I love watching Asian films that challenge the conventional stereotype of the Asian-geisha-obedient female stereotype. You know, films where the female protagonist are real women, clever, strong and empowered. Historically, the depiction of women in film has had more impact on the lives of women than any other media. Likewise, it’s alternate female roles that have the potential to undo much of the stereotypes we hold in our everyday lives.
While browsing through Asiance Magazine, I discovered this fantastic series, Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know featuring three women in Japanese film who have pushed the boundaries:
At the opposite end of the stereotype of docile Japanese women—heroic good mothers, chaste daughters and hardworking faithful wives—actresses Ayako Wakao, Mariko Okada and Meiko Kaji embodied the transgression of limits, breaking rules, flouting norms and generally upsetting everyone.
This series explores the idea of unconventional beauty that these spellbinding actresses created through an unparalleled body of films. Both Wakao and Okada were muses and inspiration for two major film directors, Yasuzo Masumura and Kiju (Yoshishige) Yoshida, respectively, while Kaji navigated between filmmakers, a wild card of Japanese cinema at the time. Put together, their films delineate what one could call an aesthetic of convulsive beauty (André Breton). (From Asiance Magazine)
(Above: Lady Snowblood – Blizzard from the Netherworld)
Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know runs from March 31 – April 18, 2010
At the Japan Society in NY (333 East 47th Street, New York)
See schedule of 13 films at www.japansociety.org