Dissimilarity of Resemblances. Melodrama in Japanese
The paper is devoted to Japanese films about tragic love, an adaptation of bunraku plays by Monzaemon Chikamatsu – The Crucified Lovers (Chikamatsu Monogatari, Kenji Mizoguchi 1954) and Double Suicide (Shinju: Ten no amijima, Masahiro Shinoda 1969). The text aims at discovering distinctive, national features of genre typing. To achieve this aim, the author compares the films by Mizoguchi and Shinoda with classic Hollywood love stories of ’30, ’40 and ’50. Comparative analysis leads to the conclusion that there are two main elements that distinguish Japanese melodramas from American ones. The first is connected with the ideological significance of the films: Hollywood melodramas are generally conservative but the Japanese ones are related to left-wing social criticism. However, the most important distinctive motif of Japanese melodramas seems to be an idea of death as a final and absolute realization of love.