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Habip, B. (2015). Erotic Passion as a Desperate Cry Aimed at the Other: Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(4):1159-1167.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(4):1159-1167

Film Essays

Erotic Passion as a Desperate Cry Aimed at the Other: Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses Language Translation

Bella Habip

Cinema can only be truly political provided it stirs the depths of the individual

Nagisa Oshima

Passion is not a psychoanalytic term and the notion does not belong to metapsychology. It is a descriptive term but it can be found in psychoanalytic writings whenever excesses in love are being tackled. Freud also mentions it, mainly to make a connection between states of being in love and psychosis and he underlines that being in love “consists in a flowing-over of ego-libido on to the object. It has the power to remove repressions and reinstate perversions” (1914, p. 100). Winnicott (1963) highlights this overflowing dimension as well when he relates the primitive agonies and archaic anxieties in need of containment, to the sphere of passion. Nagisa Oshima's film In the realm of the senses (1976) commands attention, as most of the films by the Japanese director for whom passion is a central subject and a quasi constant preoccupation throughout his filmography. His films have to do with sex and murder in an almost repetitive way, with a focus on passionate situations and on characters caught up in the throes of passion.

In the realm of the senses - The corrida of love (Ai no corrida) in Japanese - is a film about the erotic passion between Sada, a geisha (former prostitute) who works as a maid in an inn and Kichizo, the owner of the inn. Based on an actual event that took place in Japan in 1936, this story ends tragically as Sada ultimately strangles her lover to death and severs his penis, keeping it with her for several days.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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