Raise Red Lantern Chinese Director Zhang Yimou.

2199 words - 9 pages

Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum, Ju Dou) is the most exciting thing to happen to film melodrama since German emigre Douglas Sirk came to Hollywood and reinvigorated the form in the 1950s. Raise the Red Lantern is like some exotic hothouse specimen that's beautiful to the eye yet caustic to the touch. What Zhang undertakes here is nothing less than a biting examination of sexual politics, mandarin-style. But it's more than that. It's an indictment of the ways in which we participate in our own subjugation no matter what our nationality, era or fiscal circumstance. Set in 1920s China, the movie opens with the decision of 19-year-old Songlian (Gong Li) to leave college after the death of her father and accept the marriage offer of a wealthy older man named Chen because she can no longer endure the company of her stepmother. She will become Chen's Fourth Wife, a concubine in a feudal marriage system. Striking her blow for independence from her stepmother, Songlian seals her fate, enters Chen's family compound and never again emerges. Sucked into this serpentine household arrangement in which each wife has her own residence and courtyard (though they are all connected via a structural network of walls, parapets and roofing), Songlian at first plays to win. And what is won? -- the sexual attentions of the master (who is virtually unseen by the camera). Power within the household is apportioned on the basis of where the master sleeps at night. The rewards for the chosen wife include a sensuous foot massage delivered by a toothless old crone and the power to select the next day's menu for the entire household. An ancient family tradition explains the red lanterns of the title: wherever the master decides to spend the night is ritualistically lit up with opulent red lanterns. Conversely, his absence snuffs out the light and the accompanying attention. At first Songlian thinks she can outwit the machinations of the aging First Wife, the seemingly solicitous Second Wife and the cagey former opera star Third Wife. A faked pregnancy brings Songlian a hold on power for a brief period but its disclosure by her jealous maidservant leads to her ultimate downfall. Her lanterns are draped irrevocably in black and eventully, she goes mad. The movie ends with the arrival of the Fifth Mistress. This movie is more visually restrained and sedate than Zhang's previous Ju Dou, whose saturated stylizations left little to nuance. Here, the formal style matches the regimented feudal system with its controlled patterns and behaviors, though its overall effect is no less calculated than in Ju Dou. Financed by a Taiwanese distributor through a Hong Kong subsidiary, the Oscar-nominated Raise the Red Lantern is off-limits for screening in its homeland of China. Implicit in this pre-revolutionary period tale about people's ideological complicity in their own oppression is a couched allegory about obsolete old men and the harmful traditions governing China."Raise the Red...

Find Another Essay On Raise red lantern Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

Third and Fifth Generation chinese film.

2809 words - 11 pages Third and Fifth generation Chinese filmsThe "organization" of Red Sorghum (1987) rearranges the past, mythical and factual, to encapsulate Zhang Yimou's vision of "Chineseness." Rey Chow, in her book Primitive Passions, characterizes Zhang Yimou as appropriating a certain vision of a China past, to create a pragmatic version of China, accessible, that at the same time doesn't necessarily accurately depict China yet is pleasing to the viewer

Taoist Ideal in Hero Essay

1857 words - 7 pages of tianzizhijian (the sword of the Son of Heaven), Zhang Yimou brings Taoist ideals into the retelling of the classic Chinese tale, Jing Ke’s assassination of Emperor Qin. Knight-Errant The concept of youxia was first introduced by Sima Qian, in Shiji (around 100 BC), as someone “honest in words, effective in action, faithful in keeping promises and fearless in offering his life to free the righteous from bondage” (Guo 35). According to Sima

Destination Life Cycle Analysis of Hospitality and Tourism Dynamics --- A case study of Heng Dian Film and TV City Resort in China

3343 words - 13 pages in region and time, and a low re-visit rate. Different from the natural sights, this kind of man-made sight has a very short exploration time. In 1996, when the famous Chinese director Xie Jin was looking for a place to film his 'the Opium War', Hengdian Group CEO Xu recommended him Heng Dian as the out door filming scene. To co-operate the filming, they spend 4 months built up the first sight in Heng Dian Film and TV Resort --- Guangzhou City in

Chinese Culture

736 words - 3 pages their emperor as the "Son of Heaven" (4). Everything someone does, is done for their county, and their duty in life. Chinese literature shows that when everything is done for tradition and the individual is not priority, many people get forced into a hard and unfair lifestyle. This is shown in the movie "Raise the Red Lantern" when the tradition made the lives of four wives strict and dependent on the master and whom he chose

Haier, an international icon: Success Factors and Market Challenges

2351 words - 9 pages 2006 and is the only Chinese brand to be among the top 100 for three consecutive years. (Haier's company facts 2008).Its Chairman and CEO, Zhang Ruimin who was appointed in 1984 as the director has been credited for pulling Haier out of bankruptcy to become a global corporation (Zhang Ruimin 2006) with annual turnover of USD16.2 billion in 2006 (Haier's company facts 2008). Zhang was ranked 26th among World's Most Respected Business Leaders by the

Communist China.

1499 words - 6 pages virtuous Chinese citizens were murdered or the citizens would commit suicide. The Red Guards helped Mao tremendously by helping destroy the people of China.The Gang of Four was brought into place during the Culture Revolution. They were a group of Communist Party leaders in the People's Republic of China who were arrested and removed from their positions in 1976. They were blamed for the events of the Cultural Revolution. The group included Mao's

History of chinese cinema.

2108 words - 8 pages his weaf have plong since passed there are still traces of communism and the color red in Chinese film today. Many of the films that do not conform to the "red" theme are described as "yellow". An increase in the number of yellow-themed films has led to a increase in retrospective censorship. This means censorship of films that have already been released. This censorship can often mean major cuts in the film or not even being distributed at

taoism

1318 words - 5 pages serving attitude. They chose to take few actions that involve the people and to treat other countries non-aggressively. One holiday that is celebrated by Taoists is the Chinese New Year, and this is celebrated in February. This celebration can be described as our thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one, making it a celebration that will last for more than one day. The first full moon of the year will be known as the Lantern Festival and

History of Hong Kong Cinema

2110 words - 8 pages color red in Chinese film today. Many of the films that do not conform to the "red" theme are described as "yellow"(Jacobs, 1979). An increase in the number of yellow-themed films has led to an increase in retrospective censorship. This censorship can often mean major cuts in the film or not even being distributed at all.In today's times, censorship has not stopped China from being a major force in the international film industry. This is largely

Human Rights in China

3303 words - 13 pages -selective abortion, female infanticide and abandonment now face a further risk: they may be left to die of hunger and thirst in the very institutions where they were taken for sanctuary. The main evidence for this policy of death by malign neglect, aside from the mortality statistics, comes from a Chinese doctor named Zhang Shuyun. Dr. Zhang, who worked at the Shanghai Children's Welfare Institute from 1988 to l993, she compiled dozens of case studies of

The Largest Population in the World: Changed Forever

1723 words - 7 pages 2013. Web. Coonan, Clifford. "Zhang Yimou Pays $615,000 Per Extra Kid After Breaking China's One Child Policy." The Hollywood Reporter 7 February 2014. Web. "International Opinions." 2007. China's One-Child Policy. Web. 13 February 2014. Jian, Ma. "China’s Brutal One-Child Policy." International Herald Tribune 21 May 2013. Web. Kaiman, Jonathan. "Time running out for China's one-child policy after three decades." The Guardian 31 Fanuary 2014. Web

Similar Essays

Raise The Red Lantern Essay

1111 words - 4 pages The story of Raise the Red Lantern is about the life of a 19-year-old girl, Songlian who married a rich old man as his forth concubine. She was forced to marry him by her stepmother because her father had passed away. From then on, Songlian has to fight for her own power in the family, that is, to gain the chance to light up her lantern which means the master, Chen would stay with her for the night but not the other wives. However she is not

Raise The Red Lantern Essay

2016 words - 8 pages Raise the Red Lantern “All the world’s a stage; all of us are taking the elements of plot, character, and costume and turning into performances of possibilities”(Ward1999: 5) Raise the Red Lantern tells a compelling and sorrowful story of a young woman whose life is destined to be ruined in a male-dominated society. This can be an awakening of some sort to any woman. As Ward states in her text, women learn the rules of our half of

Raise The Red Lantern Reviews The Role Of The Male Characters In The Chinese Film Raise The Red Lanter

1046 words - 4 pages The film Raise the Red Lantern was an interesting look at Chinese culture in the 1920s. I thought particularly interesting the fact that the master and the other men in this film did not seem to play an active role in the events of the house. The men controlled most things, but sort of took second fiddle to the interactions between the women. The men "controlled" the house, but all the important events took place with regards to the sisters

Analysis Of "Raise The Red Lantern"

1542 words - 6 pages Yi-Mou Zhang's Raise the Red Lantern, is a beautiful and brilliantly made film in its own right. If, however, the team of Orson Welles and Greg Toland had produced the same film it would take on an entirely different look and feel. The film would reflect Wells love for creating physical representations of thematic metaphors and the long take and Toland's brilliant use of deep space photography and mobile framing. Under the