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英国report代写范文-The Interpretation and Construction of Chineseness

2017-07-17 17:03:13 | 日記
本篇英国report代写范文-The Interpretation and Construction of Chineseness讲了亚洲经济在过去几十年中蓬勃发展,亚洲电影开始在这个行业发挥重要作用。以前,东方人的形象早已被描绘出来,根据西方的想象力。目前,沉默的其他人开始表达自己的意见,但东方是否得到妥善的重建仍然存在争议。本篇英国report代写由51due英国代写平台整理,供大家参考阅读。

Before, when western society has dominated the movie industry, Said considers the Orient as the invention of the west and the Silent Other (1). Since Asian economies thrived in the past decades, Asian movies began to play an important part in this industry. Before, the image of the Orient has long been depicted according to the imagination of the Occident. Currently the Silent Other began to voice their opinions, but whether the Orient has been properly reconstructed remains controversy. China, as one of the great powers in the east, acts as an active role in the exploration and transformation of its own representation, Chineseness, on the big screens. China’s Fifth Generation films drew the attention of the west, among which, Zhang Yimou’s movies about the oppressively feudal China, such as Raise the Red Lantern, won awards abroad1. Many Chinese and foreign audience gained impression of the representation of China from this movie. Thus, exploring how Zhang interpret and construct Chineseness in Raise the Red Lantern can help understand how the image of China is displayed on the screen to the audience. Though it has been accused of selling commodified Chineseness to the west and being a kind of self-Orientalism, this movie still can be proved to contribute to the continuous process of self-constitution of Chineseness.
Raise the Red Lantern depicts a story about the miserable life of a 19-year-old girl, Songlian, after she was married to a wealthy landlord as his fourth concubine. Along her sad story, the tragic of other female characters in this movie, including three other wives of the landlord and a young maidservant, is also portrayed vividly to show the helpless and painful life of women in the male dominated society in feudal China. In this movie, Zhang and his team design many special, sometimes even unique rituals, customs, decoration and setting to present the surrounding and background, and more importantly, to provoke the climax of this story. Raise the Red Lantern, like Zhang’s other famous movies, i.e. Judou, chooses the background of oppressive feudal China. In Zhang’s film about China, he seemingly prefers to present “a timeless China of the past” (Chow 145). In this retrospective mode of environment, Zhang provides the audience with his imagination of China – a “China” with exaggerated oriental aesthetics and excessive rituals and rules (Chow 145). From the combination of ritual and rule, decoration and setting, we can detect Zhang’s way of interpretation and construction of Chineseness.
In this movie, ritual and rule is the core to lead the plot. Those rituals are mainly designed for the organization of the sex life of the master; or to a deeper extent, the system to define the status and position of his wives. Every night, the wife who is nominated to accompany the master can gain the honor of lightening the red lanterns in her courtyard, and enjoy the special foot massage. In the next day, she has the special right to order a dish according to her wish. Such privilege ignites the wives’ will to earn the master’s favor, and hence triggers the hidden or even deadly competition among the ladies in this house. Besides, there are rules like the wife who commits adultery will be hung in a dark room, or a woman other than wives of the master is not allowed lightening a red lantern for herself. Such custom and ritual builds up a system that restricts the lives of the women in the house. The use of the palpable symbol red lanterns helps externalize and reify the oppression of the women. The reinforcement of the rituals and rules, especially the emphasis on its origin from the old ancestors, reflects the director’s intention to present a picture of China where women are suppressed in the conservative patriarchal feudal society.
Apart from ritual and rule, the deliberate setting and decoration in this movie manifests Zhang’s aesthetics of China, or more specifically, the imagined feudal China. Most perceivable setting is possibly the design of each concubine’s room, especially the third wife Meishan’s. Meishan is presumed to be a Peking opera performer before. In her room, oversized Peking opera masks, costumes and musical instruments are hung over the walls. Such decoration screams Meishan’s identity in the past, and brings the elements of Chinese traditional art into tangible form. Generally speaking, very few Peking opera performers would like to decorate their room in such an explicit way. It can be deduced that it is the director’s idea to portray the traditional Chinese culture in this manner. Moreover, red lantern, apart from being a crucial tool of the ritual, plays a significant role in creating the image of traditional Chinese culture in this movie. Red lantern has always been an important symbol of Chinese culture since it was hung on the Tiananmen Square. Outside this movie, hanging the red lantern as a ritual of picking the wife for overnight company seldom takes place in the Chinese people’s life. Linking this symbol to the key ritual of the story conveys the aesthetic way of Zhang’s attempt to present Chineseness on the screen.
Based on the ritual and setting discussed above, Zhang manages to construct Chineseness by visually exoticizing China rather than presenting the genuine complexity of Chinese society which may not be so aesthetically pleasant as that in Raise the Red Lantern. Unarguably, the representation of Chineseness in this movie is more an imagination of Zhang’s than a practical picture of feudal Chinese society. In Dai’s eyes, it is a film for the “casual pleasures of foreigners” (336). She has pointed out several false notes of the setting in this movie, including the accent of opera performer Meishan, the improper location of the haunted room on the rooftop, and the indiscriminate use of the image of dragon on the costume (Dai 335). Zhang seems to construct a picture of Chineseness according to the preference and imagination of the taste of the West, as many of the rituals and setting in this movie are inappropriately designed in many critics’ opinions. Therefore, this movie receives denouncement of selling the exotic picture of ancient China and pandering the west (Chow 151). Also, in this movie female is the center of the oppression and presented as a sexual body under social restriction and male gaze. In this circumstance, it can be easily implied that this movie, as a portrait of the observed oriental female, is watched by the occidental male observer, which falls in to the dual system of the Orient vs. the Occident, and seemingly reinforces the patriarchal interest in women as merely sexual objects. Zhang, in this case, is accused of producing a kind of self-Orientalism.
However, interpreting Chineseness is not to give it correct definition; just as Orientalism is not about the authenticity of the Orient (Chu 205). In the globalization era, there is no clear line between the East and the West. The act of explore Chineseness and transforming cultural images should be seen as an attempt of “new operational logic” rather than a “false representation of Chineseness” (Chu 205). After all, Chineseness is discursively produced and socially and historically collective entity (Berry 131). Indeed, Raise the Red Lantern contains seemingly inappropriate depiction of women and Chinese tradition. But what matters does not lie in its authenticity, but its mode of signification resulting from the ethnic customs and invention (Chow 144). The significance of characters, decoration, and the narratives totally constitute a new type of ethnography and spectacle (Chow 143). The absurd customs and rituals as well as the unique setting accumulate to a type of “exhibitionism” to the gaze of the “orientalist surveillance” (Chow170). That is to say, by deliberately producing a new kind of oriental presentation, rather than being gazed by the western audience, Zhang tries to provide a self-display to define elements of a new ethnography. Audience is not passive receiver and it does not mean that they will be convinced by Zhang’s representation entirely. Instead, it is in the discussion of this movie that Chineseness is under construction.
Raise the Red Lantern, in this case, represents Zhang’s interpretation of Chineseness and promotes its configuration. Zhang Yimou, like other Fifth Generation directors, has been described as pleasing the West by selling commodified Chineseness, and trying to earn the legitimate interpretation of Chineseness. However, critics like those are also fighting for their right of interpretation. It is exactly in this process that the Chineseness is shaped, and we cannot simply accuse movies like Raise the Red Lantern misrepresent China. Instead, such initiative acts of arguing and presenting the complexity of Chineseness is favorable for earning back the discourse power. Fifth Generation directors are just the beginning after China has growing influence on politics, economy and even culture in the recent decades. More directors, critiques and audience will come and join the discursive subject of what image of China should be presented on the sceen.
Bibliography
Berry, C., Farquhar, M. A. China on screen: Cinema and nation. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013.
Chu, Y. W. “The importance of being Chinese: Orientalism Reconfigured in the Age of Global Modernity.” Boundary 2, 35(2), (2008):183-206.
Qing, D., J. Tai. "Raised Eyebrows for Raise the Red Lantern." Public Culture 5.2, (1993):333-337.
Edward W. Said, Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978.
Rey Chow. Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary
Chinese Cinema. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

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