Miss Hokusai DVD

MH2Katsusjika Hokusai was an artist who was known across the globe at one point. A superb artist that drew classical Japanese paintings with a deft touch for visual excess. His daughter O-Ei, often had to step in to his unfinished works because of his drinking parties. She painted and produced hundreds of his works. This could of been a part of history forgotton until we had this exposed. O-Ei was as much a hero and an artist as her father was but she finally is allowed to have the attention deserved.

MH1The life of an artist can be hard on everyone involved and is often fractured and tense. When the artist is a legendary name then this can be all the more unfair. The skill with which this film has been executed deserves a level of recognition. It has occasionally stunning images, interesting compositions and a beautiful use of colour but I still feel it is flat. I remember Anime when it had bite and wasnt a crowd pleasing, currency collecting agent of bland. It has become this in recent years due to its wider viewership, which has emptied it of its real power and spectacle.

MH3I commend this film for its adoration of an almost forgotton feminist icon. Positive role models are rare for younger women as they are often appropriated for a wider audience. Sadly though it does have the usual gender bias. This film keeps its female lead as a strong and directed woman but it is still in a passive way. That means she is not the agent of change as much as she is influenced by male power. This for me is where the film falls apart. It is staged as a female power piece but actually ends up being an empty message to the female audience.

The disc is empty in most cases but the film might be worth watching if you are looking for a cultural, historical or even animation fix away from the US.


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