Enjoy the details of “Inuyama” and examine what the director is really emphasizing behind the five tussles.
Some films are a distillation and reflection of lived experience, bringing a familiar and intense sense of vestigiality, even enough to transcend the limits of time and space.
For example, “The Lady in the Flower” reflects the situation of women under the myth of aggression; “The Name That Is Carved in Your Heart” portrays the struggle to move from friendship and companionship to intimate affection between people of the same sex, and to do so wholeheartedly; and the 1967 film by American novelist Toms Savage, originally written by New Zealand-born director Jenny K. K., is a reflection of the struggle to move from friendship and companionship to intimate affection. The original book by American novelist Tom Savage and directed by New Zealand-born director Jane Camping.
The story is one of male misogyny and the constant fear of having to “control” and “degrade” to maintain “masculine dominance”.
The patriarchal system is based on control, fostering competition, aggression and oppression, making a dynamic between control and fear. In a world of male identity, they must compete with each other for the power of domination and align themselves with each other, seeing women as objects to be owned and used.
However, the presence of men who feel differently will undermine and challenge this male solidarity and put them at risk
and thus become targets for attack and degradation; conversely, men who can prove themselves to be “men” at all times, or who share power with “other men” to bully women or “girls,” can gain male privilege.
Set to the joke “I thought the dog was driving (not the woman),” “The Chronicles of Dog Mountain” is divided into five sections, each of which is a tussle to prove “manhood” centered on control, with Phil Bamberger, the sure-fire contestant, the leader of the cowboys on the cattle ranch who graduated from Yale with a degree in literature but had to inherit the family ranch, receiving assistance from his mentor, Mustang Henry, to become independent when he was helpless. The story is about a man who is a cowboy.
This experience is deeply embedded in Phil’s mind,
Mustang Henry inspired him not only with relevant skills and the education of “becoming a man,” but also with the relationship of “teenage love” in Greece
; he gave up everything that used to involve femininity for this, except that education was used to show off, scolding “cows” in Latin or Greek became a joke, even music was a weapon, and all emotional needs became control-centered oppression.
After Mustang Henry died, Phil inherited everything from the benefactor, mentioning him from time to time as a model for the entire ranch, and also trying to find ways to build relationships similar to Mustang Henry’s. His first choice is his younger brother George, but George, also a benefactor, is dressed in a suit, trying to move closer to the “culture,” not rejecting everything Phil proposes and tries to build, and not only has no respect for Mustang Henry, but seems to fear and hurt, and continues his passive resistance – refusing to be allied with Phil.
An examination of the details of The Story of Dog Mountain, and what the director is emphasizing behind the five tussles.
The first tussle is based on the fact that the brother is not interested, but insists that the cowboys dine at the Moulin Rouge to experience the “culture”
– That was at odds with everything Mustang Henry had granted, and at odds with Phil’s chosen path, which in turn threatened Phil’s mastery. So Phil shames the diner’s son Peter for his femininity, forces the crowd to agree with Mustang Henry’s drunken bravery in driving the old horse over the table, burns the paper flowers that originally attracted his attention, and interrupts another table’s piano chorus in a fit of rage over someone’s questioning and his brother’s refusal to agree – so as to interrupt the laughter/effect of mocking his domination.
The first tussle not only earned him solitude again, but also allowed his brother to detect tears in the eyes of his boss, Rose. In the second scene, even with all the obstacles, George still marries Rose, leaving the living room and bed where he sleeps together, officially breaking away from the overly close, almost bondage relationship between the brothers, leaving Phil to whip his horse and curse. In the third scene Phil oppresses Rose, using the sound of the turtledove piano to compete with Rose’s impure piano, looking down on her helplessness, making good use of his voice to expand his influence and presence, and inflicting mental violence on Rose.
This scene gives him the greatest victory,
because of the tug of war between “wild-culture” and “masculine-feminine” in the environment, where Rose’s ability as a woman and position is not enough to support the “culture” George wants
And with the double suppression, George is able to escape into the cultural realm of the district governor as a man, leaving Rose behind to escape into alcoholic anesthesia and humiliation.
In the fourth scene, from Peter’s return to the ranch for a vacation with his mother to endure the masculine against the feminine, Phil’s triumph seems to continue – until the sauna is seen by Peter, and a secret corner of Phil is revealed.
If you want to rationalize control, you have to see others as “inferior,” as the masculine sees the feminine; but if you are already hostile and the other side has your secrets,
Then the scope of the hunt has to be gradually narrowed and approached so that the wary prey can be put off guard.
After seeing Peter cross the mockery just to see the birds on the nest, Phil changes his attitude and tries to bring Peter in as an “ally”, instilling misogyny in Rose and inviting Peter to “go out with him for a few days” to the back cliffs of the ranch to “follow those (real men’s) tracks to the end”, only to see in his interactions with Henry the Mustang on the dog hill, killing rabbits and smoking. The story of Peter’s life is a story of a man who has lost his emotional connection with his brother George.
But Phil thinks he is acting as a mentor, not knowing that the dog who can see with his eyes the open mouth hiding in the shadows of the mountains is Peter, who is good at being female and not changing himself because of the eyes of outsiders,
The rabbit, wounded by the stake and relieved by Peter’s reassurance, is a foretaste of Phil’s end.
Mustang Henry’s education is more than just status building; the experience of hunting elk in the mountains and cuddling for warmth is an initiation for Phil, but a real violation for George,
Contrast this with the shadows that appear at the beginning when Phil suggests camping, perhaps revealing the truth of Mustang Henry’s behavior.
But the dignity and relationships that must be affirmed over and over again to be solidified are becoming essentially fragile, and it must be a lot of self-injury and mental labor to make Mustang Henry the center (to degrade oneself) and to make oneself the center (to honor oneself) at the same time.
In order to maintain the false shell and teacher-student relationship that gives him approval, Phil never tries to understand what George or Peter are thinking or even listen to what they say, and when George tries to rebel against his authority, he doubles down on his humiliation of George’s intelligence and appearance, in contrast to Rose’s patience and intimacy when she teaches George to dance.
Despite the marital privilege George achieves by marrying Rose (using Rose to deflect the pressure of his cultural and masculine vulnerability),
but whenever Rose and Phil clashed, George took Rose’s side
(protecting his wife will put him on equal footing against Phil, and the opposite will always be the older brother’s little boy); when Peter has a little empathy and identification with Phil, Phil uses his own set of theories to get Peter to resent his mother’s alcoholism, reminding Peter that he is the very person responsible for pushing Rose around.
This may be a sign of love for Phil –
Taming each other to bow down enough to humiliate at will so as to feed dignity to elevate status
(Even better if you can take advantage of the gap to satisfy your lust), there is naturally no thoughtful empathy or unwillingness to cherish, let alone see the passive resistance and secret calculations hiding in the shadows.
The degree of control depends on the tameness of the other person, just as a rope must be tightly wound with sustained force.
But people and feelings are not ropes, and while there is always control, there is also always fear of being out of control. When love and emotional needs are bound by fear and jealousy, disgust and hatred, they become one untimely bomb after another, destroying and distorting the perceptions of their surroundings and themselves; and to do so in a controlled way is the beginning of violation and deprivation – unless Phil never enters into a relationship with another person, once the need for approval and emotion is revealed, it is like falling into the femininity that he despises, in order to expose his belly to be slaughtered. It’s a reminder that the other person might as well do the same to the other person.
The smoking part is the beginning of a relationship in Phil’s eyes, but while the smoke fills the air with a refined lust, in Peter’s eyes it is the pleasure of watching Phil’s poison seep through his body and his plans come to fruition; when Phil has a high fever and thinks about handing the rope to Peter thinking it will complete the final bondage, it is perhaps the moment he most looks forward to after the death of Henry the Mustang. Even in death, George groomed and shaved him against his will, dressed him in civilized clothes and put him in a coffin, as he had done to George with all his humiliations,
Peter gave him a quick and wonderful relief, and already showed him a little genuine affection.
It’s not that Peter didn’t give Phil a chance.
When Phil brings up Rose’s alcoholism again, Peter says, “She didn’t used to drink,” and Phil, as usual, ignores the emotional undertones and goes further, suggesting that Peter’s father, Dr. Gordon, also drinks, to which Peter replies:
“It was only at the end that he started drinking, and then he hung himself, and I found out and put him down. He used to worry all the time that I wasn’t kind enough, that I was too tough.”
“You’re too tough? Hm, he misunderstood. Poor kid, you’ll come out of it.”
Even when there is a slight ambiguity due to the flow of emotions, Phil maintains a precise and habitual top-down posture and a maliciousness towards femininity and vulnerability to remind Peter that his mother’s mental state and life are at stake and that there is no time to lose – after all, Phil has long been taught by Henry the Mustang that femininity can be resilience, care and empathy, building a closer Vulnerability can be a defensive weapon to lower the guard, or a time to build self-awareness and energy.
Peter is not the only one who resists.
Once Rose found out that Phil insisted on keeping the hides rather than selling them, she took off her shoes and chased after the Indians, begging them to take them away, not just for revenge, but to try to use this action (fearing that her son would be taken away – that was one of Phil’s intentions) to stir up courage against the invisible violence; George, with Rose’s “sick” and informed look, told Phil “I’m sorry then” and walked away without a care. George walks away with Rose “sick” and an informed look telling Phil “I’m sorry, then” without a care in the world, all in return for the way Phil treated them. The moment Phil loses his power and his defenses collapse, Peter takes off his gloves and puts them back on Phil’s shoulders, saying “I’ve got skin” and “I want to be like you”, which is no doubt driftwood – to lead him to swim deeper and deeper to the top.
Phil’s final defeat is the triumph of a conscious rebellion by his kin and family, a fate made possible by Phil himself.
Those humiliations of others were at the same time his self-discipline, which ultimately led to self-destruction.
At the end of the film, Peter, wearing surgical gloves, caresses the lethal bundle of rope and tosses it under the bed, echoing Phil’s burning of his handmade paper flowers at the beginning; the perspective from the upstairs window is the same as Phil’s helplessness as he looks at Rose, only this time he is smiling for the fear-free embrace of his mother and stepfather. Peter, in a tender gesture of latent obedience, resolutely puts an end to Phil’s mental abuse of the three of them, and, for the director, completes an operation – dissecting the brokenness and sinfulness of the male masculine worship and feminine depreciation of the self.
In those days,
Phil, who has long been unchangeable and wants to control and humiliate whenever he establishes a relationship, reveals a lonely and desperate path of liberation only through death
; but shows that the hurt and oppression of the framework is also the beginning of liberation and change, as Peter says in his final reading from the Psalms:
“Save my soul from the sword, and keep my beloved from evil.”