Melodrama, tears, and life of Oharu

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

Many of Mizoguchi’s films portray suffering women, but Life of Oharu (1952) may surpass all his others in the depth of suffering portrayed. The film features a young woman, Oharu, who is the daughter of an Imperial samurai. After a brief relationship with a lower class man, her family is exiled from the Imperial court. This event starts a series of misfortunes which, through many episodes, push her down the social ladder and track her moral descent. Ultimately, in her old age, she is reduced to a pathetic, elderly beggar. The film’s tone straightforwardly reflects its subject matter: it is quite sad to watch Oharu systematically destroyed and left with no sense of a brighter future. Yet, other films have portrayed similarly tragic events but fail to move their audience. In this paper, I will discuss various theories of how a film’s narrative structure can affect its ability to generate sadness, and analyze how Oharu arranges its narration in a particularly effective manner towards this end.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-11
Number of pages1
Journal16:9: filmtidsskrift
Volume2
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tears
Melodrama
Old Age
Imperial Court
Beggars
Subject Matter
Daughters
Lower Class
Misfortune
Narrative Structure
Narration
Descent

Cite this

@article{3659908744c746c5b0b6ad66342b1039,
title = "Melodrama, tears, and life of Oharu",
abstract = "Many of Mizoguchi’s films portray suffering women, but Life of Oharu (1952) may surpass all his others in the depth of suffering portrayed. The film features a young woman, Oharu, who is the daughter of an Imperial samurai. After a brief relationship with a lower class man, her family is exiled from the Imperial court. This event starts a series of misfortunes which, through many episodes, push her down the social ladder and track her moral descent. Ultimately, in her old age, she is reduced to a pathetic, elderly beggar. The film’s tone straightforwardly reflects its subject matter: it is quite sad to watch Oharu systematically destroyed and left with no sense of a brighter future. Yet, other films have portrayed similarly tragic events but fail to move their audience. In this paper, I will discuss various theories of how a film’s narrative structure can affect its ability to generate sadness, and analyze how Oharu arranges its narration in a particularly effective manner towards this end.",
author = "Jonathan FROME",
year = "2004",
month = "4",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
pages = "11--11",
journal = "16:9: filmtidsskrift",
issn = "1603-5194",
number = "6",

}

Melodrama, tears, and life of Oharu. / FROME, Jonathan.

In: 16:9: filmtidsskrift, Vol. 2, No. 6, 01.04.2004, p. 11-11.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Melodrama, tears, and life of Oharu

AU - FROME, Jonathan

PY - 2004/4/1

Y1 - 2004/4/1

N2 - Many of Mizoguchi’s films portray suffering women, but Life of Oharu (1952) may surpass all his others in the depth of suffering portrayed. The film features a young woman, Oharu, who is the daughter of an Imperial samurai. After a brief relationship with a lower class man, her family is exiled from the Imperial court. This event starts a series of misfortunes which, through many episodes, push her down the social ladder and track her moral descent. Ultimately, in her old age, she is reduced to a pathetic, elderly beggar. The film’s tone straightforwardly reflects its subject matter: it is quite sad to watch Oharu systematically destroyed and left with no sense of a brighter future. Yet, other films have portrayed similarly tragic events but fail to move their audience. In this paper, I will discuss various theories of how a film’s narrative structure can affect its ability to generate sadness, and analyze how Oharu arranges its narration in a particularly effective manner towards this end.

AB - Many of Mizoguchi’s films portray suffering women, but Life of Oharu (1952) may surpass all his others in the depth of suffering portrayed. The film features a young woman, Oharu, who is the daughter of an Imperial samurai. After a brief relationship with a lower class man, her family is exiled from the Imperial court. This event starts a series of misfortunes which, through many episodes, push her down the social ladder and track her moral descent. Ultimately, in her old age, she is reduced to a pathetic, elderly beggar. The film’s tone straightforwardly reflects its subject matter: it is quite sad to watch Oharu systematically destroyed and left with no sense of a brighter future. Yet, other films have portrayed similarly tragic events but fail to move their audience. In this paper, I will discuss various theories of how a film’s narrative structure can affect its ability to generate sadness, and analyze how Oharu arranges its narration in a particularly effective manner towards this end.

UR - http://www.16-9.dk/2004-04/pdf/16-9_april2004_side11_inenglish.pdf

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/5208

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 2

SP - 11

EP - 11

JO - 16:9: filmtidsskrift

JF - 16:9: filmtidsskrift

SN - 1603-5194

IS - 6

ER -