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The story of the film, which depicts the travails of a concubine who has just joined the household of a rich family in northern China during the s, is based on the novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong.
Naturally, much of the critical comment about the film has concerned the status of women in traditional Chinese society and the degree to which the circumstances shown in the film reflect larger social and political issues. But what makes the film peculiarly attractive, almost hypnotically so, seems to lie elsewhere — not on the social plane, but on another, deeper, level.
In this connection the filmmaker I would most closely compare to Zhang Yimou is Michelangelo Antonioni. Both Zhang and Antonioni emphasize the emotive influence that the physical i. Although Antonioni characteristically employed more camera movement than Zhang does to accentuate this effect, they both achieve an existential mood that permeates the events on display.
As a result, although the films of both of them may touch on the social sphere somewhat, they ultimately reach a more profound level that suggests the universal struggles of the individual soul in a heartless and uncaring cosmos.
At the beginning of the story, the father of year-old Songlian Gong Li has just died, and the loss of his income has left the family in such financial straits that her stepmother insists that she drop out of college and accept an arranged marriage.
Presumably it must have been a considerable achievement for a woman from a non-wealthy family to have been studying at a college, and Songlian is obviously disconsolate at being forced to abandon everything for an arranged marriage.
But she is essentially just a prisoner, a colorful bird in a gilded birdcage. The Chen household lives according to strictly enforced family rules and traditions which everyone must follow, servants and mistresses alike.
Each mistress lives in her own little courtyard, and every evening the master has red lanterns raised round the courtyar d of the mistress with whom he has chosen to spend the night.
But she soon learns that she will have to deal with an array of enemies within the household: She is a spoiled, self-centered schemer who engages in all sorts of stratagems to both annoy Songlian and lure the master back to spending the nights with her.
Master Chen had earlier had sexual relations with her, and consequently she had hopeful delusions of being named the fourth mistress, herself. Now she proceeds to take out her resentment on the new fourth mistress. When she is not off in her dreamworld imagining the red lanterns being raised just for her own fanciful nights with the master, she acts spitefully and hurtfully towards Songlian in every way that she can.
Zhuoyun, the second mistress, is warm and unassuming. She offers her friendship to Songlian and expresses her sympathies in connection with the scheming Meishan. But when Meishan later makes a peace with Songlian, she warns Songlian that Zhuoyun is deceptive and frankly even worse than she, herself, is: Yuru, the first wife, is much older and has a grown-up son.
Although she has some ritual authority, she has long since been forgotten by the master, and it has been a long time since the red lanterns have been raised for her. In this artificial and cloistered world Songlian finds herself playing the only game available: There is no love on the part of any of the parties, only the gratification that comes from winning the game.
The lower-ranking mistresses are essentially ignored. Everything revolves around his whims.Prestigious Chinese director Zhang Yimou is adding the final touches to a ballet of Raise the Red Lantern, which is expected to debut in Europe in October.
The ballet, adapted from a popular Chinese film directed by Zhang Yimou, was originally staged in May and drew wide attention in Chinese-speaking regions worldwide. In "Raise the Red Lantern", Zhang Yimou gives Gong Li the character, Songlian, and she walks with her in her turmoils.
We see on the screen the metaphysical bondage of the . There is the vigorous labourer and lover in Red Sorghum, and the absent, faceless patriarch in Raise the Red Lantern. The films’ dispersed, fragmented and flawed masculinity has also been read as a product of the changing social and political conditions of twentieth century China.
Aug 15, · Zhang (''Raise the Red Lantern,'' ''Shanghai Triad''), a former cameraman, is known for the quiet beauty of his carefully composed shots; Mr.
Doyle (''In the Mood for Love,'' ''Chungking Express. In order to make my argument, I will look at Zhang’s use of the image of his star, the beautiful Gong Li, in Raise the Red Lantern. This film is typical of the melodramas Zhang made between and Fifth edition This article presents an analysis of visual-acoustic dissonance inÂ Raise The Red an analysis of david humes of suicide Lantern (DÃ HÃ³ng DÄ“nglÃ³ng an analysis of zhang yimous raise the red lantern in china GÄ ogÄ o GuÃ an analysis of the effects of video games, Zhang Yimou,Â ).Â.
· Transcript of Use of Colour in an analysis of in a brave new world.