• Terayama's "China Doll" (in Japanese)

    Author(s):
    Steven Ridgely (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century, French Literature & Cultural Studies, Linguistics, LLC 20th- and 21st-Century French, LLC Japanese since 1900
    Subject(s):
    20th century, Critical theory, Film criticism, French studies, Japanese studies
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6Z51X
    Abstract:
    This is an analysis of Terayama Shūji's 1981 film "Shanhai ijin shōkan," a French co-production which was marketed in the Anglosphere as "China Doll" and in France as "Les Fruits de la passion," invoking both Ōshima Nagisa's 1978 "L'Empire de la passion" (the sequel to his notorious "Empire of the Senses" / "L'Empire des sens," 1976) as well as Roland Barthes's classic semiotic analysis of Japan, “Empire of Signs" / "L'Empire des signes" (1970). Atop these triplings of doublings and re-sequels to sequels, Terayama's narrative is also a continuation and displacement of Pauline Reage's 1954 "Story of O" with the leading characters transported to Shanghai under Japanese colonial rule. Terayama's core insight into this French discourse, which he weaves into the film's narrative, appears to be a reading of "O" as the number "zero," a figure of both emptiness and potentiality which invokes Barthes's notion, articulated in "Le Myth, aujourd'hui" (1957), of the "empty signifier" / "signifiant vide."
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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