In 2007, Ang Lee made an espionage thriller based on the short story "Lust, Caution" by Eileen Chang, China’s most famous female author of the twentieth century. The release of the film became a trigger for heated debates on issues of national identity and political loyalty, and brought unexpectedly harsh criticism from China, where Ang Lee was labelled a traitor in scathing internet critiques, whilst the film's leading actress Tang Wei was banned from appearing on screen for two years. This book analyses Ang Lee’s art of film adaptation through the lens of modern literary and film theory, as well as featuring detailed readings and analyses of different dialogues and scenes, directorial and authorial decisions and intentions, while at the same time confronting the intense political debates resulting from the film’s subject matter. The theories of Freud, Lacan, Deleuze, Bataille and others are used to identify and clarify issues raised by the film related to gender, sexuality, eroticism, power, manipulation, and betrayal; the themes of lust and caution are dealt with in conjunction with the controversial issues of contemporary political consciousness concerning patriotism, and the Sino-Japanese War complicated by divided historical experiences and cross-Taiwan Strait relationships. The contributors to this volume cover translation and adaptation, loyalty and betrayal, collaboration and manipulation, playing roles and performativity, whilst at the same time intertwining these with issues of national identity, political loyalty, collective memory, and gender. As such, the book will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese and Asian cinema and literature, as well as those interested in modern Chinese history and cultural studies.
An espionage thriller set in World War II Shanghai recounts the relationship between the powerful Mr. Yee and Wang Jiazhi, a young woman caught up in a game of emotional intrigue with him, in a volume that is accompanied by the screenplay for the film and an essay on the making of the film.
In 1940s Shanghai, beautiful young Jiazhi spends her days playing mahjong and drinking tea with high society ladies. But China is occupied by invading Japanese forces and things are not always what they seem in wartime. Jiazhi’s life is a front. A patriotic student radical, her mission is to seduce a powerful employee of the occupying government and lead him to the assassin’s bullet. Yet as she waits for him to arrive at their liaison, Jiazhi begins to wonder if she is cut out to be a femme fatale and coldly take Mr Yi to his death. Or is she beginning to fall in love with him? A passionate tale of espionage, deception and love, Lust, Caution is accompanied here by four further dazzling short stories by Eileen Chang.
In 1940s' Shanghai, Jiazhi's life is a front. A patriotic student radical, her mission is to seduce a powerful employee of the occupying government and lead him to the assassin's bullet. But she begins to wonder if she can coldly take Mr Yi to his death. Or is she beginning to fall in love with him?
Before 9/11, films addressing torture outside of the horror/slasher genre depicted the practice in a variety of forms. In most cases, torture was cast as the act of a desperate and depraved individual, and the viewer was more likely to identify with the victim rather than the torturer. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, scenes of brutality and torture in mainstream comedies, dramatic narratives, and action films appear for little other reason than to titillate and delight. In these films, torture is devoid of any redeeming qualities, represented as an exercise in brutal senselessness carried out by authoritarian regimes and institutions. This volume follows the shift in the representation of torture over the past decade, specifically in documentary, action, and political films. It traces and compares the development of this trend in films from the United States, Europe, China, Latin America, South Africa, and the Middle East. Featuring essays by sociologists, psychologists, historians, journalists, and specialists in film and cultural studies, the collection approaches the representation of torture in film and television from multiple angles and disciplines, connecting its aesthetics and practices to the dynamic of state terror and political domination.