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Need Help: Women in Japanese action flicks

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Need Help: Women in Japanese action flicks

Old 10-03-06, 07:17 PM
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Need Help: Women in Japanese action flicks

I know that going back as far as the 1920's, Chinese/Hong Kong movies have in many cases presented female characters in martial arts movies as equals to men. I was curious about the history of female presentation in Japanese films. I haven't seen enough samurai movies, or know enough about samurai history to know whether or not there were ever women samurai, and if there were, whether or not they were in Japanese movies, and even then were they presented as equals? What about with gangster/yakuza films?

I bring this up because I have been giving thought to picking up the Pinky Violence box set. I've read synopses for these films and was thinking it would be interesting if the first real consistant portrayal of physical female power would come through this sort of s/exploitation movement in the early 70's.

Anyone care to shed some light on the subject? Recommend any movies, websites, books, etc. please
Old 10-03-06, 07:57 PM
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I'm probably a novice as compared to others around here when it comes to Japanese cinema but I'll add my two cents. You might be interested in the 1970's era series of films such as "Lady Snowblood", "Female Prisoner Scorpion", "Sister Street Fighter", and "Red Peony Gambler", and also "Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs". Based on my limited experience, I'll put forth - though it might not be exactly what you are looking for - that the first display of consistent female power in Japanese cinema might have its roots in classic kwaidan (aka kaidan)/ghost stories and the related films such as "Ghost Story of Yotsuya" (1959, along with earlier versions), "Onibaba" (1964), "Kuroneko" (1968), and many others. If you're really interested maybe try sending an e-mail to DVDTalk Reviewer Stuart Galbraith IV; I'd bet he can help you out.

Last edited by flixtime; 10-03-06 at 08:03 PM.
Old 10-04-06, 01:39 AM
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I'll second the recommendation for Lady Snowblood. Brilliant film.

I'd also HIGHLY recommend Seijin Suzuki's Pistol Opera. Odd as hell (think Twin Peaks...on acid), but features a great, strong heroine.
Old 10-04-06, 05:18 AM
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A couple I neglected to mention in my earlier post: "Sex and Fury" and its sequel "Female Yakuza Tale"
Old 10-07-06, 11:28 AM
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bump, still lookin for some help here.

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