollywood borrowed heavily from the expressionist film techniques and lighting used by German directors in the 1920s.”

However, despite the low-key lighting and dark, shadowy, contrasting images reminiscent of German Expressionist films, Frank also saw the influence of French Poetic Realist films. “In the ’30s poetic realism,” he states, “with its moody sense of suspended lives on the verge of doom, perfectly expressed a nation’s fatalism and despair.” Thus, with the two styles combined the famous term was born.  Read More