Stephen D. Miller
October 30, 2002
lecture followed by a screening of Okoge
|About the presentation:
"Okoge" (a term that loosely translates as "fag hag") appeared during a gei buumu ("gay boom") in Japan in the early 90's. Its portrayal of two men (and their fag hag friend) who fall in love and are faced with social and personal obstacles presented the ordinariness of contemporary male-male love for the first time on screen and did much to dispel the commonly-held opinion that homosexuality is either non-existent in Japan or confined to drag clubs. At about the same time, a serial program entitled "Doosookai" ("Reunion") appeared for ten weeks on commercial television that depicted a four-way relationship between three men and one woman. While both of these media events represented situations that were psychologically honest, socially realistic, and cinematically believable (though somewhat melodramatic), their resolutions were completely within the purview of that which is socially acceptable in Japanese society. This presentation will show how that which was initially subversive in both Okoge and "Doosookai" is neutralized by their endings.
Okoge 1992, color, 120 min., Director: Takehiro Nakajima; Japanese with English subtitles