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Pornography - Essay Example

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Subject: 30 March 2013 Pornography Redefining Pornography and Obscene in Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses (1976): The difficulty in defining the term pornography becomes evident from the statement of Supreme Court Justice, Stuart Potter, who admits that it is not possible for him to define this term but he goes on to add that “he knew it when he saw it” (Malamuth 27)…
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Pornography
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Download file to see previous pages It narrates the story of the passionate and obsessive sexual affair between Kichizo Ishidaa, a hotel owner, and Sada Abe, a prostitute turned servant who works for him. By portraying the unusual relationship and obsessive love between the couple, through several sequences of sexual acts, Oshima subtly redefines the meaning of pornography and obscenity. The movie depicts an “extended repertoire of graphic sex acts” that are typical of porn movies and due to stringent censorship laws in Japan Oshima has done all the post production work in France (Williams 183). Many critics have discounted the movie as pornographic but some, including the movie’s director, defended it on the grounds that it radically attempts to extend the possibilities of pornography and challenges the “very notion of obscenity” (183). The main objective of Oshima seems to be to show the audience what they wish to see but have so far forbidden themselves from viewing. He further contends that when the audience feels that all that they wanted to see is “revealed” the element of “obscenity disappears” and, therefore, the authorities should authorize the screening of pornographic movies (183). In her critique of the movie, writer and critic Linda Williams endorses that despite the graphic sexual acts depicted in the film, it does not “negate art” (184). People usually associate pornography and obscenity with the concept of devouring on sexual acts that people watch merely for the purpose of excitement or as a deviatory pleasure. Thus, the general notion is that pornography solely seeks to elicit erotic feelings and arouse the people who watch or read such materials. However, through the portrayal of a strong, obsessive love affair between a servant and master that finally entails in jealousy out of possessiveness, Oshima pushes the boundaries that define the term pornography and obscenity and attract the attention of the audience to new dimensions of the term. Linda Williams attributes the film to be “too real, too hard-core” but also “too beautiful to fathom” (184). On the other hand, she further mentions the scary connotation of the castration in the movie’s climax is a befitting end, which reflects the “Lacanian allegories” of the times when the movie was made (184). Thus, Oshima has traversed beyond the normal realms of pornography and obscenity through the depiction of the tumultuous affair between the man and the woman in his movie, In the Realm of Senses. A Critical Analysis of Linda William’s Definition of Obscenity: Human cultures and civilization have evolved with the passage of time as people keep changing their perspectives based on new information and knowledge. The definition of the word “obscene,” as the humans perceive it now, has also undergone a lot of interpretation as well as transformation before it has acquired its current dimension. In the conservative American society the word obscenity refers to any sexual representation in any art form that has been included in it simply “for sex’s sake” without adding any value the content; or in a sense it encompasses the notion of what should be “off (ob) the stage (scene) of representation” (Williams 165). Linda Williams in her essay titled, Second Thoughts on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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