Yoji, What's Wrong With You?

1987, 17:50 min, color, sound

The psychosexual drama Yoji, What's Wrong With You? examines the identity of woman as mother in Japanese culture, through an Oedipal narrative of a skewed "family romance." When Yoji announces to his mother that he wants her to meet a new girlfriend, the mother's jealousy destroys the relationship. Idemitsu's signature device of using a television monitor within the domestic space works as a powerful metaphor for the ubiquity of the mother in Yoji's psychological life. Idemitsu's melodramas always articulate a double-edged irony: With no identity outside of her maternal role, Yoji's mother fastens onto her son, ultimately destroying him. Yoji himself is seen as emotionally stunted, unable to leave his mother or experience love for any other woman.

In Japanese with English subtitles.

With: Natsuko Kiritani, Kenji Nasa, Masayuki Ohno, Junko Myochin, Reiko Kasai, Emi Akimura. Camera: Michael Goldberg. Translation: Alfred Birnbaum.