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IS ZHANG YIMOU A SELFORIENTALIST? Lawson Jiang Film 132B: International Cinema, 1960present February 5, 2016 TA: Isabelle Carbonell Section D Along with the rise of the Fifth Generation directors,1 the contemporary Chinese cinema has gained more popularities on the international film festivals since the early 1990s. While these films presenting the local Chinese culture are well received internationally, the Fifth Generation directors, particularly Zhang Yimou, are often denounced for their selfOrientalist filmmaking practice of selling films packaged with exoticized Chineseness to the Western audience. Based on the belief that the interpretations on cinema can result differently according to various ideological reading, the assertion that Zhang deploys Orientalism in his films can be a result of misinterpretation. This article—through reviewing several books and journals about his 1992 film adaptation Raised the Red Lantern —will explore how Zhang is perceived by various Chinese and Hong Kong scholars in order to find out whether or not he is a selfOrientalist. Zhang, the cinematographerturneddirector who began his career after graduated from Beijing Film Academy in 1983, has been receiving both extreme acknowledgments and criticisms on his films such as Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) from the Chinese film critics. On the one hand, Zhang is recognized as a successful director of commercial productions; on the other hand, these commercial titles are also criticized for their banalities due to the lack of depth in storytelling.2 Hero , along with his earlier work Raise the Red Lantern , are criticized by some Chinese journalist as selfOrientalist exercises catering the West. Despite Red Lantern astonishes many Western audience, the film, in 1 The Fifth Generation refers to the group of Chinese directors began their filmmaking since the 1980s. Some of the notable figures are Zhang Yimou, Zhang Yimou, Feng Xiaogang, and Chen Kaige. Although the Sixth Generation emerged in the mid1990s, some the Fifth Generation directors like Zhang Yimou and Feng Xiaogang continues their productions and has become more commercialoriented in Mainland China. 2 I found a brief comment in the entry page of Hero on Douban.com during the research, it goes “Zhang, you should stick back to your cinematography, but not directing.” Lawson Jiang 1 the eyes of a native Beijinger, as Dai Qing3 comments, is “really shot for the casual pleasures of foreigners [who] can go on and muddleheadedly satisfy their oriental fetishisms.”4 Dai, from a native perspective, criticizes that Red Lantern —though the red lanterns provide stunning visual motif—represents a false image of China in terms of the miseenscene. First, Dai notices the Zhangish Chineseness on the walls of the third wife’s room are decorated with large Peking opera masks, which is a major symbol of Chineseness that did not come into fashion until the 1980s and even then only among certain “selfstyled avantgarde” artists would like to show off their “hipness” through these mask decorations. The third wife “would never have thought of decking her walls with those oversized masks,”5 hinting that Zhang is the one who is responsible for this historical mistake in his production. Second, Dai points out that Zhang has also made a fundamental—and the foremost—mistake on the portrayal of the Master: I have never seen nor heard nor read in any book anything remotely resembling the highhanded and flagrant way in which this “master” flaunts the details of his sex life. Even Ximen Qing, the protagonist of the erotic Chinese classic Jin Ping Mei and the archetype of the unabashedly libidinous male, saw fit to maintain a discreet demeanor in negotiating his way among his numerous wives, concubines, and mistresses, and even then he had to resort occasionally to sending a servant to tender his excuses.6 The speaking of one’s sex life has been treated as a taboo in Chinese society—a topic that is forbidden to be brought up publicly—even in the present. As a result, such a portrayal of the 3 Chinese people who do not have an English name, in the English context, would usually have their names sorted in the same order as they are in the Chinese context (family name goes first and given name goes after) In this case, Dai Qing is referred by Dai as Zhang Yimou is referred by Zhang . 4 Dai Qing, “Raised Eyebrows for Raise the Red Lantern.” Translated by Jeanne Tai. Public Culture 5, no. 2 (1993): 336. 5 Ibid., 335. 6 Ibid., 334. Lawson Jiang 2 Master’s sex life, in a traditional sense, is a major flaw of the filmic setting. Dai understands that it is inevitable for Zhang to exoticize and to sell the Chineseness to the Western audience as Zhang is “a serious filmmaker being forced to make a living outside his own country,” suggesting that it is worth the Chinese audience’s sympathy to some extent.7 Dai identifies herself as a person who belongs to the generation of Chinese whose sensibilities have been “ravaged by the Maostyle proletarian culture,”8 Dai—along with her generation who are not allowed and are unable to interpret films from other philosophical perspective—can only seek extreme authenticities in films. “I know nothing about film theory, cinematic techniques, auteurs, schools,” Dai declares in the first paragraph of her journal, “my only criterion is how I respond emotionally to a film.”9 With the Maostyled materialistic influence, Dai’s generation can no longer enjoy any new fashions and trends that she labels as “halfbaked” and that the experiencing of new attempts of storytelling and filmic presentation as “sensibilityrisking.”10 To Dai’s generation, authenticity is the only criteria concerned in judging a film. Whatever reflects the real Chineseness—the Chineseness that is culturally and historically correct—is considered a good film. That is, authenticity provides emotional satisfactions. Raise the Red Lantern , unfortunately, fails to accomplish these two tasks, and the lack of understanding on film theory limits Dai’s interpretation on Red Lantern . She would have been surprised that the red lantern motif that makes her raising eyebrows does far more than that: a basic reading of the lantern, for example, can be viewed as a reinforcement of male authority, while the color of red implies the state of purgatory that the wives suffer in the household—any 7 Ibid., 337. Ibid., 336. 9 Ibid., 333. 10 Ibid., 336. 8 Lawson Jiang 3 of these symbolic implications can easily be identified by the younger generation of Chinese audience. Dai’s demand on authenticities leads to a deviation from reading the theme, that what she has observed from the film are only twisted cultural products; the exotic Chineseness contrived by Zhang. Hence, Dai’s focus on reading the filmic setting rather than the theme results in a biased comment denouncing Zhang as a selfOrientalist. Jane Ying Zha, a Chinese writer from Beijing—the same city where Dai is from—adopts a relatively moderate view on Red Lantern . In her journal “Lore Segal, Red Lantern, and Exoticism” Zha does not perceives the film as “a work of realism in a strict sense” as “some of the details in the movie seem exaggerated, even false, to any historically informed and realisticminded audience.”11 That is, Red Lantern does not attempt, in any sense, to accurately reflect the history of feudal China, but to present the woman’s suffering under the patriarchy in the feudal context. The context functions as a “stage” assisting the director to achieve his expression that is alterable to be set in modern China—while the notion of patriarchal oppression is remain firmly unchanged. Zha views the film as a formalistic exercise due to Zhang’s cinematographic expertise built up earlier in his career, which shares a similar perspective with Rey Chow, who writes in her book Primitive Passions , “the symmetrical screen organizations of architectural details, and the refinedlooking furniture, utensils, food, and costumes in Rain the Red Lantern are all part and parcel of the recognizable cinematographic expertise of Zhang and his collaborators.”12 Zha is impressed by the camera work that deliberately avoid giving closeup to the Master as “[Zhang] thought nothing of shooting the awkwardly melodramatic scenes from the eyes of a Jane Ying Zha, “Lore Segal, Red Lantern, and Exoticism.” Public Culture 5, no. 2 (1993): 331. Rey Chow, Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 143. 11 12 Lawson Jiang 4
Lanterns’ Eve By Nikos Gaitanopoulos Lanterns’ Eve, it’s here again Don’t forget to treat the dead Lantern’s Eve, night of dread Lest they will trick you instead Time’s now to spare some sweets For the little specters seek treats But there is another task A most important – if you ask In the streets the little ones rush Faces hidden under masks Jacks o’ Lanterns meet scarecrows Witches gather bands of trows On each door they do knock On each doorstep will they flock But expect to see none out When it’s nearing midnight hour Tick – tack – flows time No one sings the well-known rhyme Shut the door and slam its latch Something else is on the march Every year in such a night The moon fades, the soil feels light And be sure that until dawn You’ll offer what the dead want Drapes of mist the trees engulf Eerie cries, unworldly laughs From the graveyard they do soar In the moonlight, ghostly horde The undertaker starts to drink Closes eyes, tries not to think On his doorstep lies a mask For he knows what the dead ask Nothing pierces the night’s gown The lost kids flood into town Like an ocean fill the streets The wind moans and with them weeps And inside every house Silence reigns from man to mouse They just pray and only hope That there’s no knock on the door From the window shades Dare only peek the brave Listening to the song That the faceless sing along “Hollow night, lantern’s eve Let’s visit those who live Trick them or claim their treat Into memory we won’t drift” Lanterns’ Eve, it’s here again Don’t forget to treat the dead Lantern’s Eve, night of dread Lest they will trick you instead
Facebook Pageshttps://www.facebook.com/seemedsomagicalbutisasham/?ref=all_category_pyml_rhc https://www.facebook.com/The-Lights-Fest-Scam-1102567486514673/ Twitter Pageshttps://twitter.com/thelightsrefund NewsTicket Holders To OC Lantern Festival Furious At Cancellation http://cbsloc.al/2nVP3AO Customers upset over refund issues after Utah company delays lantern festivalshttp://fox13now.com/2017/05/11/customers-upset-over-refund-issues-after-utah-company-delay s-lantern-festivals/ Harmon puts kibosh on Grandview Lights Festival - Dallas http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/harmon-puts-kibosh-on-grandview-lig hts-festival/article_1c473374-2613-11e7-88fb-1fd15be6c5be.html Denver 1 http://kdvr.com/2017/05/07/ticket-holders-furious-after-lantern-festival-is-postponed-again/ Denver 2 http://kdvr.com/2017/05/21/denver-lights-festival-postponed-for-second-time/ Denver 3 Lights told people a lie because they didnt get their permits.
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There were also traditional food shop where you could buy Takoyaki, octopus thing or chicken on a stick.” Picture Fabrizio shoot this picture in Miyazaki, Japan “T he Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese calendar.
The most celebrated Halloween decoration is the jack-o’-lantern, traditionally a hollowed-out pumpkin 1.Halloween Witch carved The Halloween witch riding her broom past the moon is a continuation of ancient Druidic and Celtic beliefs that on the evening of October 31, evil spirits and the spirits of the dead were called out by the lord of the dead.
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Another little feature that I feel could be changed is the location of the lantern hanging point;
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check reports to find the latest information Possible air quality issues Best times to visit food festival National Day (9th) Lantern Festival Temperature Hong Kong Rainfall Best times to visit Chinese New Year Lantern Festival (Feb/Mar) Ching Ming Festival Dragon Boat Festival MidAutumn Festival Temperature Manila, Phillipines Too many festivals to list here!
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4 6 1 Code of Honor [major] Vengeful [minor] (Hemmer's Toll) Phobia [minor] (Cemeteries) Attractive - +2 charisma Rego (Control) - Rank 1 +2 Fighting [agility] Knowledge (Occult) [smarts] Notice [smarts] Riding [agility] Shooting [agility] Guts [spirit] Persuasion [spirit] ammo (50 x .45, 50 x .22) 6 lb 6lb 1/2 lb 8 lb mulet horse rope saddle canteen mess kit lantern bedroll matches (100) 5 lb 3 lb 4 lb 10 lb 1/4 lb Fancy dress Rations (5 days) Photo plate $121.50 1/4 lb of ghost rock (~$25) 24 lbs Terram (Earth) Rank 1 Anam (Animal) Rank 1 Pepperbox .22 Peacemaker 5/10/20 1 12/24/48 1 Rents a room above Ross Major's store 2d6 + 1 2d6 +1 AP 1 Husband rising from the grave, again.