The following notes are based on the Powering slides shown in class. They give an outline of the lecture, but they do not represent the class meeting in full, which Includes a more elaborate discussion of the topics and analysis of specific Images. TUESDAY Hero (Youngling dir. Ghana Your, 2002 Premiere at Great Hall of the People in Beijing, December 2002 united States premiere, August 2004 SIAM Asian, Records of the Historian, 2nd century BC (Han Dynasty) Work of history “Biographies” section Includes: Wandering Knights (yoga) Assassins (clue)
Establishes essential characteristics of martial heroes Provides material for later adaptations SIAM Quinn’s “Assassins”: Jinn Eke The Warring States, 3rd century B. C. Jinn Keg’s character: In the course of his travels, Jinn Eke reached the state of Yang. He became close friends with a dog butcher and a man named Gao Jinni who was good at playing the lute. Jinn Eke was fond of wine, and every day he would Join his friends to drink in the market place of the Yang capital. After the wine had begun to take effect, Gao Jinni would strike up the lute and Jinn Eke would Join In with a song.
In the middle of the eroded market place they would happily amuse themselves, or, if their mood changed, break Into tears, just as If there were no one else about. But although Jinn Eke spent his time with drunkards, he was a man of depth and learning. Whatever feudal state he traveled to, he always became close friends with the most worthy and influential men. Jinn Eke visits General Fan: Jinn Eke spoke. “Suppose I said that one word from you could dispel the troubles of the state of Yang and avenge the wrong you have suffered? ” General Fan leaned forward. What is it? ” he asked. “Give me your head, so that I can present it to the King of CNN. He will surely be delighted to receive me. With my left hand I will seize hold of his sleeve, with my right I’ll stab him In the breast. All your wrongs will be avenged and all the shameful insults Yang has suffered will be wiped clean. What do you say? ” General Fan bared his shoulder and gripped his wrist. Moving forward he said, “Day and night I gnash my teeth and eat out my heart trying to think of some plan. Now you have shown me the way! Then he cut his throat. Jinn Keg’s departure: the party off. Gao Jinni struck up his lute and Jinn Eke Joined in with a song in the mournful banish mode. Tears streamed from the eyes of the company. The winds cry ixia-ixia, The waters of the Hi are cold, Brave men, once gone, Shall never again return. Shifting to the you mode with its martial air, Jinn Eke sang once more. This time the eyes of the men flashed with anger and their hair bristled beneath their caps. Then he mounted his carriage and set off, never once looking back.
Jinn Keg’s failed attempt to assassinate the King of Sin Hero and SIAM Quinn’s Jinn Eke Setting: the Sin threat to the feudal kingdoms Dramatic situation: an assassin sent to stop the King of Sin The ruse: the King’s now enemies sacrifice their lives to give the assassin access to the King The outcome: the assassin, not the King, dies Iconic detail: the dagger in the pillar Yes, but… The Assassin, 1967, dir. Ghana Chew The story of another of SIAM Quinn’s assassins: Nine Ghent Ghana She’s Nine Ghent: angst and the search for meaning Finding the self through the sword?
Ghana She’s Assassin As a forum for Ghana She’s favorite themes imagining (macho) martial arts”: masculinity, violence, sacrifice As a reflection of its times sass’s youthful rebellion The violence of the Cultural Revolution As an interpretation of SIAM Asian Fascination with the character of the assassin Assumption of the righteousness of his deed The Emperor and the assassin in Ghana Whimsy’s Hero Nameless as hero Nameless as liar Nameless’ motives revealed The King of Sin: Visionary Courageous warrior Humble and magnanimous Philosopher Servant of the greater good The assassin becomes a true hero by recognizing the greater good… .. And being What’s the message? Peace lies in unity Unity is embodied in the ruler The preservation of the ruler (unity, peace) is worth any sacrifice Sacrifice is required or the preservation of the ruler (unity, peace) What contemporary situations might this message apply to? The Moist legacy The Cultural Revolution The “personality cult” of Mao The Attainment Incident of 1989 Reunification Hong Kong 1997 Taiwan? The legitimacy of the Communist regime Filmmaker Evans Chain: Ghana Yummy has succumbed to “the temptations of fascism. ” Ghana Yummy: “I’m Just telling a story. Hero: Narrative Structure Story and plot Events in chronological sequence, events as selected and arranged in the narrative Narrative levels Degrees of separation between the narrative and the audience Narrative Levels in Hero Primary Events within the continuum of space and time laid out at the beginning of the film’s action, presented directly to the audience Secondary Events narrated or remembered by characters within the primary level Tertiary Events narrated, imagined, remembered etc. By characters within the secondary level Narrative Levels in Hero: A Simplified Map 1 .
Nameless’ Journey and audience with the King 2. Nameless’ fight with Sky 3. Imagined combat 1. Nameless and the King 2. Nameless, Flying Snow, Broken Sword, and Moon in Chaos 1. King challenges Nameless’ story 2. Kings version of events in Chaos 2. Nameless’ second version of events in Chaos 3. Flying Snow and Broken Sword’s attack on the King 1 . Nameless’ assassination attempt and execution Narrative formalism in Hero and Ashes of Time Similar devices: Disruption of natural chronology Repetition of events Viceroy narration Similar effects?
Narrative formalism in Ashes of Time: the dream Narrative formalism in Hero: the game of chess Narrative formalism in Hero: extra-narrative authority WEDNESDAY Generic references in Hero What is the importance of the director when genre film implies reliance on existing ormolus? Auteur theory reacts against formalist analysis, which focuses on the composition of plot and imagery, possibly independent of historical circumstances. “A great director has to be at least a good director” – Andrew Saris auteur theory takes into account the personality and agency of the director.
Implications of auteur theory include: Assuming a unified personal vision expressed through the director’s work. An evaluation of the director’s entire output is made based on the coherence of this vision. The outstanding director is an innovator, even rebel. Deuterium, according to Saris: Technique: “the technical competence of a director is a criterion of value” Personal style: “the distinguishable personality of the director is a criterion of value” Interior meaning: “the ultimate glory of the cinema as an art” the “author-function” sustains the “revelation” of the text’s rationale, assuming rationality and intention.
Individual creativity allows us to understand texts as acts of creation. Possible pitfalls of auteur theory: elitism (privileging art cinema), elevating directors to romantic geniuses, Judging films on the grounds of who the director is, ignoring contradictions within a director’s approach and works. Ghana Yummy (born 1950) along with others who formed the “5th generation” of Chinese filmmakers.
Early Ghana Yummy films: – emphasize unusual and stunning camera work: miss-en-Scene; color; long takes – feature heart-wrenching stories, emphasizing the viewpoint of the downtrodden, typically women in an oppressive society on the margins of modernity. Ghana Yummy choreographed the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008, and the festivities around the National Day of the PRE on October 1, 2009. Other film variations on the story of the King of Sin’s assassination, by Gangs fifth- enervation classmates: The Emperor’s Shadow, 1996; dir.
Chou Awoken The Emperor and the Assassin, 1999; dir. Chin Gauge The Emperor’s Shadow: Gao Jinni, another assassin described in Records of the Historian, who tried to assassinate the King of Sin with his zither. The Emperor and the Assassin: Jinn Eke. Hero: statistical figures, with no direct fictional antecedents. Are the two figures motivated by moral or personal considerations? A bond between the king and the assassin? Is the assassin’s ultimate goal to kill the king? Why does Hero diverge from its precedents?
The rise of China on the global scene in the late sass and the attendant nationalist sentiments make the audience identify not with the dissident assassin but rather with the king as a symbol of a strong country. Why doesn’t Nameless kill the king? 1. To comport with historical reality. 2. To comport with present-day politics: a. To show the importance of stable government. B. To show the limits of the artist in the face of power. The prince of Sin (259-210 b. C. ) unified the Chinese kingdoms of the time and became the first Emperor. As Emperor, he built a network of roads, radiating from the UAPITA Examining in the shape of a star.
Weights and measures, coinage and the script were standardized. A Great Wall was built along the northern frontier to protect the new Empire from the nomad invasions. The classics which “discredited the present in favor of the past” were destroyed and the followers of Confucius were persecuted. The measures taken by the emperor were severe. The construction toppled the empire within years of the first emperor’s death. The emperor has been excoriated as a tyrant throughout most of Chinese history, but Chinese today insider him the founder of China as a unified country.
The name Sin is the origin of the Western name for China. Some have compared the First Emperor of Sin with Mao Sedona, who also unified China and employed autocratic measures to catastrophic results. In 1969, Mao boasted that he had outdone by “more than a hundredfold” the first Emperor Sin Shushing, who buried alive 460 Confucian scholars and burned their books. Rethinking Chinese history and nationalism Why should China attribute its glory too murderous emperor? Is a unified China an ideal to aspire to at all? Do nationalist goals Justify the means?