Thursday, August 9, 2007
The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Theif is a documentary by Jake Clennel. Thanks to Lisa over at TokyoMango for this video. I watched it the other night and I was appalled, fascinated and intrigued by the entire thing. If you click on the link you can watch the entire film with sub-titles. If you know nothing about Japanese culture, I'll give you a quick run-down. There are bars in Japan that are called Host Clubs. Generally, they are a bunch of attractive men, entertaining women. Not like a strip-club, but a little higher-classed clientèle are generally in attendance. The men tell jokes, sing karaoke, and talk to women who pay by the hour for their attention. There are, of course the opposite of these clubs for men, but they are even more varied. Women's clubs tend to favor to sexual needs more than the Host Clubs, but not always so. There are even bars that are just cosplay. However, this documentary is a pretty realistic view into the lives of the men who work there, and the women who come to see them. I was unaware of the symbiotic relationship that the workers and the clients had. The women are basically local prostitutes that have taken on this line of work in order to afford going to see the hosts. It's a round-robin type of life that seems draining, physically and emotionally. I don't know where the cynicism starts for the hosts, but I do feel sorry for them. They all say that they really want to fall in love and find the "right girl" but that being a host has had a numbing effect on them, and they don't know when to trust their feelings anymore. And the girls are falling for guys who know how to woo women professionlly and have no intentions of dating, or marrying any of them. So the process goes round and round - where will it end?