Creative writing portfolio

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Creative writing portfolio in English by ZHAO Mengchen

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Creative writing portfolio

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. CONTENTS Music Work Review Angels ----- 3 The Unforgiving ----- 7 Film Work Review Beyond a Reasonable Doubt ----- 10 The Tourist ----- 17 Interview with the Vampire ----- 25 Ed Wood ----- 30 Gothic Artwork Review Gothic Tale of the Dark Universe ----- 32 The Attractiveness of Terror in Gothic Literature ----- 34 The Representation of Horror in Homely Gothic Stories ----- 36 How Gothic Music and the Death Theme Are Represented in Excess and Transgression ----- 38 Literature Review Loneliness and Heroism ----- 41 Irony and Interaction in My Last Duchess ----- 43 Shakespeare Madness Return ----- 45 Academic Paper on Chinese Film Censorship Causes and Effects of Tightening Chinese Film Censorship for Exotic Movies ----- 48 Lightening the Compulsive Film Censorship to Fulfill the Requirement of Diverse Film Choices for Chinese People ----- 51 Production Plan Remembering Michael: Missed around the World ----- 54 2
  3. 3. Angels: The Fall of Man The music video from Within Temptation Introduction “I see the angels, I'll lead them to your door. There‟s no escape now, no mercy no more.” Without kindness and honesty, the human beings will just stay in betrayal and the original sin in the end. Just as the video showed us, the protagonist in Angels (the male one) is a serial killer, he isn't actually a priest. He just dresses up and disguises himself as all sorts of different people, which including a clown, a policeman, a doctor, etc. That‟s all the people you would trust normally. He hides his real identity to lure people in and get them to trust him before he kills. During the climax of the video when the female angel finds out who he really is and she decides to punish him at last, we finally recognize what the story is telling us. When you are doing all the things, the angels are looking at you and testing your innate character. And the test will never end in one person. Thus, this video is not only a melodic MTV, but also a narrative story. Both the way of representation and the content are pertinent to the theme, the fall of man and the salvation of angels, sad but true. Narrative: Time and Plot As I just mentioned, this video is not just caring about the music part, so the most impressive element in Angels is its special narrative. For not mention about the band performing part, this MTV has two story clues to guide us for understanding the whole narrative. During watching, we can distinguish the two opposite temporal orders in two lines. One is the main line that the motorcycle carries the female angel to the edge of desert and the angels punish the man of doing murder in the end. (1.1) But those events are out of the story order, the reason why is that we have another line in it, which is the female angel and the priest‟s conflict. As we know, one common pattern for reordering story events is an alternation of past and present in the plot. 1In this video, because we will find out that the priest will kill the woman later as the cause, the director used several flashbacks to summon up viewer‟s curiosity and suspense in the start. As we first see is the priest driving a car with the carotic woman on his seat, because of this, the viewers can form more specific expectations and imagination for what will 1 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (eighth edition), p.85 3
  4. 4. happen next.(1.2) But in the rest of this line, we see the scenes in chronological order, the woman sitting at the edge of the desert, the priest driving her home, giving her a glass of water, she recognizing he is a killer and then being murdered. 1.1 1.2 In addition, as for the temporal frequency in Angels, some single event appeared twice or more in the plot treatment. For instance, the driving car on the road around the desert, the hunging cross behind the windshield of the car, the action of the man digging out the earth and the motorcycle taking the woman to a determinate place, all of these fragments were repeated a few times, and the director can achieve the goal that underlining the cause and effect of the story and something religious to pander to the subject easily in this way of repetition and Around echo. So, all of the explicitly presented events, the presumed and inferred things of the viewers (we don‟t know where the car is going at the beginning, but later after the man digged a hole for burying the woman, we can almost deduce that he has killed her) consisted of the Stoy, and the presented events and the added nondiegetic material (like the band performing alternated through the whole video) made the Plot.(1.3) All of them linked up and made a climax. 1.3 Pattern of Narrative As the basic pattern of a narrative, the video Angels begins with one situation. And I have talked about the exposition in last part. Without claiming anything, a car appears on the screen and then the man gets off, digs the earth and has a look at on the woman every now and then. These series of segments seemed strange and clueless, but if we keep on watching, we will 4
  5. 5. recognize that all these actions happen after the murder. So what is the benefit of doing like this? Sometimes a fairly simple reordering of scenes can create complicated effects.2 In the first situation, the woman is killed and lying in the car, but she reappears alive in subsequent scenes (ignoring the band performing part) and this portion has received a strong emphasis it will not have if it has remained in a normal temporal order. As the plot seek to arouse curiosity and attention by bringing us into a series of actions that has already started, the viewers will speculate on possible causes of the events presented.3 In a word, this method initiates narrative expectations of conflicts and character interaction by the viewers. Along with the plot develops, changes and conflict take place, and has made the causal elements within the narrative. The agents of cause and effect are characters, and in general, a character is given traits that will play causal roles in the overall story action.4 Take Angels for example, the female angel wants to test people and punish the devils, the fake priest is used to kill people and tell lies. All of these elements are the traits of the two protagonists, and because of these given specialities, that made the story as the fall of man and the punishment from angels. Causes and effects can change a character‟s situation for plot development. Since we don‟t know about what happened before and what the characters are concerning about at first, so in each segment, our ranges and depth of information are restricted. But with the film keeping going on, we become more and more unrestricted and this reminds us to extract causalities from each segment. At the closure part of the video, we can see the angels find another person to follow,(1.4) and the motorcycle shows up again. (1.5) In some way, this ending remains relatively open because it will involve us into thinking. Is the next person a good guy or not? Will he receive the punishment from angels, etc.? That means new situation develops, and it came to a thought-provoking ending. 1.4 2 3 4 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (eighth edition),p85 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (eighth edition),p90 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (eighth edition),p82,83 5 1.5
  6. 6. Conclusion As a music video, you may think it is a little bit short for a narrative, but you cannot deny this is a good example to show the elements of the narrative system. Angels has brief but detailed plot, significative story, elaborate time arrangement, logical causes and effects, intriguing opening and thought provoking closure that made a perfect inclusio. In this way that‟s made the MTV is not only a music work, but also a great narrative moving image work in the history of art. As a result, the video‟s content of good and evil and its way of representation successfully conveys the theme which made us consider the creative idea and get a feeling of feedback for the fall of man at the same time. 6
  7. 7. Album Review - The Unforgiving By Within Temptation Within Temptation is not a band that needs my introduction too much. The Dutch musicians have gained a great deal of loyal fans since 1995 and it can be safely said that they are one of the representative bands of this genre, Symphonic Gothic Metal. This year they have added the new album The Unforgiving which released in 2011 to their achievements, it comes together with a release of three short narrative films which simultaneously create an integrated story to compliment the CD together with a comic book. As a whole narration in one album, it tells a story of the main character Sinéad which is a lately risen dead body who awakens in the midst of a conflict with her heart and soul. The theme of second life forms the kernel of the album‟s delivered messages and the core ideas infused in the music. Thus The Unforgiving is a concept album, which based on a comic book written specifically for the band and this project. After input from the band, the storyline, which revolves around protagonist Sinéad, was created by Steven O‟Connell and illustrated by Romano Molenaar. Sinéad‟s experience is quite melodramatic. It is permeated with rebellion spirits, overwhelming and painful feelings, gothic elements including violent events and an atmosphere of degeneration of the human nature, introspection and also something sociopolitical. So Within Temptation‟s powerful musical interpretation of the killer zombie (Sinéad) facing an existential crisis creates an air of mystery and suspense in the gloomy settings successfully. Because the sound tracks are in sequential order to tell a story, The Unforgiving starts with a short recited narration by an uncanny female voice in Why Not Me, this brief opening track is a melodramatic intro concludes with fittingly pose a question in the last two lines, “Someone must make a stand against evil. Why should it not be me?” This is the overture of the whole album and shows the sad, fighting and inexplicable mood of this story.Here I will give three songs to represent the beginning (Revival), climax (Struggle) and the ending(Fighting Back) of the narration. Shot in the Dark – Revival Shot in the Dark ushers in the main character and her plight in the beginning. As an appeal to the sympathy of the listeners, the lyrics tell that Sinéad faces events that leave her terrified, screaming and sobbing when she just awake. It is the conflict in her own heart and soul, about losing faith and being hurt by death and murder. For the music part, it is an emblematic Within Temptation artwork, emotive, powerful and remarkable. Especially towards its ending 7
  8. 8. where drums are given the attention grabbing spot and making a climax of her anger, sorrow, surprise and terror. It sounds like she suffers from raw nerves and a feeling of impending doom. So it somehow represents the gothic of woman in distress. In the blink of an eye I can see through your eyes As I’m lying awake I’m still hearing the cries And it hurts Hurts me so bad And I’m wondering why I still fight in this life ‘Cause I’ve lost all my faith in this damn bitter strife And it’s sad It’s so damn sad Fire and Ice – Struggle Fire and Ice has the symphonic components at the begging. The strings and the piano make the tender and fragile feel of the song together with the softened voice of the lead singer Sharon and the strong electronic guitar coming in and out to emphasise the composition. Between the lines it tells a story of a kind of lost love and awakens to memories, it is a song which will evoke the grief and irrational feelings in some religion elements and dark side of mind. It shows a lonely, oppressed and pensive female who is questioning love and suffering all of the pain because of abandoned situation, and have no protector by her side. Closer to insanity Buries me alive Where’s the life we once had It cannot be denied Why can’t you see what we had? Let the fire burn the ice Where’s the love we once had Is it all a lie? And I still wonder Why heaven has died The skies are all falling I’m breathing but why? In silence I hold on To you and I Murder – Fighting Back Murder is a dark and complex music work with a piece of up and down melody which reaches deeper into the painful emotions. But it is so harmonious fitting 8
  9. 9. with the story and gives a vast cinematic feeling at the same time. You can feel the character‟s defiance of any authority, control and tradition. In spite of the bloodthirsty title, it shows the absolute real emotion of Sinéad‟s overwhelming fury, she kills the murderer for punishment but that make her commit a crime as well. The intension of music brings audiences to a world just like Allan Poe‟s story that because the song is just a metonymy of gloom and horror, and we will see the conflict inside her heart among the lines. I’m killing them all I’ve put my soul on the line I purify sins that I’ve committed in life I’ll follow them all And I’ll be bringing them down Wherever they go I’m right behind There’s nowhere to go Your head on the line There is no rope, you’re running out of time To where will you go When I will murder your soul I have picked up three most representative songs out of twelve in this album which are the kernels of the narration, but other songs are also memorable. Together they create the contrast of heaven and hell, death and alive, punishment and penitence in a gothic and religion way. It is well known that symphony playing is a great story-telling medium and when the classical components of the orchestral tone are infused with metal strength, the narrative conveyed by the composition is imbued with the emotion appeal of fortitude, which commands the attention of audiences. And the most impressive breakthrough compared with the previous works of them is absolute the narrative lyrics running through each songs within the whole album, the intense story telling combined with the strong music expression seamlessly to build a epic and historical feeling for the whole imposing artwork. For a band which tried to push female-fronted gothic metal into the mainstream of popular music just like Nightwish, The Gathering, Leaves‟ Eyes, Theatre of Tragedy, Epica, Evanescene and dozens more, it took them a little while to get there but they finally achieved the transition with the new album The Unforgiving. Though this album is over-commercial in a way contrast with their previous albums in a way, and becomes nearly pop music which can be acted by usual people, they are not losing the original features to be in the mainstream anyway, the audience can still easily recognize the strong Within Temptation style while listening. 9
  10. 10. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Cheating down to Death Review on Mise-en-Scene Brief Introduction ● Remake of the 1956 film noir Beyond a Reasonable Doubt in which a writer's plan to expose a corrupt district attorney takes an unexpected turn. ● Protagonists Jesse Metcalfe (C.J Nicolas the journalist) Michael Douglas (Mark Hunter the D.A) Amber Tamblyn (Ella Crystal the assistant D.A) 10
  11. 11. Story Synopsis There are always flagrances which result from the mix of benefit and power hiding behind the ambitions in one person. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt tells a story about the high profile D.A, Mark Hunter suddenly has continuous impeccable evidence for putting suspects into jails during the period of the upcoming governor election. However, when the ambitious journalist C.J. Nicholas starts to investigate Hunter for tampering with the evidence, he dresses himself up as a murder suspect to expose the corrupt D.A. in the act. During this game, C.J was put into jails as a real suspect and the assistant D.A Ella Crystal becomes caught between her boss's political dreams and C.J.'s dangerous exposure. As figuring out more and more evidence against Hunter and desiring to save her beloved C.J, Ella's own life becomes threatened when she discovers incriminating proof of Hunter's innocence. But here comes another kick point, after Ella helps set C.J free, she suddenly found that he is actually the murder criminal in the Black Girl Doris case and all he has done is just a perfect scheme for escaping punishment and also his lifelong career. In the end, the D.A‟s records have been proved faked and Ella calls policemen to bring C.J away to accept the second time coming death penalty. So, our “justicial” hero lies for surviving, but cheats down to death as a deserved result. Mise-en-Scene Setting In most suspense films, it is important for filmmakers to make key scenes impressive. So the settings help. The overall design of a setting can shape how we understand story action.5 Because shooting in a studio or creating an artificial setting will increase the filmmaker‟s control of the whole movie and also being closed to the real life, so settings can be made expressive by selecting and shooting on a realistic locale created by human. The first example is the district court part (1.1). As everything appears in a court is shown in this setting, the flags, the judge, the jury and even some computers make this room as similar as what we have known about a serious court. This is the first time when the court come to our eyes, and also the first 5 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.123 11
  12. 12. case defended by the D.A. We can see this kind of settings repeat emergence in the rest of the film. So, it is not only a metaphor of something uncommon is happening here but also creating an atmosphere of tension. And this function of setting is also showed in another scene (1.2), this is the busy News Office where C.J and his colleague Finley work. The director made some noise and voices around the crowd room, and there are all kinds of computers and documents, too. What‟s more, the 1.3 picture shows a scene of crime, it is quite true to nature and makes a tone of death. All of them helped make the scenes feel more real. So, in suspense films like Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, creating the appropriate set is particularly important as it helps the audience to believe the world that they are being surrounded. 1.1 1.2 1.3 In manipulating a shot‟s setting, the filmmaker may use a prop which is an object has a function within the ongoing action.6 In this film, there are many important properties for the crime event like sneakers, the hand-held camera, the knife, etc. They are all physical evidences which can not be ignored during the narrative. However, there is a most impressive prop during this film, the News report DVD of C.J‟s faked award. The director made well use of this special element to evoke the whole atmosphere of his cheating and something mystical. Each time when the report was played at C.J‟s home is a kick point for the story and the lead actress Ella‟s mind. For instance, when she first time watches it, she is deeply moved and encourage C.J to do everything he wants (1.4), but at the end of the film, when Ella watched the video again, she finds out that C.J was the murderer who killed the black girl Doris (1.5). 6 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.123 12
  13. 13. 1.4 1.5 Also, color can be an important component of settings7. The colors of setting throughout the whole film are mostly cold tones which intend to express the suspense atmosphere. However, by contrast, the emotional part between C.J and Ella is warm and bright. Lighting Besides that setting guides us into C.J‟s conspiracy and Ella‟s heart, the lighting also has such function, because the lighting of each scene emphasized the constantly changing of characters‟ mind and the atmosphere expressing everyone‟s emotion. As for the quality of light, there comes a Hard lighting from the car in the last part of the film. It is in the parking lot where Ella wants to find her car. And the D.A‟s partner plans to kill her by knocking her down because she knows too much. It creates strong shadows to emphasize the danger which is staring her in the face and successfully to made an intensive air (2.6) Another important element for lighting is direction. As sidelight can sculpt the character‟s features8, we can clearly see Ella‟s facial expression when she firstly watched the report video about Doris (2.7). The sidelight also creates strong shadows of the charactars‟ faces to make us focus our attention on figuring out what Ella is thinking about. And there are also examples of Backlighting which comes from behind to show up the D.A‟s cattiness and cunning (2.8) and a Toplighting to emphasize the line of Ella‟s facial features and details(2.9), so that can perfectly show us Ella‟s misdoubt and horror, and what‟s more, bring out C.J‟s whole swindle eventually. 7 8 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.123 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.132 13
  14. 14. 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Because this is a movie with cold tone almost for all time, it is important of making stronger contrasts and sharper, darker shadows to construct the suspenseful atmosphere. Low-key lighting has usually been applied to somber or mysterious scenes, there is a vividly example when the D.A is discussing with his partner to kill people who know his secret, the filmmaker uses a low-key lighting to make a dramatic effect of the dark void around the D.A‟s snaky facial expression (2.10). 2.10 In Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, CJ‟s kitchen appears several times. But the color tones of lighting are different so that they can convey discrepant messages and emotions. As can be realized, it is bright and warm when C.J first time dates Ella (2.11), and somehow indicating the beginning of happiness and confidence of C.J. But in another scene of the same room, when C.J decides to find proof to fight against the D.A, the light in his kitchen is mostly dark to show his nervous and anxious (2.12). So this strong contrast creates parallels among these same locales with different lighting colors, this change 14
  15. 15. in colors supports a logic narrative development and controls the audiences‟s feelings as well. 2.11 2.12 Costume and Makeup Costumes can play important motivic and causal roles in narratives 9. If taking C.J for example, we can recognize that when he was caught into jails as a suspect, he wore a red and white suit like other prisoners (3.1), and that distinct colors stand out from the dark air of prison and enhance C.J‟s anxious. But after the judge declares his adjudicate, his costume turns into an orange one because the condemned criminals in the US who obtain the death penalty will dress like that (3.2), so this changing is realistic and a highlight of C.J‟s despair. Also, it makes a hint of Ella‟s help later. Therefore, costumes are just like props in setting, to instill the proper mood in actors and promote the development of the story. 3.1 3.2 Makeup is also necessary because it has been used in various ways to enhance the appearance of actors on the screen10. A prominent makeup will create a clue or even a motif. If we have a look at the black girl Doris‟s hands appear in the C.J‟s report DVD, we will never forget the patterns on her fingers. This makeup is repeated again and again during the story and that is the key point for Ella to realize that her boyfriend is the killer (3.3,3.4,3.5). 9 10 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.125 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.128 15
  16. 16. 3.3 the hands firstly show up 3.4 Doris appears on the TV news so that Ella recognizes her hands 3.5 Ella uses the Crime Scene Photo to contrast with C.J’s award report Conclusion This film has made a strong kick point in the last two minutes and created an unexpected closure like O Henry. Several interwoven plots linked up together and make at least three climaxes. That‟s the exciting part of the narrative. As for the power of Mise-en-Scene, the realistic settings and costumes, the suitable constantly changing lighting design, the classic makeup and also the staging of actors ( Remember Michael Doglas was in it! ) worked well together to make the suspense film perfect for watching and learning about. To sum up, C.J is cheating down to death while he is playing the dangerous game. 16
  17. 17. The Tourist: a confidential encounter Brief Introduction ● Remake of the 2005 French film Anthony Zimmer, it has the similar storyline but different actors location for the movie‟s much talked about twists and turns. ● Synopsis Frank, a mild-mannered American on vacation in Venice, Italy, is befriended by Elise, a breathtakingly beautiful woman with a mysterious secret. Soon, their playful romantic dalliance turns into a complicated web of dangerous deceit as they are chased by Interpol, the Italian police, and Russian hit men in this suspense-filled, international action thriller. ● Protagonists Johnny Depp (Frank) Angelina Jolie (Elise) ● Director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck 17
  18. 18. Narrative: Parallelism, Cause & Effect and Restricted narration After watching The Tourist, its two interwoven parallel story lines intercut between each other, made an unpredictable climax which aims to lift the viewers to a high degree of tension and suspense in the end. This special narrative style is one of the most impressive elements in the movie. The advantage of Parallelism is allowing the film to become richer and more complex than it might have been had it concentrated on only one protagonist11. I will show you the development of the plot in details in Picture 1.1 created by myself. the police line the Elise&Frank line the french police are watching Elise Elise shows up and gets a letter from Alexander Follow Elise to the train Elise boards the train on the instructions from Alex asking her to find a stranger to sit with who resembles him. And She chooses Frank Keeping watching Frank and Elise and taking pictures Watching Elise and decide not to take care about Frank The police in Venice who is bribed by the hit men catches Frank Follow Elise to the ball which is invited by Alex and order her to tell the address which Alex asks her to be, later grab Frank for his safety and not disturbing handling the case Keeping Frank on their boat and don't allow the snipers to shoot the gangster The snipers shoot at the mafia gangster and his workers in the end Elise takes Frank to her hotel and they are sort of attractive to each other Elise is missing the next day while Frank wakes up,and he is chased by the Russian hit men because of the mistaken identity Elise rescues Frank and says sorry for involve him into the trap,then asks him to leave and decides to go to the police to tell them that she will meet Alex on the ball Elise meets Frank in the ball with surprise and then goes away for keeping him away from danger The mafia gangster lays a trap for Alexander to open the locker containing his stolen money by kidnapping Elise.Frank steps forward claiming him to be Alexander and tries to open the safe. They are safe at last and Elise tells Frank her love, Frank opens the locker and shows that he is Alexander in fact 1.1 The two lines is cross-cutting and making a climax in the end As can be easily recognized, the first line is about the Interpol and the police, 11 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.79 18
  19. 19. they are keeping watching on Elise who is a deposed undercover detective and holding a secret, they also want to grab Elise‟s ex-boyfriend Alexander Pearce who is on the run from a mafia gangster Reginald Shaw (he has stolen a large fortune from him) and the police (he needs to pay the owing taxes back to the government). The motif of the other line is about Elise and Frank, their romantic encounter turns into a complicated web of a dangerous trap. Along with the plot develops, conflicts and sudden changes are taking place incessantly, and those things have made the causal elements within the narration. Because the agents of cause and effect are characters12, if we have a look at about how the director bring out a role in The Tourist, it is interesting to find such a natural and exceptional way to say something about a person and how he or she is treated through the plot. For instance, the director asked the French police to talk about Elise as a chasing target at first, then we see a woman show up on the screen, delicate, gorgeous, and exceeding elegant through the criminal investigation tracker (1.2), this mysterious air brings out Alexander‟s letter and what Elise will do next naturally. For Frank, the director showed us he is a man who like to smoke, although there is a “No Smoking” sign in the coach of the train(1.3), also he is mild-mannered and quite simple. So As a result, all of these lead to the encounter with Elise. Other characters‟ appearances are also well designed such as the French police officer will buy coffee for his workers at the beginning while working. In a word, these are what the filmmaker wants us to know about the characters, and the traits are designed to have a causal role in the narration, that is to say they affect the direction which the narrative takes. MMMMMMMM 1.2 1.3 During this film, the characters know more than the viewers in most of the time duration. We can recognize that Frank is exactly Alexander at last, this unexpected closure shows us the way we understand the story is similar to how the characters bring the secret to light. We don‟t know what will happen next unless the protagonists lead us to by their action, words and minds. So before the very end, our range of story information is almost restricted in each segment. This kind of narration tends to create greater curiosity and 12 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.82 19
  20. 20. surprise for the viewers13, and make expectations at the same time. Mise-en-Scene: Setting and Staging Although constructing settings will increase filmmakers‟ control, the director of The Tourist still selected a lot of already existing locales in which to stage actions in the beautiful landscape of Venice for setting, instead of shooting in a studio. First of all, most of the outdoor scenes were shot in real location, the rivers, the bridges and the buildings (2.1). These real sets can let the tone of the whole movie become more authentic and give a natural sense that make the viewers feel like they are actually there on the screen personally. Through the lens, we can enjoy the beauty of Venice in such a natural way and get a happy, satisfied feeling while watching. Another example is the setting of the ball and the hotel which is the one Elise and Frank live in, they are both in real locales in Venice, too. The director chose and reformed a grandiose and splendid lobby to build an atmosphere of luxury for the ball (2.2), and show the beauty and grace of Elise at the same time. The hue of the hotel is also elegant and mysterious just like Elise herself (2.3). 2.1 2.2 As Picture 2.4 shows, color can be an important component of settings 14. In this scene (Elise finds a letter which is a invitation to the ball) , we can realize that the color tone is matched everything. The red sofas, red wines and the conspicuous red lips of Elise, together with the exquisite background of the hotel room constitute a harmonious frame of mystique and tastefulness. 2.3 13 14 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.94 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.123 20 2.4
  21. 21. And the most important prop in this film is the letters wrote by Alexander, they somehow become a clue throughout the whole story. Because the letters show up one by one and tell Elise what to do and where to be secretly. Once a letter appears, a new conflict will take place. So the director made well use of this special element to evoke the whole mysterious atmosphere of this thrilling trap and something ineffable. To make it in details, when Elise receives the first letter from Alexander by express delivery, it takes her to the Paris Gare de Lyon (巴黎里昂火車站) and incurs the encounter with Frank (2.5). The second time when Elise gets the letter is in the hotel room, that is a invitation to a ball (2.6). Later on, Elise receives the last letter on the ball (2.7) which leads her to an apartment where the money is hidden, but it is also the exact place which the trap and danger waiting for. 2.5 the first time 2.6 the second time 2.7 the third time It should be pointed out that the acting of Jonny Depp is a shining point in the staging element of the movie. Although most characters wear their traits far more openly than people do in real life15, it is more difficult to act like common people in a movie. The main character of The Tourist Frank is a simple Mathematics teacher from America, so Jonny Depp acted him as a funny, clumsy and a kind man who always helps people who don‟t have the requirement and even uses dirty words to show his surprise of Elise‟s beauty, but that is exactly what Frank is like. Jonny Depp‟s role is also a man who carries a dual identity, Frank and Alexander Pearce at the same time. 15 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.82 21
  22. 22. Everyone (including the viewers and other characters in the film) except him doesn‟t know Alexander is just pretending as Frank, so we can say he “performs in a performing”, he kept the secret perfectly and was successful to create a surprise for us in the end. Cinematography: The Lens, Speed of Motion and Framing Cinematography plays an important role in how The Tourist is filmed. First I want to mention about the lens, depth of field and focus. Selective focus is often used to call attention to the main action and to deemphasize less significant parts of the surroundings16. If take the apartment scene for example, we can see the lens make the mafia gangster in the foreground and throwing Elise out of focus (3.1) when Frank suddenly shows up in front of him, that shows a sense of intension and makes the mafia gangster more frightening. This way is also used when Frank tries to open the safe (3.2), we can see Frank is put in focus that highlights his facial expression to create a dangerous situation. 3.1 3.2 Slow motion is often used for emphasis and becoming a way of dwelling on a moment of spectacle or high drama17. In the same scene, the director slowed down the speed of Frank‟s walking to the safe when the mafia gangster asks him to open it (3.3). This slow motion functions to enhance expressive effects of Frank‟s unflinching courage when facing enemies and willing of sacrifice. And a high-speed cinematography is used in next frame which seeks to record the bullets shattering glass (3.4), the director emphasized the motion which the snipers fire to tell us that the gangsters are dead and it is all over. 3.3 16 17 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.178 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.172 22 3.4
  23. 23. In this film, Angle and Distance of Framing is very typical. We can see a classic high-angle shot which positions us looking down at the material within the frame when Frank is trying to escape from the hit men (3.5). And it is also a point-of-view shot (POV) which offers a degree of subjectivity, so we can see this shot taken from Frank‟s optical standpoint, and have a concept of the height of the building and the nervousness of Frank. There is also a low-angle framing of Elise‟s face (3.6) so that can show her dignity as an agent and become a foreshadowing for her decision of handing over Alexander to the Interpol next. 3.5 3.6 As for the Distance of Framing, we can find an extreme long shot for a bird‟s-eye view of the train and landscapes (3.7). This is the first aerial shot in the film and it shows the beauty of Venice to us without reservation. But oppositely, a close-up shot can emphasize facial expression or the details of a gesture18. For instance, there is a close-up of Elise‟s face when the mafia gangster threatens her to tell where the money is (3.8). This close-up shot can highlight her fearful expression totally and the detailed movement of the knife holding by the gangster, it can also draw our attention and make us to hold our breath for her. Then an extreme close-up appears on the screen (3.9), we can only see Elise‟s lips and the knife so this is the peak of the threaten feeling in this scene. 3.7 extreme long shot 18 David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Film Art (ninth edition), p.195 23 3.8 close-up
  24. 24. 3.9 extreme close-up Conclusion This film has made an unforgettable climax in the last few minutes after Frank opens the safe and created an unexpected closure in an O Henry way. Two clear interwoven story lines linked up together and made parallelism for the exciting narration. As for the power of Mise-en-Scene, the realistic settings and perfect staging of Jonny Depp, Angelina Jolie and even the selective figurants worked prominently to make the thrilling film representative for enjoyment and learning about. Additionally, don‟t foget about the typical examples which I have picked for Cinematography in this film, the lens, the speed of motion and the framing are all the shining points in it. To sum up, when watching The Tourist, we experience the situation as the protagonists do, but knowing less than the character makes us expectant, too. Therefore, the film‟s content with its creative way of representation successfully expresses the idea of the confidential encounter and make the audience have a feeling of mysterious atmosphere as the plot going on. It is really a fun and engaging thriller. 24
  25. 25. HISTORY OF CINEMA Interview with the Vampire: The Subversion and Innovation in the Period of New New Hollywood Contextual Film Analysis 2013/11/21 City University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media 25
  26. 26. After the 1980s and during the 1990s, the “New New Hollywood” period was created by a bunch of fresh talent directors. They resurge and subvert the classical mainstream films by abandoning the traditional preconception, and this brand new concept was shown in the genre of the series of Vampire and Gothic movies, too. The stereotypical Gothic movies always portray vampires as bloody, violent, and grisly ones who lived in dark, cold, grim basements or castles and as a metaphor of evil that exists in human‟s consciousness, so they are the demons inside our dark side of minds that we have to conquer and vanquish. However, in the movie Interview with the Vampire produced in 1994 by Irish-Catholic filmmaker Neil Jordan, it created a world for the lives of some graceful and amorous vampire beauties with weakness of fear, doubts and sorrow. The story happened in the 18th century, Louis (Brad Pitt) has lost his wife and daughter and suffers so much when Lestat (Tom Cruise) appears to offer him everlasting youth and immortal life. Louis agrees to be with him because nothing will be worse than his current situation. However, he soon finds that the vampire life is not suitable for him at all. His partner Lestat takes great delight in plundering lives and bloodsucking on human being, Louis does not enjoy it at all so he starts feeding on the blood of rats and other small animals to stay alive. Then Lestat creates a new fledgling vampire girl Claudia and let her to live with them, Lestat clearly represents the Father with sinister motives and treats Claudia like his little doll as he assumes control and power over his "family," while Louis appears to be the gentle Mother and knows Claudia so much into her heart and soul. For years they all seemed to be locked into this artificial state by Lestat who clearly favors the old traditions of patriarchy. The 1990s‟ movie industry was continuously innovatory based on the New Hollywood revolution, the whole style and idea was presented much more freely than before, and the director focused more on humanity and the inner world of people than just creating rigescent characters like what Hollywood used to did, and this change was reflected in the film Interview with the Vampire in three aspects. First of all, the vampire characters are portrayed distinguished from the classic figures like Dracula in 1931, instead, they became characters with fresh and blood who suffer from the same feelings and in elegant costumes at the same time (1.1). From presented as vicious blood suckers in the traditional artworks that we have grown accustomed to, to being put into modern culture with the new charismatic, sensual and chic image, these creatures become so real as time goes by. These vampires represent human passions, desires and needs in this movie, they are no longer only imply the dark side of human kind, but also become a group which desires to be accepted group as part of the society. 26
  27. 27. 1.1 1.2 Secondly, after the years of 1980s, the AIDS problem triggered by homosexual threatened and induced the fear of people in the entire country of America. The vampires represent death, but exceed death itself when facing AIDS because they have the immortal lives (1.2). So the Vampire art provides the psychological comfort for both heterosexuality and homosexuality groups and even has the same conciliative function as religion. Therefore, Interview with the Vampire appeared in time under the mental expectation and cultural needs at that period. Last but not least, women has more and more rights for themselves during 1990s and started to chase freedom and self-awareness, Interview with the Vampire played on this feminist propoganda in criticizing and satirizing that males were the true beholders of power in old society. Over the course of the movie, Lestat uses his natural powers to kill women and takes it for granted. However, the plot helped in coercing women to fight for their rights, for instance, the forceful query and harm with fury from the little vampire girl Claudia (1.3) and in the vampire theater scene, the young girl‟s rebellion (1.4) are the representations of a form of political propaganda that supported the thriving feminism and brought into this film to help pose the threat to patriarchal power during this time period of society. 1.3 1.4 Furthermore, along with the rapid development of movie industrial technology and the new concept of art direction, the quality of film production made a big progress during 1990s. For example in this film, the setting and props became more elegant and exquisite than the early New Hollywood period‟s roughness. For instance, the house of Lestat, Claudia and Louis played an important role 27
  28. 28. of creating gloomy atmosphere. The overall design of a setting can shape how we understand story action. Set in 18th century, Interview with the Vampire relies heavily on tone and atmosphere, in this scene, the setting is obvious a dark tidy room with an old Gothic style with classical furniture, ancient pictures, shadowy candlelight and vintage patterns on the wall (2.1). So, it is not only a metaphor of death is constantly happening here but also creating a mood of uncanny. Also, color tone can also be an important component of settings. The colors of setting throughout the whole film are mostly cold tones with darkness which intend to express the scary emotional resonance. 2.1 2.2 In manipulating a movie, the art director may use specific props which have function within the ongoing action. In the scene of Claudia throws all of her Victorian dolls away (2.2) and shows Lestat and Louis the young female corpse which treasured up by her, the dolls and other delicate toys set a foreboding tone for the appearance of corpse and fury of Claudia later. Selection of costumes can play important motives and causal roles in narratives, too. If taking the vampire characters for example, they wear the rarefied Victorian style clothes from 18th century, it not only tells us that the story happened at that time, but the colors and style are also combine well with the dark air in this creepy settings and enhance the feeling of repressive. Therefore, costumes are just like props in setting, to instill the proper mood in protagonists and promote the development of the story. In addition, the management of lighting became more exquisite and elaborate in this film and no longer has one hue or lighting design during entire movie. It is easy to recognize that the director used lots of Low-Key Lighting design to create stronger contrasts and sharper, darker shadows on the character‟s face and enhance their facial expressions (2.3). In this shot, Claudia is just made as a new vampire, the Low-Key Lighting on her face would tell the audience a insidious, horrific and dangerous creature was just born. And the director also used sidelight to sculpt the character‟s feature, when Lestat first time shows Louis he could drink blood from animals, the sidelight could be used to highlight his dismissive and pretentious face (2.4). 28
  29. 29. 2.3 2.4 In conclusion, in the 1990s‟ films, people didn‟t pay attention to the traditional heroic characters like before. In contrast, they focus more on human itself, the directors put “real person” on the screen, they have feelings of happiness, fear and pain just as the same as what the audience did. Simultaneously, the view of good and evil became more newfashioned and personal. In Interview with the Vampire, Lestat has a succinct statement that “Evil is just a point of view”, I agree with it because evil or good does not subsist independently in the society, but what mankind or the present culture make it out to be. In this film, Lestat believes that taking people‟s life is just their essential nature and the method of making a live as a vampire, while Louis thinks that he is evil because of murdering, taking human life unreasonably so that makes him forever be cursed. Thus, the boundary of good and evil is based on people‟s point of view, usually depends on religion beliefs, history period, culture background and mental nature. Reference Ken, Gelder (2012). New Vampire Cinema. London: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE John Kenneth Muir. (2011). Horror films of the 1990s. Jefferson, N.C.: MvFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. David H. (2010). Touchstones of gothic horror: a film genealogy of eleven motifs and images. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2010. Lauren M. E. Goodlad and Michael Bibby (2007). Goth: undead subculture. Durham: Duke University Press. David J. Skal. (2004). Hollywood gothic: the tangled web of Dracula from novel to stage to screen. New York: Faber and Faber David B. / Kristin T. Film Art (Ninth Edition). University of Wisconsin http://pcmaria.wordpress.com/ 29
  30. 30. Ed Wood Self-doubt and constant public criticism are the dreadful panic that hovers over every filmmaker who is going to enter the field of film production. Ordinary artists usually resort to all kinds of strategies to deal with these fears, but become diffident, eccentric or arrogant in the end. But Ed Wood never follows this circumstance, instead, he creates a great amount of unpromising and crappy films in his entire life with outpouring enthusiasm. However, some people may claim that either in amount or on quality, he is such a productive director who doesn‟t care about any filmmaking technique so that he is the veritable “Worst Director of All Time”. And in contrast, another part of people argued that although someone has not superb skills and outstanding talent on filmmaking just as Ed Wood, he could be marked down by history and bringing a new generation of worldwide acclaim from another aspect. Thus, this is another way to success in an Ed Wood style which is facing the failure optimistically, insisting on the self and dedicating for art. In this paper, I will discuss about how he obtains the distinctive success in his own way despite of all the criticism and even hurl invectives. First of all, the historical memory by the masses is growing out of Ed Wood‟s self-confidence. The entire film is started by a disastrous defeat of Ed Wood, and demonstrates the Ed Wood film style and his extreme optimistic personality. In the very first movie that shows in the theater, it shows the characteristic amateur filmmaking group from all kinds of aspects as the audience could recognize the two soldiers‟ foolish and childish dialogue, the fairy (plays by his girlfriend) flies down uncouthly with harsh pulley sound and the obvious hanging Wia on her body and rough the lighting and setting of the art direction on the stage. However, Ed Wood is satisfied with his own masterpiece so much that he is keen on imitating the characters‟ line and dialogues all the time during playing. In addition, when everybody else can just see that the newspaper is attacking on his film as always, he could discovers that the media says about the soldiers‟ dress are really lifelike, and that inspires and encourages him a lot. Despite of being taunted, Ed Wood still has faith in his films because he is at least being talked about, and being remembered. Secondly, Ed Wood is successful by gaining loyalty and trust from his working partners and his beloved girl. Ed Wood not only loves his own movies but he also loves his actors ardently, especially his most respected one, the old forgotten vampire actor Bela Lugosi. Bela is a lonely one man who has been eager to reappear on screen again. Because of the similar situation with Ed Wood, Bela has made every effort to all his scenes when cooperates with Ed. For example in the shot of fighting with the octopus in the film Bride of The 30
  31. 31. Monster, Bela tries his best to walk down in the cold water pool and pretend to fight with the huge fake prop octopus which is without electromotor. Although Ed Wood is a trash-film director, Bela still would love to work with him and ask for his help when he is in a desperate circumstance and that is the reason why Ed‟s care and love play an important role in the friendship with the past super star Bela Lugosi, and also in the harmonious relationship between other work partners who follow him wherever and whenever he goes. Furthermore, the second girlfriend of Ed Wood Kathy O‟Hera reveals great loyalty to him. After Ed tells her that he likes to wear women‟s clothes, she accepts it and does not blame him on this strange habit as the previous one, she is by his side for all time no matter how upset he is and never married again after Ed Wood died in the reality world. As a result, Ed Wood did not make an achievement in film production, but he gained a precious friendship with a great actor and an unswerving love from his soul mate. How could we say it is not another modality of success and harvest in one‟s life? Last but not least, another aspect of his unusual success is hope and belief. Ed Wood is indeed in love with the film industry, and the director of Citizen Kane Orson Welles is his idol throughout his entire film career, he is even learning the way of Orson Wells who directed and acted by himself, unfortunately, Ed never succeed. However, Tim Burton designed a scene of an encounter of the worst director in the world and the everlasting strongest one in a small bar when Ed Wood is in struggle of his new film Plan 9 from Outer Space. When the two directors from the completely different levels sit together at one table, you may discover that they are equal and coordinate at that moment. The situation they are both going through gives Ed Wood courage and hope – they both have bitterness of economic problem and the troubles with the querulous sponsors. But after Orson Welles claims that “Visions are worth fighting for, why spend your life making someone else‟s dreams?” Ed immediately runs back and continues on his film shooting and aspiration of his dream. God gives Ed Wood outpouring passion and infinite ambition of the art of film production, but forgets to offer him any talent or skills to help him pursue his dream. However, the frustrated director Ed Wood never doubts about himself, he insists on what he believes in and what he loves most. He is fighting for his film dream in the rest of his life and devotes himself into the film industry thoroughly, he never gives up and always smiles to face everything. Perhaps he has never thought about what exactly the failure and the setbacks are, but he will always be memorized with another form of success which is full of confidence, loyalty and hope. Furthermore, his story will have an impact and encouragement on other young filmmakers of unremitting and evoke a deliberate thinking of the relationship between film producers and the society which they try to portray in their imagination. 31
  32. 32. Gothic Tale of the Dark Universe – Not just for Kids Review of Coraline Gothic horror was thoroughly out of fashion in children‟s literature at early 1990s19 when the writer Neil Gaiman began to work on Coraline, a story aimed to unsettle kids and spread Kid Goth within literature field. In fact, Neil Gaiman‟s Coraline was first thought too frightening for children at that time. However, after adapted from his 2002 book of the same name and directed by Henry Selick, Coraline presents a memorable and meticulously crafted mysterious landscape with rich atmosphere of a “Tim Burton” style and gothic culture background. Obviously, it is no longer only for kids or purely scaring entertaining. The imaginational plot tells a story that feisty blue-haired little girl Coraline Jones moves with her parents to a strange old house called “Pink Palace” and discovers a small hidden door which takes her to a parallel darker universe offering her an alternate and more compassionate family which is in contrast to her real workaholic parents. The new world Coraline ventures into seems perfect at the beginning, but is ruled over by a needy and scary creature: the “Other Mother” with button-eyes. Furthermore, this fantastic stop-motion animation is an illusioned dark children tale which is made with a great deal of lush and exquisite gothic trimmings including blood, candlelight, bats, ghosts (three murdered kids), Victorian clothing (the three neighbors have elaborate ancient stage costumes), gothic landscape settings (a dreary forest and the muddy yard, complete with heavy fog in abundance), a talking spooky cat and an evil female character (the “Other Mother”) to create an atmosphere of suspense and risk. Because Coraline focuses on a kid‟s adventure experience and simultaneously deals with childhood anxieties on a superficial level, although it is full of quirky characters, even includes an occasional talking cat which are a little frightening and uncanny to kids, the film Coraline is still frequently categorized as simply a dark children animation or a family film as a result. However, this moving image artwork has huge intellectual merit and it is nevertheless merely for kids, and it can easily be dismissed as just quirky and slightly dark entertainment. The film‟s visual treating are not merely intended as an attack on the young audiences, the gradual disturbing images into the reality world in the story (a creepy doll with button-eyes that looks uncannily like Coraline herself, and the fog-bound forest that surround the “Pink Palace” apartment) (Sarah Anderson: Coraline: Postmodern Gothic, 2010) eventually gives way to the full-scale terror of the revelation of the “Other Mother” in all her skeletal and arachnid besiegement, as the climax of the entire film while Coraline is escaping from the “Other World”. 19 The New Yorker: Neil Gaiman, Kid Goth 32
  33. 33. In the end, Coraline is a beautifully realized vision of childhood fantasies and represents terrors that continue to resonate for an adult audience that may never fully grow out of them. The parallel world imagination, the emotion for parents and family, the friendship among neighborhoods, the love for home and fear for unknown will stay in an adult‟s mind from his or her childhood to immortal, and that is the reason why this gothic tale is not just for kids. 33
  34. 34. The Attractiveness of Terror in Gothic Literature The Spectre Bride, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Fall of the House of Usher The most noteworthy emotion of mankind is fear of unknown and facing the dark side of the selves. As can be expected naturally of a form connected with the primal spirit of human, Gothic fiction is as immemorial as human thought and the inner world they built. Gothic literature is intended to invoke a sense of terror while examining the dark side of human nature, mental illness, original sins, and irrational or destructive desires. The way Gothic literature makes sense is through confronting society with its potential threats and the conflicts with individual. Therefore, Gothic literature cannot exist or be valued as just horror tales without sublime, uncanny and contextual fear as they are often understood by uncritical readers. Gothic literature is devoted primarily to stories of horror, the fantastic fairytales, and the darker supernatural forces. The setting is always in a castle or an abandoned house with an atmosphere of mystery and suspense. It may include supernatural events like walking ghosts or ferocious vampires and monsters. The stories always describe some form of madness, overwrought emotions and also use, blood, corpses or some other gloomy metonymies as symbols for death, religious oppression or other dark themes. As a result, Gothic fiction has been sometimes criticized as appealing too much to the dark side of the mind, violence and horror. In Gothic literature, there is a belief in the supernatural, a cultivation of gloomy mood for mystery, violence, horror, and death apparitions. The early writers of Gothic origin usually drew their inspiration from the unknown, hidden histories of the middle ages and the perceived cultural or religious oppression of the time. Therefore, such works would always be dark, bloody and cruel. However, most of the Gothic stories have their own implied meanings and significance and are not just horrific. Gothic literature evolved out of explorations of the inner selves with all of its emotive, irrational, and intuitive aspects. People can see the darker, shadowy side of both the selves and society, in this way they might better understand both the origin of crime and how to avoid it, and so do crime, terror, madness and vicious perception. For instance, The Spectre Bride warns us not to be seduced and trusting evil power that leads to rebelling against one‟s beliefs or to self-destruction. The Tell-Tale Heart by Allan Poe talks about how the guilt of murder caused hallucination and madness. As for the social level, Gothic stories tap into a primal human fear to oppose pompous powers of political oppression, in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, for example, draws on psychological horror to critique the social position of women within the institution of marriage and family. Also, in 34
  35. 35. The Fall of the House of Usher, it is obvious that terror arises from the complexity and multiplicity of forces that shape human destiny, and two protagonists suffer from both incest and isolation by society. Gothic literature deals with the human condition as a mixture of good and evil powers that cannot be understood completely by reason. That means human beings are divided into the conflict between opposing forces in the world and also in themselves. The themes of human nature's depravity, the struggle in heart and soul, and the existence of unexplainable elements in humanity and the cosmos, are the prominent ideas in many of the works throughout the Gothic literature history, and this contradictoriness is exactly the reason why this genre is still felt attractive and beauteous in terror while reading and delving into. 35
  36. 36. The Representation of Horror in Homely Gothic Stories The Lottery, A Rose for Emily, and The Tell-Tale Heart After terror moves closer to human‟s daily life and become homely, it appears that Gothic literature pays more attention on the power of society, the unstable selves and the fatal nature of rigid custom and tradition. Although all the three stories deal with death or murder, there are a few different elements that are guilty of the horror, which are from the level of individual, family, and the society. First of all, in The Tell-Tale heart, Edgar Allan Poe uses several literary devices like setting suspense, symbolism and the first person narrator to present direct dramatic effect and the mental illness which the protagonist portrays. The comparison between light and darkness and the detailed description of the old man‟s eye also make the story scarier and more impressive. As readers can figure out, although madness in the man‟s ideology obviously emerges, he is trying to persuade readers of his sanity and innocence. In fact, the murderer is haunted by his own constant delusion, after he kills the old man because of the fearful eye, he can still hear the old man‟s strong heartbeat under floor. “I then sat upon the bed and smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on, with a muffled sound.” (383) The reasons why the murderer can hear the unusual sound are his fancy thought and a sense of guilt. It is not only a demonstration of paranoia but also a symptom of mental illness. The guilt of murdering triggers his hallucination that the old man‟s heart is still beating, which leads to his exposure to the police and self-betrayal. So the confession after killing and the self-inflicted insanity should be guilty of the horror and the demon inside the criminal‟s mind. To compare The Tell-Tale heart and A Rose for Emily, both the two authors use effective scenes and plot to represent the macabre idea or even loathsome atmosphere. However, A Rose for Emily is an American Southern Gothic which emphasizes the eccentric characters more and deals with the decline of the old south as a theme and focuses on the impacting from family or neighborhood. The indifference and gossip from the townspeople and the portrait of Emily‟s father inflicts his control on Miss Emily lead to her eccentricity and isolation in the end. In this writing, Jefferson is a small town in South America mired in a poisoned culture of social conformity. The most insignificant details in daily life here are influenced by stereotypical ideology of the town. Under the standards of 36
  37. 37. Jefferson, acceptable behavior is enforced not by law but by habit, rumours, and the threat of condemnation from others. Born into this society, Miss Emily lived her life as expected, despite its inanition and emptiness. But after Emily falls in love with the Yankee Homer Barron, she carries on in her own way and even sleeps next to her beloved one‟s body for over forty years. A Rose for Emily presents readers with necrophilia, paranoia and the reflection of psychological bondage. Furthermore, the relationship between romance and death, the power of community stifle individual, the nature of insanity and isolation are what we need to consider, too. Although Emily lived to a ripe old age, thanks to the townspeople and her own father, her spirit of freedom dies so young. In The Lottery, Shirley Jackson's village is much like Jefferson as I mentioned above, the townspeople live a life according to tradition and custom and never thinking independently or questioning their behavior. Their obedience is so blind that they continue to take part in the cruel manner and being a savage mob through the brutal lottery. In this case, we can look at the village as an integrated society. The villagers here have strong delusions of greatness, wealth and power, which lead to megalomania, obsession and paranoia. They blindly following the savage tradition, act violently, with cruel complacency and what‟s worse is even children and women follow it, too. As a result, the destructive social force of the tradition and society should be responsible for this uneducated behavior. In conclusion, as the homely Gothic literature developed, the descriptions of daily life and the inner world of human nature emerge gradually. We can clearly recognize that they are good for clear moral and sentimental horror from individual or corporate level by a brand new form of suspense in literature. 37
  38. 38. How Gothic Music and the Death Theme Are Represented in Excess and Transgression Gothic genre has encompassed a lot of forms of expression - Architecture, moving images, paintings, literature, dancing or music. One form always inspires another one and creates incorporate parallels between them simultaneously. In this way, each form of Gothic could rise to a more comprehensive level, coalescing into the much more spacious understanding of this kind of art. If take Gothic literature for example, it usually has far and wide influence on Gothic musicians on the melody, settings and lyrics expression. As a result, this music genre puts emphasis especially on the transgressive and excessive nature of Gothic - gloomy, mysterious atmospheres, and how they evoked terror emotions of death and unknown. Retrospect about our presentation on Gothic music, we had focused on the theme of death and talked about it in Gothic music throughout the time line from classical music in the Romantic Age 18th century to modern Gothic music in present society. After we discovered that the classical Gothic music is full of fascination with everything medieval or grotesque macabre description, it still has the imagination of freedom and self-consciousness. Furthermore, for the early modern Gothic music, it delves into the cold feelings and pessimistic emotion of life, and advocates the proposal of escaping from reality. Although this two periods can both represent the grandeur and wildness of Gothic culture, in this essay I would like to focus on the Gothic metal part and explicate how the theme of death are transformed by transgression and excess. Gothic metal is generally characterized by its dark, doom or dead atmospheres while narrating romance, passion and mental intensity. One way of how Gothic evokes unease and the terror of death would be the exploration of transgressions, but heightening a sense of self and social value at the same time. The anxiety and the fascination in transgression are always produced by some ambivalent emotions like desire or power. For instance, the song Murder by Within Temptation in their 2011 concept album The Unforgiving, Gothic aspects became part of an internalised world of guilt, despair and a world of individual transgression20. It is a dark and complex music composition reaches deep into the painful emotions which signified an over abundance of imaginative frenzy. The audience can feel the character‟s defiance of any authority, control and tradition while she is plotting revenge. The intension of music brings a metonymy of gloom and horror, the pouring dose of emotion and the inner world details in order to create an unease experience. In spite of 20 Botting, Fred, Introduction: Gothic Excess and Transgression, Page 10 38
  39. 39. the bloodthirsty title of the song, it shows the absolute real emotion of the main character‟s overwhelming fury and centring on the individual self, she kills the murderer as punishment but make her commit a crime as well. We will see the conflict inside the character‟s heart among the lines, and the setting has become a place rendered threatening and uncanny by the haunting return of transgressions and attendant anger after she is brought back to life. “I’m killing them all I’ve put my soul on the line I purify sins that I’ve committed in life I’ll follow them all And I’ll be bringing them down Wherever they go I’m right behind There’s nowhere to go Your head on the line There is no hope, you’re running out of time To where will you go When I will murder your soul” ( Murder, 2011) Secondly, Gothic metal is traditionally a manifestation of excess, and this excess may come in several different forms such as it could be in the author's detailed descriptions of overwhelming macabre emotions of gloom and terror (Angela Carter, 2006). For example in the song The Death of Love by Cradle of Filth, between the lines it tells a story of a kind of lost love and awakens to memories, it is a song which will evoke the grief and irrational feelings in some dark side of mind. It shows a lonely, oppressed and pensive female who is questioning love and suffering all of the pain because of her abandoned situation without protector by her side. So it somehow represents the Gothic aspect of a woman in distress and the loss of aspiration, but still fight for herself (1.1). Its images of dark power and mystery evoked fear and anxiety, the bloody scenes also show the audience about violence and menace in this Gothic music video (1.2). So, as Gothic writing remains fascinated by objects that are constructed as negative, irrational, immoral and fantastic21, the Gothic metal music could create overflow of emotions that undermined boundaries of life and reality, too. 21 Botting, Fred, Introduction: Gothic Excess and Transgression, Page 2 39
  40. 40. 1.1 1.2 “Where will you be when the dark is rising? How will you keep from it's terrorizing? Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising? Burning was the sunset like a portent of doom On the sanity iron maiden as she fell from her wound To lord upon the slaughter Like a sword through hissing water She arose where archers sought her For the Death of Love” (The Death of Love, 2008) In conclusion, the tone of Gothic literature provides a definite influence on both lyrics and the harmony of Gothic music. Darkness remains the theme of all aspects in Gothic, and music makes no exception. We are living in a society filled with stereotypes, in which we try hard to avoid those who happen to be different from us, but the Gothic music chooses to take upon itself the role of just being different in society and it celebrates the dark recesses of the human psyche unashamedly. Nevertheless, those dark aspects are always stay in human mind that we cannot discard - the dark fascination, morbid sensuality, forbidden love, sweeping sadness and the beauty of enduring pain. All of us have a fascination with death and it is not only the end of life. The Gothic music and the theme of death try to find a different way of thinking about life in the expression of transgression and excess, and try to figure out immortality and beauty in it. 40
  41. 41. Loneliness and Heroism Salinger‟s “The Laughing Man” is a classic frame story which displays the parallels between a storyteller and his real life. The narrator of the story, along with his friends, acts as the “readers” of this story and responds to it, just as a reader of Salinger‟s story will respond to the events presented to them. As for the structure of this story, in fact this is another piece of work which includes more than one story interweave together and make a climax in the end. So I‟d like to discover the similarities between Salinger‟s readers and his “readers” within the story and to ascertain how the two stories, the laughing man one and the romantic relationship between the Chief and his girlfriend one got related. The idea that a villain is made into a hero is one that the reader most likely has not encountered before in his or her real life where the people of the world are controlled by state and national laws and where the people who break those laws are punished. And the extreme ugly laughing man is the one who has a hard time existing in a cold world. So, the reader‟s defenses are triggered by the laughing man, and they would fear because he is an unheard of occurrence. Actually, he is lack of love from parents and sympathy from other human being around him, but he still fights for freedom and has a high sense of loyalty to friends. In this way, he is a hero. As the story progresses, though, the reader discovers that there are some distinctly familiar. The Chief introduces to the boys, first through a photograph pinned to the rear view mirror of his bus, and then in person, the character of Mary Hudson, who will eventually become the downfall of the Chief as well as of the tale of the laughing man told by the Chief, for the two are irrevocably connected. Mary Hudson represents the idea of love and relationships, both of which are things that the reader has trouble comprehending. Mary Hudson is exactly the kind of character who would bring up psychological defenses. The reader, upon encountering Mary Hudson, would immediately recall memories of past relationships, both good and bad. In this case, however, she is responded to as a threat to the sanctity of the Comanche Club as an intruder, which is supposed to be strictly boys-only (for example, the boys don‟t want to accept her in a game at first). The reader may put her off to the side, instead focusing only on the Chief and the story of the laughing man, or perhaps Mary Hudson would be made into a sort of secondary villain who deserves the ending that she receives in the story. The members of the Comanche Club must also find a way of coping with the presence of Mary Hudson, only they have a much simpler time of it, she is regarded at first as a threat similar to the one encountered by the reader, until she proves that she is a very competent 41
  42. 42. baseball player and all is forgiven. For me, I love the ending part so much when the laughing man dies in his glory and the connection between the turmoil of the Chief and Mary Hudson‟s relationship and the death of the laughing man is very important. The Chief‟s suffering is directly related to the laughing man‟s suffering as he remains tied to a tree, two bullet wounds bleeding from his chest. This is obviously symbolic, the Chief, in a sense, has also been shot in the heart, by the thought of Mary Hudson leaving rather than by an actual gun, and he takes it out on his characters. The reader may well realize the significance of witnessing Mary Hudson‟s departure prior to finding out what happens to the laughing man, for it is a very human reaction that the Chief has. He is heartbroken, and so the laughing man must also be since this story is created by him. The boys in the story will not realize this, for they are too shocked by the loss of their hero figure to even begin to imagine what caused the Chief to end the story so sadly and abruptly. In conclusion, the laughing man does not die for his enemy, but loneliness and despair of the lack of love, just like the Chief and Mary‟s relationship dies for the unknown but strong reality. 42
  43. 43. Irony and Interaction in My Last Duchess The creation of a plausible character within literature is one of the most difficult challenges a writer would ever face, and the development to a level at which the readers could identify with them may take a longer time. However, through the masterful use of poetic devices and elaborate language, Robert Browning is able to create two living and breathing characters among his lines. His famous works “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria‟s Lover” have been very popular throughout the years because their dramatic monologue styles require direct interaction between the readers and the characters. If take a closer look at the poems, they have revealed their striking similarities of love, intense jealousy, social pride and madness elements. These shared features are enhanced by sophisticated poetic techniques, and contributing to the creation of similar possessive love commonly found in both poems. However, today my discussion will focus on the one “My Last Duchess”, from my point of view, the mood and tone of the whole poem and the characteristic of the narrator are immediately and concisely revealed in the author‟s first line, "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall / Looking as if she were alive." While the opening line demonstrates the materialistic, controlling and murderous nature of the narrator, Browning uses a variety of poetic devices from rhythm and imagery to allusion and symbolism to fully characterize the nature of his speaker later. After understanding the background knowledge of this poem, I know that an Italian duke of the 16th century speaks about his dead wife with dramatic monologue in this work. Through the monologue, not only we could conclude who would be the listener and what the situation of the writing was, but also the character of the speaker, that is the duke. Through the lines, from all the details that the duke describes about his duchess, I can tell that the duchess is a very gracious and kind woman as “The depth and passion of its earnest glance”, but in my opinion, all the good qualities of the duchess that the duke tells are not a praise of her but the information to the listener about what kind of duchess the duke wants his future wife to be. He speaks of his deceased wife as a woman who has lascivious behavior and whose smiles were granted too generously to others than him, “Sir, „twas not / Her husband‟s presence only, called that spot / Of joy into the Duchess‟ cheek”. At the same time the duke tries to slander his last duchess, as “Who‟d stoop to blame this sort of trifling?” is just showing the duke‟s narrow and tricky mind. In addition, he is also arrogant, brutal, jealous and greedy for “E‟en then would be some stooping, and I choose never to stoop.”. From all this, the author gives a deep understanding of humanity as well as a lucid analysis of the personalities and motivations of the characters. 43
  44. 44. At the end of the poem, it is wholly ironic in that the speaker finds himself a “maligned and abused” man, when in actuality he is remorseless and controlling. In conclusion, the poem “My Last Duchess” as the early famous monologue of Robert Browning, gives me a better view of the characteristics of his writing and his ways of forging the characters. Browning‟s development of interaction between readers and characters and the usage of irony dramatically influence the understanding of the theme. At the end of the monologue, the readers will clearly understand the theme that money and power cannot buy love and that marriages between the upper class citizens of the Renaissance era were predominately business transactions. The Duke is extremely manipulative, has an extreme sense of family pride, and feels a sense of ownership to the memory of his deceased wife. So, by reading how the Duke thought and felt about his wife, the reader gains insight about the true character of the speaker. 44
  45. 45. Shakespeare Madness Return ● Introduction Madness has nourished literature works from antiquity and it was well represented by Shakespeare in his plays. And tragedy is the highest achievement of almost his writings. ● Hamlet Plot: The late King dies suddenly while Hamlet is away from home. When he comes back, he attends the wedding of his mother and his uncle Claudius disdainfully. But his father's ghost appears and tells him that he was murdered by Claudius. So Hamlet makes up his mind to avenge his beloved dad, and he pretends that he has gone mad in order to have a better chance to get near and kill Claudius. Theme: This play shows the writer‟s great worry of the topsy-turvy social reality, the critique of evil humanity which stained by desire and lust, and also conveyed the pursuit of sanity, social order and moral ideal. Feigned madness (Hamlet): For revenging for his dad, Hamlet starts to estrange himself from his friends, including his lover Ophelia. When the Ghost (Old King) has just departs, amid a frenzy of thoughts, plaints, and queries, Hamlet excogitates a crazy plan: Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, How strange or odd some’er I bear myself As I perchance hereafter think meet To put an antic disposition on (1.5.191-92) With these words to his courtiers, we know that it is a feigned madness, but his antic disposition and behavior are so convincing that we often wonder if he isn't truly mad. From my point of view, although Hamlet says he is going to pretend to be mad, he has already been melancholy at the beginning of the play, later the incest trouble and huge rage occupy his mind, the love with Ophelia hurts him a lot, too. So the play offers multiple meanings of madness including melancholia, love sickness, mad frenzy and feigned madness to rebel against the enemies and society. 45
  46. 46. ● Macbeth Plot: Macbeth is a marshal of King Duncan, one day he met three witches, they tells him some crazy words and his wife instigates him to fight with King Duncan and become a king himself. Macbeth obeysand becomes a tyrant. Then, Duncan‟s son wants to revenge, he destroys his enemy's country, and put Macbeth's head chop off. At last, Lady Macbeth goes crazy and kills herself for ending the shame in her mind. Theme: Wicked and evil intention must result in producing wicked action in the end, and the whole tragedy including the death and mental illness are born from Macbeth inmost wild ambition and Lady Macbeth‟s incorrect rouse. Madness by Guilt (Lady Macbeth): Lady Macbeth is the early instigator of the evil plans that lead to Macbeth‟s Kingship. She is much too power-hungry and her machinations are as cruel as her husband‟s tyranny despotic rule. She gets rid of all the kindness but after the bloodshed begins she is incapable of bearing the result and soon falls victim to the weight of her guilt, eventually going mad and committing suicide. This madness is seen most clearly in Lady Macbeth‟s words in Act V, Scene 1: Out, damned spot! out, I say!-- One; two; why, then 'tis time to do't ;--Hell is murky!--Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?--Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? So as a result, the Doctor says, "More needs she the divine than the physician." Comparison: Be different from Hamlet, Lady Macbeth‟s madness is not fake or pretended to. Her depression and schizophrenia are the result of repression and Guilt. She doesn‟t mean to be mad but only be forced by the pressure. In the cases of Hamlet and Macbeth, the flaw is madness without a doubt, whether their insanity is feigned or unfeigned, it plays a key role in their downfall. ● Timon of Athens Plot: 46
  47. 47. Timon is a man who enjoys pleasing his friends by lavishing money and he goes bankrupt in the end, but his friends ignore his requests for help. That hurts him a lot and drive his mind crazy, so he sends invitations to the Athenians to a 'banquet' and pulls hot water on his ex-friends‟ faces. Timon then becomes rich again and provides the money for the General to wage war against his friends and seek revenge for their falseness. Theme: This play expresses that one cannot buy the real friendship, the love of money is the root of all evil and hatred is a fatal disease. Monomania of Madness (Timon): From the outset of the play, Timon walks the road to ruin, mainly because he is unduly generous. In the first scene of the play, a poet calls attention to Timon's unbridled generosity, it says: Their services to Lord Timon: his large fortune, Upon his good and gracious nature hanging, Subdues and properties to his love and tendance All sorts of hearts. (1.1.68-71) As we know, the main reason of his madness is the monomania of being generous and the trauma by his friends‟ falseness and betrayal. Comparison: Contrast with Hamlet and Lady Macbeth, Timon is a monomania of unbridled generosity and he exhibits some kind of anomie in which society seems to be crushing their personality to the extent that they are excluded from social system. So when he finds out the falseness of his friends, he goes mad. Unlike Hamlet‟s revenged heart and Lady Macbeth‟s guilt, Timon gets a kind of social madness because of the masses in society. ●Conclusion Madness in Shakespeare‟s literature works can reflect the inner world of the characters and shows the social reality in the period of Renaissance. It reminds us to think about the sanity and humanity while enjoying the great writings. 47
  48. 48. Causes and Effects of Tightening Chinese Film Censorship for Exotic Movies As times progress, the traditional films suitable for all ages have apparently not conformed to the audience‟s needs of craving the diversified film genres in the present society. But currently with a great deal of information and resources, there is a trend of increasing negative elements such as violence and extreme erotica which are contained in the movies contradicted to what indicated in the traditional ones. Therefore, mainland China has set up a vast censorship apparatus so that foreign movies, even the films created and produced in China are particularly tightly controlled, many of them cannot be shown on screen in public. As a result, this intervention policy leads to an indignant and querulous mass, especially strong among the youngsters. However, the radical causes of why the censorship in China is strictly limited can be analyzed and listed from three parts as political, cultural and economic aspects. First of all, film art is an influential way to convey political ideology and deliver significant messages. The primal fear of foreign ideology impacting on domestic politics may likely be the first factor that results in this imposed restriction on art creation for both foreign and domestic producers. As professor Stanley Rose wrote in Foreign Policy (n. d), the state intervenes of Chinese Censorship to ensure that politically correct movies are created and released but results the products have to fend for themselves in the film art market just concerned with their commercial viability. Although China has huge potential on movie entertainment market for foreign or Hong Kong producers, films must be deemed suitable for audience without political implications to be allowed to screen. For foreign-made films, this sometimes means controversial footages must be cut before such films can play in Chinese cinemas. According to this policy, the director from Hong Kong Manfred Wong (16 June, 2011) claimed that for crime movies which are going to be screened in mainland China, all policemen and politician must be portrayed as good ones because the government do not want their officers to be portrayed as a bad image in front of the people. Also, from the level of f exotic producers, if one wants to make the movie be screened in China, he or she may find it difficult to develop a full story because some valuable or meaningful scenes may be censored so they needs to betray the original thought sometimes. As for the directors who do not want to abdicate the footages or change the original version of films, they can only choose to relinquish the big market of outputting and selling their movies in mainland China. As a result of aforementioned content, although the government wants people 48
  49. 49. to have a healthy environment to cherish their own political ideology, refusing exotic thoughts is no benefit for people to identify with their own culture. Contrary to what the Chinese government may think, compatible world view and comprehension of diverse political civilization construction could actually give the masses a sense of national identity by broadening their horizons to better understand the world. Secondly from the cultural level, the Chinese government tries to protect Chinese teenagers from being poisoned as the foreign youngsters under the cultural impact of inappropriate films by establishing the film censorship. For instance, in the early 1980s a teenager in England, after obsessively watching Brideshead Revisited (ITV, 1981), embarked on a reckless buying spree of vintage clothing in order to emulate the characters and got in an illusion monomania. Moreover, in 2003 again an adolescent, after watching The Matrix, embarked on a reckless killing spree, murdering his family. Obviously, Chinese government is afraid of the similar issue happening too and that is why such scenes are censored. According to the Chinese censorship low, wrong and immoral spirits, bloody and violent plots, horrific images as ghost, monsters and demons, erotic scenes and other disrupt or inhuman portrayals were all banned from audio visual content. However, for the teenagers in China are restricted too much to choose entertainment which they prefer. Most viewers have responded negatively to recent films produced in China that the Chinese cinema is becoming increasingly stereotypical and machine-made in recent years. For example, without enough foreign movie resources, the domestic classic epic masterpieces like Hero, The Promise and The Battle of Wits, until today‟s Red Cliff have gradually become similar to each other. As a result, they have to bind their psychological and cultural needs mostly on Internet and pirated DVD. What is more, because of the lack of relevant rules and laws, some producers may cater to the vulgar taste of young people for chasing higher profits which generates not only tort and piracy problems but also criminal offence under the present circumstance. Last but not least, the tightening of Chinese film censorship is a representation of being anxious about the ensuing impact on domestic box office if too many foreign films are imported into the film market of mainland China and arouse harmful effects on economic earnings of Chinese film industry. Taking Avatar and Confucius as an example, both of them were screened in China simultaneously, but the former earned 1.2 billion dollars while the domestic one only had 90 million dollars for box office (China Film, 2010). According to this concerned aspect, Chinese censors set a low and clear only twenty foreign films a year to show within the country. Consequently, as a result of such censorship, the Chinese masses receive such limited information and choices 49
  50. 50. so that is the reason why they continue to be indignant and unsatisfied. In conclusion, though the causes and effects for Chinese film censorship issue cannot be listed thoroughly within a few words, the three points above are the most significant ones. The government censors in mainland China do not mean to deprive the films we want to watch, but restriction is not equal to complete forbiddance. As Isabel Hilton (1981) declared that the Chinese has attached the art expression and their consciousness to the power of governmental repression and made themselves venerable. (p. 79) In fact, the more the government keeps it under control, the more people would resent them. If the censorship separates film art from the political and cultural repression, Chinese people can not only watch a lot more splendid foreign movies but also accept multifarious ideas for perceiving the globe. Reference List Newspaper The Guardian Online: Chinese film director hits out at state censorship, Jia Zhangke, a Venice film festival prizewinner, blasts China's 'cultural over-cleanliness' in Shanghai forum, Thursday 16 June 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/16/chinese-film-director-hits-censorship Websites CHINESE FILM INDUSTRY AND MOVIE BUSINESS, 2008 Jeffrey Hays http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=245&catid=7&subcatid=42#07 FILM, CENSORSHIP AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, 2008 Jeffrey Hays http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=1833&catid=7&subcatid=42 China plans tighter film censorship, 15th December, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/15/china-plans-tighter-film-censorship.html Lows of People‟s Republic of China‟s Censorship http://censorship.wikidot.com/people-s-republic-of-china Books Ruth Petrie. (1997). Film and censorship:The Index Reader. (p. 79). British: Cassell Mark Readman. (2005). Teaching film censorship and controversy. (p. 7). British: efi Education. DOI: www.bfi.org.uk 50
  51. 51. Lightening the Compulsive Film Censorship to Fulfill the Requirement of Diverse Film Choices for Chinese People Chinese Film Censorship controls or prohibits certain foreign movies from being available in the cinema, which results in lack of film choices for the masses when they want to watch a movie. This intervention policy is not only driving part of the people, especially the teenagers to be querulous and unsatisfied, but also triggering a wide discussion about what exactly the causes of this problem are and how it can be resolved. Because the economic, cultural and political aspects are the three main factors that contribute to the censorship issue, it is necessary to change the relevant policies currently implemented by the government from these three levels to tackle this problem. First of all, because the anxiety of the foreign film impacting on the domestic box office and the disappointment of indigenous films, Chinese Film Censorship tries to reduce the economic affect and offer Chinese film priority to enter the market by restricting the number of foreign films every year. Obviously, enhancing the competitiveness of Chinese films to contend with the foreign ones could largely ease the panic of government and lighten the compulsive censorship. Firstly, the Nation should nurture and develop a mature film market for the domestic movies with good order by formulating and improving a series of thorough laws, regulations and policies, at the same time providing the preferential treatment and incentive mechanism to access to the film industry by conducting influential film festivals or do the publicity through social media. The minister of the State Administration of Radio Film and Television Mr. Coi has indicated that government offices should pay more attention on managing films within the legal framework, and offering less specific intervention under the circumstance of diverse cultural requirements (F.C Choi 2010). In this way, China is able to explore more talents to create indigenous film arts and being successful in box office. Furthermore, The government should not only widen the film marketing, but also the digital television industry, radio platform and the strength of Internet to achieve the integrated media group of interdisciplinary synchronously. Secondly from the cultural level to solve the censor problem, Chinese government could use the mass media to show people international films, conduct surveys for preference, and finally show foreign films based on the preference of the masses. For instance, a long time ago in Britain, the film censorship there was to allow part of the masses to watch exotic films first and decide whether these choices will be showed in the public (Julian Petley, 1988), the English Government thought it would be democratic for film screening and 51
  52. 52. respective for the audience in this way, but it is not suitable in modern China because this project will cost so much since the government need to find a wide variety of people as subject to be involved from different workplaces, ages or gender. Instead, we could try to utilize the power of the new media and technology and put the trailers of foreign films on the Internet where they can be watched by Mainland people, and then set an online voting system to allow them to choose their favorite foreign ones. After the survey is conducted, the government would have a better idea of which foreign movies should be shown in theaters. Finally, a solution made by a political policy can be a rapid and effective way to help lighten the censorship after the government initiates establishing the rating system in cinema to restrict the age group of audience but not forbidding the available ones. The principle target of film rating is to promote the growth of young people in a healthy way and satisfy people‟s growing spiritual and cultural needs. A Times leader on the question of children and the cinema refers, for instance, to the moral and physical dangers to which youngsters may be exposed if they are allowed unrestricted admission to cinematograph show (n. n, 1989). Thus, a film rating system like the United States, Hong Kong and other foreign countries will restrict an unintended audience to view the film. Since it has set strict restrictions in terms of the age bracket, this system can play a role in preventing adolescent from extreme violent or erotic scenes on the screen. The vice minister of the SARFT said at a news conference that such a rating system is conducive to offering a variety of films to new consumers (Shi ZHAO, 2010). In fact, although the government advocates rejecting exotic cultural waste, violent, erotic and horror videos have the largest online and mobile phone communities in the world if we are overlooking the situation in China. Fortunately, the Chinese government has started considering about the film rating system for Mainland China and it is the first step to be more compatible for the nation and self-censored for the people. Comparing the above suggestions to tackle the film choice and censorship problem, it will take a long time to advance the quality of indigenous films. For the voting way, it may be costly to buy the authorization of the trailers and put them onto the online pages, too. Apparently, the best solution is the establishment of film rating system, it is effective to fulfill the diverse film desire of people. Above all, different kinds of films can be divided into their respective category accurately according to the rating standard, because it can help control under-age viewers. Secondly, after the implementation of a rating system, it provides the audiences with a selectable expectation of watching movies. Moreover, the film rating system could help to keep movies uncut, original and authentic, but meanwhile able to protect teenagers‟ health of body and mind. For producers, it arouses more diverse art works and legitimate management. In addition, producers are able to meet the cultural demands to 52
  53. 53. provide the audience a clear direction and autonomy to choose movies and broaden their horizon of fresh ideology. In conclusion, cinema has been the most pre-eminent modern art form and the major industry in entertainment business since early twentieth century. It has combined and gained the ability to represent most of the other art forms in order to convey the messages of key ideology from the directors or social circumstance at the proper time. Maybe some people may question about how film rating system could run under the situation of China because it is a long term for Chinese people to integrate with global culture and to improve the level of self consciousness, but as times progress, people are requiring more diverse choices and advanced right of entertainment, it is quite necessary for the government to offer efficient strategies and policies to content this demand under the present film censorship. Reference List Newspaper The Hollywood Reporter: China nixes film ratings, restates censor role Jonathan Landreth, 19 August 2010 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-nixes-film-ratings-restates-26834 Websites China’s Piracy and Counterfeiting Problems http://www.wikinvest.com/concept/China's_Piracy_%26_Counterfeiting_Problems How to Solve China’s Piracy Problem, April 12,2005, Henry Blodget http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/go_east_young_man/2005/04/how_to_solve_chinas_pi racy_problem.html Foreign Films in China and Chinese Films Abroad – Facts and Details http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=241&catid=7&subcatid=42 China plans tighter film censorship, 15th December, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/12/15/china-plans-tighter-film-censorship.html Lows of People‟s Republic of China‟s Censorship http://censorship.wikidot.com/people-s-republic-of-china Books Kuhn, A. (1988). Cinema, censorship and sexuality. (2 ed., p. 114,121). New York: Routledge Inc. Petley, J. (2011). Film and video censorship in contemporary britain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd. 53

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