Published on November 1, 2007
History and National Identity in A City of Sadness (1989): History and National Identity in A City of Sadness (1989) 林文淇 and Kate Liu Outline: Outline Background: Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢, Taiwanese Films and History Issues for Discussion Its historical methods and presentation of 228 Its views of Taiwanese history and national identity History and contemporary Taiwan Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢: Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢 In Taiwanese Films –New Taiwanese Cinema 光陰的故事 Edward Yang 1982 Hou’s 兒子的大玩偶、風櫃來的人、尼羅河的女兒－－新電影 Localism and realism (vs. 瓊瑤 films) Hou: stationed camera with long take; careful aesthetic composition. 侯孝賢In Taiwanese Films (2) : 侯孝賢In Taiwanese Films (2) A City of Sadness -- 30 million NT dollar budget (over 1 million US dollars), twice its original budget and larger than that of any other films at the time. -- the first Taiwanese film, and the first Asian film in 40 years, to have won The Gold Lion at Venice Film Fest. -- both promoted and denied to be a film about 228. -- shown without cuts ‘after’ winning the prize. (Ref. Chi 71-72) 侯孝賢In Taiwanese Films (3) : 侯孝賢In Taiwanese Films (3) 新電影之死? The making a film for the Ministry of National Defense—《一切為明天》 by Hou, 吳念真、陳國富、小野. an advertisement for the armed forces; The use of the form of music video; Debates over its complicity with the government, implicit subversiveness or its just being an odd event. Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢 (2): Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢 (2) 2. Taiwanese History – (1) early films Taiwanese society in the 80’s (2) 台灣三部曲 － 10th-- 悲情城市1989︰1945-1949 (實際涵蓋時間更廣) 戲夢人生1993︰台灣割讓給日本人﹔1910李天祿出生－ 1939－ 台灣光復1945． 好男好女︰1937 蔣碧玉認識鍾浩東﹐1940 赴大陸．－1949 被捕﹐－1950 年十月十四日鍾浩東被殺﹐臨刑前〈幌馬車之歌〉響起． (3) Recent Films –千禧曼波、海上花、咖啡時光 Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢 (3): Hou Hsiao-Hsien 侯孝賢 (3) 3. The Taiwanese in History – A City of Sadness – like Lotus Blossom Land, it is part of the liberated/liberating discourses around the time of 解嚴。 (The film’s preparation since 1987 –1988, the lifting of martial law released in 1989) (2) 台灣三部曲 － 三部影片符號的重疊︰李天祿、〈幌馬車之歌〉、弟子戲、流氓（世家）、吃飯 The Film’s Historical Methods: The Film’s Historical Methods Questions: Is the film about 228? If not, what is it about? If so, why is 228 so important in Taiwanese History? 228 in Taiwan’s History: 228 in Taiwan’s History A turning point – “Birth” of a nation and its brutalities Its controversies –multiple interpretation of the following issues︰ Interpretation of 陳儀﹐and the army’s killing the innocent civilians; Official documents – completely publicized or not; The correctness of official history vs. witness accounts; 228 and The Film’s Presentation: 228 and The Film’s Presentation The film’s apparent focuses: Lin family (林家兄弟生活)﹐文雄、文良、文森、文清 (and 阿嘉, the brother of 文雄’s concubine; vs. 金泉﹚ Hinomi (Kuan-mei) and Wen-ching (寬美與文清的愛情故事) Hino (Kuan-liang) and the other intellectuals’ revolt (知識份子的反動) How are the gang fights related to 228? 228 and the Gang Fights: 228 and the Gang Fights forged money 紅猴 阿嘉、文良 involved; 文雄 is able to solve the problem with the help of the elderly woman; But 文良 is caught as a traitor. Why? The Shanghaiese merchants. * clip of negotiation 228 and The Film’s Presentation: 228 and The Film’s Presentation Worries and complaints beforehand. The central event – not presented; but told by the radio broadcast and written about by 寬美 and 文清. clips: 228 mentioned; then suggested through the showing of subsequent riots and violence. Historical Notes in The Opening and Closing Shots: Historical Notes in The Opening and Closing Shots Historical Methods and Narrative Perspectives : Historical Methods and Narrative Perspectives The use of dates, historical accounts and long take to present history; e.g. 片頭、片尾提供歷史感 To contextualize 228 – multiple storyline and discourses (those of diary, 酒家﹐merchants) Narrative Perspectives of the Marginalized: 文清：聾啞, taking photo. 寬美：女／護士, keeping her diary The Intellectuals: De-Politicized Scenes and Images: The Intellectuals: De-Politicized Scenes and Images 點到即止的鏡頭與剪接 The Intellectuals’ Discussion 1 Shifted to the personal 小川校長病發 * clip The Intellectuals’ Discussion 2－－文清、寬美幼時回憶 * clip Ironies – Wen-ching’s involvement * the prison scene The Intellectuals: De-Politicized Scenes & Images (2): The Intellectuals: De-Politicized Scenes & Images (2) In the script, a letter about where the weapons are turned into a poem in the film nobility of the intellectuals (II) The Film as a National Allegory : (II) The Film as a National Allegory What does the film say about KMT and the conflicts between the Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese? Is it just a story of exploitation and sadness? 1) The history of Exploitation and Survival; 2) Confusing National Signs and Identities 3) National Myth and Cultural Gaps. II-1. Taiwanese Identities—the Sad : II-1. Taiwanese Identities—the Sad 大陸商人的勢力vs. 林文雄之死與林家的衰敗 Language hierarchy in the negotiation scene有階級之分的方言︰上海話、日本話、台灣話、廣東話、國語﹔ 文雄 －－林文雄的感嘆： 法律是他們在設的﹐咱們本島人最可憐﹐ 一下什麼日本人、一下什麼中國人． 眾人吃﹐眾人騎﹐就沒人疼．」 What survives? : What survives? The old, the weak and mentally deranged? The diary, letters and photos: “「阿謙已經長牙了﹐笑的神情很好﹐眼睛很像四叔．…九份開始轉冷了﹐芒花開了﹐滿山白濛濛﹐像雪．」 ” II-2. “Taiwanese” & “Chinese”: Confusing National Signs and Identities: In Transition: 小上海、朝鮮樓 祖國 ︰「生離祖國，死歸祖國，死生天命，無想無念」、「當我已死﹐我的人已屬於祖國美麗的將來．」 Colonial/National Education: The Japanese Culture The mainland Chinese: 平劇、醫院、學國語、陳儀的廣播． 國旗 Signs of The Taiwanese -- Japanese language –e.g. 文清︰「我是台灣人」 II-2. “Taiwanese” & “Chinese”: Confusing National Signs and Identities II-2. Confusing “Taiwanese” Identities: between Japan and China: The Japanese: 日本書法、花道、友誼 Longing for the Chinese: The birth of 林光明and the opening of 小上海酒家 National Education: the teaching of mandarin（不純）「國」語 II-2. Confusing “Taiwanese” Identities: between Japan and China II-2. Confusing “Taiwanese” Identities: between Japan and the West: 代表文明的日本人和由日本傳來的西方文化︰ 少女自殺引起明治維新、 羅蕾萊、 〈幌馬車之歌〉 II-2. Confusing “Taiwanese” Identities: between Japan and the West II-2. Confusing Identities: Taiwan’s ‘Return’ to China: II-2. Confusing Identities: Taiwan’s ‘Return’ to China Exploited and mistrusted -- 文良 －－ why is he mad? tortured in the Chinese army? the conflicts between China and Japan. Note: The Taiwanese are mistrusted and seen as traitors in《好男好女》 II-2. National Myth and Allegory: Deconstructed and Re-Built: II-2. National Myth and Allegory: Deconstructed and Re-Built An Allegory of Taiwan’s colonial History – Different sets of hierarchy: cultural assimilation by the Japanese faulty education and discrimination by KMT（台灣人被日本奴化） Confusing national signs (國旗、國語) from jokes to violence The down fall and survival of the Lins. Misplaced Signs, Cultural Gaps and Historical Fragments: Misplaced Signs, Cultural Gaps and Historical Fragments 「祖國美麗的將來」 as myth as nostalgia misplaced or made impossible? 流亡三部曲 –Do they understand the experience of migration of the mainland Chinese? Disconnectedness between the opening and closing shots. History and contemporary Taiwan: History and contemporary Taiwan The film: an uncertain and indirect revision on Taiwan’s long-repressed trauma (of many intellectuals who died and disappeared). not a totally pessimistic view, though. multiple stories, dialects and writings multiple economic and political factors in racial conflicts in the context of multiple colonization. some diversified roots for contemporary racial conflicts.