Friday, February 10, 2012
Oh, too bad. The machine went on the fritz, eh? So, you didn’t see the last part, did you?
No, I didn’t. How did it end?
I’ve already told you about it. Don’t you remember?
No, I don’t…’cause I was preoccupied with my own piano lesson. My mind was somewhere in the heaven. :)
Well…it goes like this:
I see…so, they ended up with a sea of happiness, didn’t they?
Yes, you’re absolutely right. By the way, Diane, did you see “A dangerous Method”?
Yes, I did. I’ve already told you about it. Don’t you remember, Kato?
Well, I was preoccupied with “The Piano.”
Don’t pull my leg, kiddo.
How did you like it?
Well…it was quite interesting, but more shocking than I expected.
Oh…in what way?
You see, Kato… I’m always trying to be open-minded, but while I was watching the movie, I thought Sabina Spielrein—a patient and a heroine—went too far…too far beyond my understanding.
Really?…How far did Sabina go beyond your understanding?
Sabina isn’t just a mentally ill seductress but she is a woman stifled by expectation, attempting to grapple with the intense shame of repressed sexuality.
Oh… the intense shame of repressed sexuality?
Yes, with Carl Jung’s help, Sabina was trying to speak some unspeakable things no one had ever asked her to articulate before. This is the talking care, and this is what the movie’s title means—“A Dangerous method.”
I see…sounds fascinating. But what are those unspeakable things?
Well…, Sabina is a young attractive woman, coming from a wealthy family of a respectable middle or upper class. Apparently, she has an intense shame of repressed sexuality, but she tries to speak out that she was once sexually aroused by her father beating her to the point that she masturbated. This is the thing I cannot understand.
So, Sabina is quite mazochistic, eh?
You’re telling me, Kato…Sabina tried to speak out but couldn’t let these things out of her mouth. This is where her facial deformity comes from.
Yes, Sabina’s jaw is practically dislocated by fierce tics and her body is contorted as she convulses.
Wow!…must be a quite shocking scene.
Yes, it is indeed.
You know what, Diane? I think, the relation between Sabina and her father is a strange case of Electra Complex.
Why is that?
You see, Diane…Sabina was once sexually aroused by her father beating her to the point that she masturbated.
Yes, that’s right. This is the thing I cannot understand.
You know what, Diane? Sabina is close-minded while you’re open-minded. That’s the reason you cannot understand her erotic arousal by her father’s beating.
How come Sabina is close-minded in the first place?
Sabina was living in the Victorian era, in which you could not speak publicly about sex, childbirth, and such matters, at least in the respectable middle and upper classes.
But upper-class men and women indulged in adulterous liaisons in those days, didn’t they?
You’re right on, Diane. I think, a double standard existed in the Victorian era.
But kato, do you really think that Sabina loved his father?
Yeah, I belive so … ‘cause she was sexually aroused by her father’s beating.
I doubt…’cause love is not the same as mere sexual arousal. Sabina might have been aroused by the beating even if she had hated her father.
I see…but that’s the reason I would call this case as a strange one of Electra Complex. If Sabina had lived in the post-World War II era in Japan, she might have enjoyed her life with her father as Noriko lived with her father.
She is a heroine played by Setsuko Hara, the famous Japanese actress, in the movie: “Late Spring” directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
“Late Spring” sketch
I see some Japanese scenery in the above sketch, but I don’t understand the story.
Well…I’ll tell you the outline.
Aunt Masa and Noriko
Shukichi’s sister, Aunt Masa, convinces him that it is high time his daughter got married. Noriko is friendly with her father’s assistant, Hattori, and Aunt Masa suggests to her brother that he ask Noriko if she might be interested in Hattori. When he does bring up the subject, however, Noriko laughs: Hattori already has been engaged to another girl for quite some time.
Hattori and Shukichi
Undaunted, Masa tries to serve as her niece’s matchmaker. She pressures Noriko to meet with a marriageable young man, a Tokyo University graduate named Satake who, Masa believes, bears a strong resemblance to Gary Cooper.
I like Gary Cooper, too.
Oh, do you? But Noriko declines.
Noriko doesn’t wish to marry anyone, because to do so would leave her father alone and helpless. Masa surprises Noriko by claiming that she is also trying to arrange a match between Shukichi and Mrs. Miwa, an attractive young widow known to Noriko. If Masa succeeds, it would mean Shukichi would have someone other than Noriko to care for him.
Shukichi and Noriko at a Noh theater
At a Noh performance attended by Noriko and her father, the latter nods to Mrs. Miwa, which triggers Noriko’s jealousy.
Noriko and Mrs. Miwa
When her father later tries to talk her into going to meet Satake, he tells her that he intends to marry Mrs. Miwa. Devastated, Noriko reluctantly decides to meet the young man and, to her surprise, gains a very favorable impression of him. Shaken by thoughts of her father taking a second wife, Noriko gives in and consents to the arranged marriage with Satake. Noriko and her father go on one last trip before the wedding to Kyoto, where they meet Prof. Onodera and his family.
Noriko and Prof. Onodera
Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto
Noriko changes her opinion of Onodera’s remarriage when she discovers that his new wife is a nice person.
Noriko and her father
Noriko and her father, Shukichi, sat down on their futon at an inn in Kyoto during the father and daughter’s last trip together. Noriko and her father had enjoyed sightseeing and visiting with Professor Onodera and his wife and daughter. Now Noriko discusses what Noriko plans to do tomorrow. Then they decide to turn in for the night. Noriko turns out the ceiling light and they lie down on their separate futons on the floor of the inn. Noriko talks about what a nice person Onodera’s new wife is, and how embarrassed and even ashamed she feels for having called Onodera’s remarriage “filthy.” Shukichi assures Noriko that she should not worry about it, because Onodera never took her words seriously. After Noriko confesses to her father that she found the thought of his own remarriage “distasteful,” she looks over to discover that he is already asleep, or seems to be. She looks up towards the ceiling and appears to smile. There follows a six-second medium shot, in the semidarkness, of a vase on the floor in the same room, in front of a shōji screen through which the shadows of leafy branches can be seen. There is a cut back to Noriko, now looking sad and pensive, almost in tears. Then there is a ten-second shot of the vase again, as the music on the soundtrack swells, cuing the next scene at the Ryōan-temple rock garden in Kyoto.
Noriko and her father
While packing their luggage for the trip home, Noriko asks her father why they can’t simply stay as they are now, even if he does remarry – she is very happy living with him and marriage certainly wouldn’t make her any happier.
So, Noriko really loves her father, doesn’t she?
Yes, she does. But Shukichi admonishes her, saying that she must embrace the new life she will build with Satake, one in which Shukichi will have no part, because “that’s the order of human life and history.” Noriko asks her father’s forgiveness for her “selfishness” and agrees to go ahead with the marriage.
Noriko’s wedding day arrives. At home just before the ceremony, both Shukichi and Masa admire Noriko, who is dressed in a traditional wedding costume. Noriko thanks her father for the care he has taken of her throughout her life and then leaves in a hired car for the wedding.
Aya and Noriko
Afterwards, Aya, a divorced friend of Noriko’s, goes with Shukichi to a bar, where he confesses that his claim that he was going to marry Mrs. Miwa was a ruse all along; he had said so only to help persuade Noriko to get married herself. Aya, touched by his sacrifice, promises to visit him often. Shukichi returns home and faces the quiet night all alone.
…sounds quite interesting. By the way, is there any explicit incestuous scene?
No, not really…no such disgusting scenes at all. Do you want to see sexually explicit scenes?
No, I don’t. But without such scenes, “Late Spring” would be monotonous, wouldn’t it?
Oh, come on, Diane…believe me…”Late Spring” is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen…especially, the Electra-complex scenes of father and daughter.
I wish I could see the movie.
Of course, you can see it.
But, I cannot understand Japanese.
You can borrow the DVD with English subtitles.
Where can I get it?
From Joe Fortes Library. If You cannot find it, you can always reserve one.
I can hardly wait. I gotta run now.
You’d better. I assure you, you wouldn’t regret it.
If you’ve got some time,
Please read one of the following artciles:
Hi, I’m June Adames.
In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Gustav Jung, is a girl’s psychosexual competition with mother for possession of father.
In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl’s phallic stage formation of a discrete sexual identity; a boy’s analogous experience is the Oedipus complex.
The Electra complex occurs in the third — phallic stage (ages 3–6) — of five psychosexual development stages:
1) the Oral,
2) the Anal,
3) the Phallic,
4) the Latent, and
5) the Genital — in which the source libido pleasure is in a different erogenous zone of the infant’s body.
In classical psychoanalytic theory, the child’s identification with the same-sex parent is the successful resolution of the Electra complex and of the Oedipus complex; his and her key psychological experience to developing a mature sexual role and identity.
Sigmund Freud (left) and Carl Jung
Sigmund Freud instead proposed that girls and boys resolved their complexes differently — she via penis envy, he via castration anxiety; and that unsuccessful resolutions might lead to neurosis, paedophilia, and homosexuality.
Hence, women and men who are fixated in the Electra and Oedipal stages of their psychosexual development might be considered “father-fixated” and “mother-fixated” as revealed when the mate (sexual partner) resembles the father or the mother.