Intercultural Communication

Course Website for Tunghai FLLD Seminar

Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

The Golden Horse Award in Taiwan

Posted by doris0724 on November 30, 2006

The movie industry has developed in Taiwan for many years, and no matter what the directors or cinemas we all have some achievements in the world. Since we get a lot of good movies every year, it is reasonable that we have the festival “The Golden Horse Award”

The Golden Horse Award was created and sponsored by Taiwan itself, and we have had long history about this festival in Taiwan for forty-three years. The 43rd Golden Horse Award ceremony was held last Saturday, and it got a happy ending. Besides, Taiwan also has The Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards (金馬影展) before the ceremony every year. The goal of The Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards is try to attract much more people who have great passion on movie know more about the Golden Horse Award.

Why the famous award named Golden Horse (金馬)? The name comes from the island Quemoy (金門) and Matsu (馬祖). The name is meaningful to commemorate the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.

Furthermore, what kind of movies that can attend to The Golden Horse? Basically, it is must be a film that talks in Chinese language(華語), but it doesn’t have to be the Mandarin Chinese. Therefore, according to this rule, the film mainly in Cantonese, Taiwanese, Shanghainese and so on all have the chance to attend this competition.

Some people may doubt about whether is the Golden Horse really a fair competition or not. It is clear to see there is no way that the Golden Horse never has injustice judgment. For instance, Taiwan doesn’t have good relationship with Mainland China for many years, but we never ignore the right of the films or the actors from Mainland China. If there were a wonderful film or actor, we still would confirm their achievement in this award. The article from Wikipedia gives us a good example, it says “Since 1996, a liberalization act allows for an artiste or film from the People’s Republic of China to be eligible for the Awards, as in Best Actor Xia Yu (夏雨) (1996) and Best Actress Qin Hailu (秦海璐) (2001).” Like the Best Actor Xia Yu (夏雨) in1996 and the Best Actress Qin Hailu (秦海璐) in 2001, and they are both from Mainland China, but they are still ride the golden horse successfully.

Via the Wikipedia, I think I get a lot of information that I want to find. It gives me a detail description about the Golden Horse. However, I think the history discussion could be much more to talk about. For instance, we can compare the Golden Horse with Asia-Pacific Film Festival (亞太影展). Since they are both festival about film in Asia, I think we can get a lot of information if we do the compare and contrast. Besides, I think it is also a good idea that talks about the development of Taiwan’s culture of movie, because movie industry in Taiwan has developed for many years. I think it will be interesting if we can talk about the changes of Taiwan’s films.

I think movies in Taiwan are important that they can always reflect on a lot of things, such as the background at that time of society. Via those movies and films, we can know more about something happen in different time cause different influence. Like the movie “A City of Sadness”(悲情城市), it reflects on the background and life at that time in Taiwan. Gradually, the movie industry has formed a culture. Therefore, that’s why the Golden Horse Award should be exist, because it can encourage the creativity of movies, also via this famous award, we can let the world know more about our culture. I think this is the main reason that the Golden Horse exists, because culture is really important for a country and the Golden Horse has the responsibility to keep promoting our culture.

Posted in movies, Taiwan, Wikipedia project | Comments Off on The Golden Horse Award in Taiwan

Cinema of Taiwan

Posted by raybeast on November 27, 2006

   Due to the “Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards” which closing two days ago in Taipei, I think it is a good idea to look closer to Taiwan’s films.  From the articles in Wikipedia, they provide very organized ideas of the history of cinema in Taiwan. From different period to different period, films in Taiwan become stonger and stronger.

   At beginning of this section in Wikipedia, the editor indicates that “From 1901 to 1937, Taiwanese cinema was strongly influenced by the Japanese”. During the Japanese colonial era, many customs in Japanese movies were learned by Tawinanese filmmakers. It does suprise me that I don’t know the history of cinema in Taiwan was begin at such early time. Second, Tawianese movies were challenged by Hong Kong movies in 1980s. Under such a difficult circumstance, in order to compete with Hong Kong movies, filmmakers began to support young directors. Such as Edward Yang(楊德昌)…etc. The films in this period were known for their realistic, down-to-earth and portrayals of Tawianese life. Compare with the kong-Fu movies in earlier decades, films in this period began to care about Taiwan. Third, the great fundation of supporting the young directors in 1980s receives the glorious gifts. Many notable directors and actors are shining on the stage of the world, such as Ang Lee, Tsai Ming-Liang..etc.

   In fact, I think films in Taiwan are still influenced by Japan and Hong Kong or even America. However, films in Taiwan have their unique style and techniques which are different than other films in other countries. For example, the movie” Double Visions” (雙瞳) which is about the Taoism leading one girl committed crimes. Moreover, “Silk” (詭絲), the backgroung of the story is taken place in Taiwan. I think editor could talk more about the unique styles in Taiwanese movies. On the other hand, I think filmmakers in asian countries are beginning to cooperate with each other. To compete with mainstream movies form Hollywood, movies in Asia would be a great power.


Posted in movies, Taiwan, Wikipedia project | Comments Off on Cinema of Taiwan

Some critiques of the movie Crash

Posted by thuicc on March 18, 2006

Since Crash is about race relations in the U.S., and since it won the Oscar for Best Picture, it’s probably something that students of intercultural communication should see to find out what it’s saying. So I borrowed the DVD a week ago and watched it.

I was not particularly impressed with it, I have to say, although I generally like movies that Matt Dillon is in. It seemed too preachy to me–it was more like an essay than a movie. I was also troubled by the treatment of Asians in the movie. There are a couple of posts on the blog Mixed Media Watch that also have critiqued Crash‘s portrayal of Asians (see here and here. They point out that the major characters in the film–black, white, and Persian–appear to be redeemed (to an extent, I’d say) by the end of the film, and the Latino characters don’t seem to need redemption. But the Korean characters are stereotyped and unredeemed at the end. They are not portrayed with any complexity at all. As commenter Christine Hong writes,

every other character come full circle, gaining some measure of redemption, except for the asian couple. the audience sees no resolution to their sinfulness whereas the sins of the other characters have some sort of reason or explanation. i am so conflicted about this movie. i am saddened because once again asians are left to the wayside, left there to rot in the unfavorable context in which the writer and director as created for them. it is apparent that writers and directors who do these kinds of films don’t give a shit about the whole truth of asian american lives. by no means are we flawless, but damn it, i wish someone would give us some measure of respect as human beings.

MMW also has a critique of the movie’s Oscar win here.

American movie critic Roger Ebert defends Crash, calling it

a movie of raw confrontation about the complexity of our motives, about how racism works not only top down but sideways, and how in different situations, we are all capable of behaving shamefully.

Now, I’m sure that people are complex and that everyone is capable of behaving badly, as Ebert says. But I can just as easily look at that Matt Dillon character (the racist cop) and say to myself, “Well, I’m not racist because I would never do the things he does.” And I can look at the Ryan Phillippe character (the cop who doesn’t think he’s racist) and say, “Well, I’m not racist because I wouldn’t shoot a hitchhiker (actually I wouldn’t even pick up a hitchhiker).” So the liberal white guy can come out of this feeling good about himself, not necessarily being challenged about any racism that lurks under the surface in his mind.

Derik Smith, writing in The Black Commentator (via MMW), argues that the movie “relies upon and covertly promotes social narratives that are problematically racist”:

It seems that, upon finally reaching an era in which polite company forces most to acknowledge that racism is inexcusable regardless of circumstance, America’s favorite “race movie” is now asking us to temper our judgment of the embattled figure of the bigot.

Smith also points out that one of the main black characters in the film, a carjacker named Anthony (played by Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges), actually says some very “thought provoking” things about the situation of African Americans in the U.S.:

He thinks that white, corporate America may stand to benefit from the rampant use of the word “nigga” in contemporary hip-hop; he wonders why the names of black revolutionaries have been lost to history; and, although he’s a thief, he doesn’t want to steal from his own people.

But the movie doesn’t encourage us to accept those ideas as valid:

Yet almost as soon as they are uttered, Crash makes them laughable. The politicized commentary of the paranoid black man is framed in such a way that it ends up becoming the movie’s most consistent source of comic levity.

No conclusion here, just some things to think about if you get to see the movie.

Posted in movies, race, United States | 5 Comments »

Interview with Ang Lee about Brokeback Mountain

Posted by thuicc on March 1, 2006

I came across this interview with Ang Lee today (though the interview itself is from December). It’s from In the interview, Lee has some interesting comments about what he views as similarities between cowboys and Asians:

I see the themes of repression in Brokeback Mountain as being universal regardless of culture. However, it is true that Eastern culture and the nature of cowboys share a certain indirectness, quiet nature, and use of body language to communicate that are quite similar. There are similarities in the art of the two cultures as well–they both emphasize feelings of sadness, melancholy, and expansive space through various media.The difference is that Western culture is more macho, whereas Eastern culture is–more lunar and feminine in nature. Thus, when it comes to attitudes about homosexuality, my personal theory is that Eastern culture is more relaxed than in the West. This stems from a difference in why a culture perceives homosexuality to be wrong–in Western culture, it stems from religion, and you are condemned if you are gay. Eastern culture seems more, flexible–and being gay is more of a social issue than a religious one; there is no deity to offend. The West also seems to tolerate lesbians more than gays because it’s a very macho culture; homosexuality is not okay because it threatens this culture. Of course, this is my observation in general–I am sure that there are happy gay ranch hands in Wyoming with very sensitive neighbors as well.

Interesting perspectives. What do you think?

Posted in Asia, identity, media, movies | Comments Off on Interview with Ang Lee about Brokeback Mountain

Discussion questions for “The Wedding Banquet”

Posted by thuicc on November 25, 2005

Here are the discussion questions about The Wedding Banquet:

  1. Describe any specific connections you see between the content of the movie (plot, characterization, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, etc.) and what we’ve been discussing this semester. By “connections” I’m thinking of both examples of what we’ve discussed and possible contradictions or complications of what we’ve talked and read about.
  2. (How) Do you think the characters grow/develop/learn throughout the course of the film? How does where they “end up” as people differ from where they began?
  3. What other thoughts/comments/reactions did you have to the film?

Posted in course admin, movies | 13 Comments »