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A Comparative study of <Lu fan Yanshi> and <Coming home>

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2019, (46), pp.131-151
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2019..46.006
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Received : October 16, 2019
  • Accepted : November 17, 2019
  • Published : November 30, 2019

Choi, Jaeyong 1

1명지대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The study compares and analyzes the movie <Gui lai>(Coming home) with the novel <Lu fan Yanshi>(Lu Yanshi the criminal), and through the comparison I tried to reveal what gets hidden and what gets revealed in the 'translation' process. And ultimately, I wanted to discuss about the limitations and possibilities of the medium of contemporary Chinese cinema. As the novel gets translated into the movie, I believe two important things were either deleted or covered up by the director, Zhang Yimou. The first thing is women. The film excludes or shrinks the role of two main female characters of the novel, Feng Danjue(daughter) and Feng Yifang(Lu's Stepmother), so that Lu Yanshi can be portrayed as the perfect husband, father and patriarch. The second thing I want to talk about is a drastic cut in historic/political content of the novel, and many people have already pointed this out. Compared to novel, the movie is a typical melodrama devoid of any obvious political message. But no matter how Zhang tries to hide the violence of Cultural revolution, some things cannot be completely wiped out. I will call this things 'trace evidence'. These traces sometimes are left out there consciously, sometimes unconsciously. By collecting and analysing these traces and debris, I believe it is possible to politically re-read the text of Chinese cinema. The movie tries to give us the illusion of love and reconciliation, but once we see beyond the cover-ups and face the movie itself, we might be able to find the possibilities to re-politicize the cultural contents of contemporary China.

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