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Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » films

Movement in East Asia
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7/26/2016 11:32:59 AM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1911
Subject:
Sam Yamashita introduced Tampopo:

Here's the trailer with subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_KctoG0bAE

Here's a clip showing "how to eat ramen": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9m6FoSw4jE

Juzo Itami, the director of Tampopo, also made another classic, A Taxing Woman. Well worth watching. Both films star his wife, Nobuko Miyamoto.

A great Taiwanese film about relationships, with heavy doses of food is Eat Drink Man Woman. A clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi50xyPeBkk

Eat Drink Man Woman was made by Ang Lee. It was remade (with Lee as a producer) and set in Los Angeles as Tortilla Soup. Reviews and a clip: http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer/tortillasoup-trailer/33881

You can get these via Netflix's dvd rental operation. I don't know if they are available for streaming.
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7/26/2016 10:56:50 PM

yyan
yyan
Posts: 20
Subject:
Eat Drink Man Woman is a Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee. The film was released on 1994. The film received the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film, and an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
This movie is about the basic human desires and accepting them as natural as what the title tells us. The title is a quote form one of confusion classics: 饮食男女,人之大欲存焉。(The things which people greatly desire are comprehended in eat and drink , and love between man and woman.)
I can incorporate this movie with the unit of Chinese food to show students how Chinese dishes are cooked, three elements of a well-cooked Chinese food ( appearance, smell and taste) and dining etiquette, etc.
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7/27/2016 9:37:58 PM

gtyau
gtyau
Posts: 20
Subject: Finding Mr. Right
Finding Mr. Right was quite an enjoyable and interesting film. In light of Professor Yan's lecture, the film served as a good example of the delicate balance between free market economy being housed under a communist government, but did so in subtle ways. On its surface, the film was a formulaic rom-com, that even paid homage to its American influences but subtleties in lines of dialogue, characters and plot points all spoke to how the story was uniquely Chinese. There were American "birthing" homes (maternity tourism is a real thing!); mention of the one-child policy and the bureaucratic red tape involved when giving birth in China; allusion to the environmental problems in China (with a character's asthma as a reason for immigrating), clear evidence of capitalism and a free market economy (with the presence of characters who demonstrated exorbitant wealth and also mention of government crack-down and guanxi was at the heart of everything! Even the Ayi (aunty) and "driver" were subtle yet accurate depictions of how things are for those with means in the new China. What fun!
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7/27/2016 11:26:01 PM

hlien
hlien
Posts: 20
Subject:
I like this film because it depicted real events that actually took place locally last year in the San Gabriel valley in which residents protested against their neighborhood being turn into maternal tourist shelters.
(See http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-asian-anchor-babies-wealthy-chinese-20150826-story.html)

It also brought to mind another issue that tourists from China have notoriously been associated with in recent days: Rude and obnoxious behavior.
(See http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1671504/rude-awakening-chinese-tourists-have-means-not-manners)

For those who enjoy this film, there is a sequel to this movie that takes place in San Marino, in which foreign property investments in briefly addressed. But it contains a great amount of classic Chinese conversations(similar to Shakespeare in English). As a result, a lot is lost in the translation - provided that you can find one with English subtitle.
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7/28/2016 5:12:52 AM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject:
Finding Mr. Right was delightful. Packed with humor, sarcasm, and witty dialogue.The film is equal to a high quality Hollywood product.The movie reveals the the inequality of income in a communist state(oxymoron)? I like the lesson that material wealth does not dictate happiness.
edited by mmadruga on 7/28/2016
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7/28/2016 8:49:45 AM

mcervantes
mcervantes
Posts: 23
Subject:
Finding Mr. right was very entertaining. Usually it is difficult to read the subtitles and follow the storyline. I throughly enjoyed the characters and story and I loved the connection to Seepless in Seatle. She is a great actress. I will look forward to watching Finding Mr. Right 2.
edited by mcervantes on 7/28/2016
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7/28/2016 9:31:56 AM

aschleicher
aschleicher
Posts: 44
Subject: Finding Mr. Right (Birth Tourism?)
Watching the film led me to ask more questions regarding some of the actions in the film, more so than the love story. I saw connection to what Professor Yan discussed as the change to individualism, and how the character in "Finding Mr. Right" is consumed by consumerism. I am curious about the "safe house" that she lived in which was more like a home for Chinese birthing mothers. Do homes like this exist in Seattle or in other parts of the United States? In the fictional film, the female character comes to the U.S. on a six month tourist visa, but she lives in a home for expecting mothers. The USA Today article "Chinese Flock to USA to Give Birth to U.S. Citizens," states that birth tourism is a legal business in China, and that there are birthing houses in the U.S.
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7/28/2016 12:20:59 PM

njimenez
njimenez
Posts: 58
Subject: Optional Film Screening on Wed., Finding Mr. Right
I can see how Finding Mr. Right film was very popular internationally. The movie touches into the notion that many people believe that money will make you happy. Based on the studies mentioned on Wednesday’s lecture that 65% of Chinse people work longer than 8 hours and more surprisingly was that 85% said that they would work more than 15 hours for higher bonuses. The journey the protagonist takes to finding Mr. Right was also a journey in finding herself and understanding what is most important in life. Like most people she was pursuing happiness by finding a rich husband. She later discovers that she does not need money or a rich husband to make herself feel happy or complete. Instead, she lives on her own for two years and discovers the joy of being an independent woman and only when she feels fulfilled as a person can she then be able to find Mr. Right.

Things that stood out to me was having birthing homes for Asian women was surprising. Apparently it is not illegal to come to the US to give birth but it is illegal to lie about your purpose for coming. Interesting to find out that countries in East Asia offer packages for women to come over. According the KTLA news in March 2015, “people may pay $15,000 to $50,000 for lodging, transportation and food, according to an email from ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice. Some of the more expensive packages include visits to Disneyland, shopping malls or a firing range.” Maybe this can be something to look more into because I am sure Asia is not the only country that does this.

Link to article mentioned. http://ktla.com/2015/03/03/feds-raid-20-socal-locations-in-alleged-chinese-birthing-house-maternity-tourism-schemes/




edited by njimenez on 7/28/2016
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7/28/2016 8:51:43 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: Finding Mr. Right
“Finding Mr. Right” is a movie from China 2013. This movie is a funny comedy but very touching. A story of a new generation Chinese girl Jiajia who was pregnant, and she chose Seattle to deliver her baby. The whole story is fallow Jiajia’s experience in US. This movie showed how the new generation in China to get into the new world. They are building the new values and the traditional values still in their life. Jiajia finally find what she wants and has a good ending at the end.
This movie is a careful production, from the time Jiajia arrive to Seattle, the house with a Taiwanese Landlord, the doctor from Hong Kong. The questions to Jiajia in the airport to the Taiwanese accent from the landlord, every detail are very true.
Compare “finding Mr. Right” to the movie “Raise the red Lenten” 1991, I can tell the feeling is totally different. Not only the tone and color of the movie are brighter and focus is also very different. China is changing and the culture has it’s “movement”.
edited by ysun on 7/31/2016
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7/28/2016 9:30:06 PM

gtyau
gtyau
Posts: 20
Subject: Maternity Tourism
Yes, I read about that too! And in our own backyard so to speak! Amazing!
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7/28/2016 9:49:40 PM

gmora
gmora
Posts: 23
Subject: Seven Samurai
I personally recommend the movie classic, Seven Samurai. It was co-writen and directed by Akira Kurosawa (legend of the Japanese Film Industry and hero to many American film directors). The premise of the story involves hapless villagers who are routinely targeted by bandits every harvest season and left starving. In order to avoid being robbed of their food, the villagers enlist the help of seven samurai to scare off the bandits. The samurai, however, teach the villagers that they are capable of defending themselves and empower the villagers to defeat the bandits.

I would assign this movie to students, in order for them to develop an understanding of feudal japan prior to the tokugawa shogunate. Comparisons could also be made between european and japanese fuedal societies.
edited by gmora on 8/1/2016
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7/28/2016 9:59:51 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: Eat Drink man Woman
I watched this movie long time ago. I was really toughing from this movie not only its wonderful dished but the background of the story. 40 years ago, in Taiwan, all the banquet is in those kind of restaurant, and most the dishes we can only have in the wedding or some special event. The girls face their life problem was similar to my generation girls.
A good movie is not only make audient enjoyed , also brought something to our heart. This is Director Ang Lee's style.
If I have chance , I will introduce this movie to my students. They will like it and learn what real Chinese dished are. Most of the time they only know about orange chicken, sweet sour pork.
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7/31/2016 8:28:38 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Finding Mr. Right
Enjoyed watching this film set in Seattle and learning about the actress who played the main character Fan Bingbing. Interesting film that sheds some light on the women coming to the United States to have children. Although technically illegal many women have been doing this for some time. Was aware of Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena profiting and encouraging discreetly such pregnancies. Nice character development of the main characters who through their love of each other mature and become better people. Nice fast paced film that pokes fun at some stereotypes like arrogant materialistic women from Shanghai. Very enjoyable film with a good happy ending.
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8/4/2016 1:29:34 AM

kluna
kluna
Posts: 82
Subject: Ode to My Father
The movie I watched for this seminar is Ode to My Father (2014). I really enjoyed this movie, because it incorporated so many historic elements in a creative, cute, and tear-jerking manor. I wasn’t expecting to be on the verge of tears so many times when I pressed play. However, this movie was very informative; I found myself constantly researching things I saw during the movie, as you can tell by the links included. Here are a few parts that I would recommend to classroom use and how they could support the curriculum:

1.One of the first scenes is of North Korean refugees being taken in by the U.S. Navy. This can be used to show the U.S. involvement in the Korean War.
2.The main character later goes to Germany to work in the mines. This can also be shown in class as one of the effects of the Korean War (for more information/testimonial: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/02/116_61404.html).
3.The movie also includes Korean’s involvement in the Vietnam war, as the main character and his friend go to fight against the Viet Cong. This can be used to show what war looked like it Vietnam and how the citizens of Vietnam were affected by the war.
4.Last, the movie also highlights the losses of the Korean people and the reunification of families through the Korean Broadcasting (for more information: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/08/18/world/war-scattered-korean-kin-find-their-kin-at-last.html). According to this New York Times article, over 3,000 people were reunited with their families via broadcasting announcements.

Overall, this movie has solid sections that can be shown for both U.S. and World History content. However, it also has some nudity and a lot of violence and gore, therefore I would not recommend showing it as a complete film in class. Nonetheless, I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good tear-jerker.
edited by kluna on 8/4/2016
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8/4/2016 9:29:49 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: Evaluation – Film “ Eat drink man woman”
The movie “Eat Drink Man Woman” is a film directed by Ang Lee released on 1994. The film received the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film, and in 1995 it received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
The title of the movie is what the director Ang Lee wanted to present in this movie. “ Eat and Drink “are the basic human desire , “man and woman” are referring the pleasure sexual , and these are accepted as nature.
The story back ground is in 1990’s Taipei, Taiwan. Mr. Chu the father, a widow, with his three daughters. Mr. Chu is a master Chinese chief and his three daughters each of them has challenged the any narrow definition of traditional Chinese culture.
Each Sunday Mr. Chu makes a glorious banquet for his daughters, but the dinner table is also the family forum, or perhaps “torture chamber,” to which each daughter brings “announcements” as they negotiate the transition from traditional “father knows best” style to a new tradition which encompasses old values in new forms. As the story goes, the girls were all have new man and living situations were changed. At the end he father surprised wants to marry a young girl.
This is the movie really point out how the Chinese react the different between traditional and current world’s situation and value. What is not changed is the nature of human been. I believe this is not only referring Taiwanese in the 90’s but also similar situation for Chinese in today.
The information from this movie will help me do the project in my lesson plan how Asia in today is different to the old days.
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8/11/2016 12:31:54 PM

nminassian
nminassian
Posts: 23
Subject: Finding Mr. Right
I deeply enjoyed watching the movie with my colleagues. The film was created by Dir. Xue Xiaolu and marvelous actors Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo. Finding Mr. Right was a romantic comedy that on surface was very entertaining but had deeper message underneath. Because I was having difficulty following the movie and reading subtitles, I decided to watch it the second time. Only then I have discovered that the simple plot was only the first impression. I could see the delicate balance between free market economy being housed under a communist government. Although I saw a lot of similarities to my culture, the second viewing helped me to see many Chinese nuances. I do understand the main character's action of delivering her love child in American maternity house. Giving birth to a baby whose father is a wetly married man would be considered as a very shameful act, and the love child would become a subject to bullying. I will recommend my students to watch this film because as a high school teacher I see many teenage pregnancies, and students' focus is to be reach. I would discuss Jiajia's character when she was freely using her rich boyfriend's credit card, and where she was helplessly poor. I will help my students to understand that the true happiness is not in material welth, but in love.
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8/15/2016 8:52:08 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
A movie that was an absolute pleasure to watch was “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” a documentary by David Gelb, about a renowned sushi chef with a small unassuming sushi restaurant located, of all places, in a subway station in Tokyo, Japan. Jiro makes only sushi. There are no appetizers or main courses, and for his highly specialized craft, he has received 3 Michelin Stars, the most prestigious and coveted award that can be granted to any chef. Jiro Ono has been making sushi for over seven decades. He started when he left home at the age of 10 and has perfected the art. He has passed on the craft to his two sons, who hope to carry on the tradition of their father, in spite of the pressure of being measure against their father’s almost mythic reputation.

As an educator and teacher of students with learning disabilities, I really appreciate the ideas of the master and apprentice and the rewards of hard work and attention to details. Honor and pride does not follow awards and accolades, it is the other way around. Long years of hard work and determination bring about honor and pride, which in the end are rewarded with praise and recognition. Towards the end of the movie, reflecting back on his childhood Jiro says, “Studying hard doesn’t guarantee you will become a respectable person. Even if you are a bad kid…there are people like me who change.” This is also a story about a person who found his passion and set himself on the path to perfecting his work.

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” has lessons for students today. The idea of becoming an expert in anything has been lost in the west. Nowadays, kids are expected to learn about literally everything, and the tradition of master and apprentice has faded along with the pride of workmanship. Jiro and his sons repeat that they don’t do it for the money. Though they get paid well, what gets them up in the morning is the desire to elevate their craft to another level. It is a sublime way of life that few, even the biggest workaholic, cannot understand. Yet it is an important lesson that should be taught to young people in schools when we talk about careers and the role of education in their lives.

I plan on using this film as a lead into a writing assignment for the last unit of the year when students will consider the essential question of “Where do we belong?” They will read a number of passages exploring community and the various roles that they might play in it. The unit will touch on some existential themes, but more importantly they will be questioning what they will be doing the rest of their lives as they anticipate graduation from high school. The goal is for students to take from the movie some key lessons before embarking on the next leg of their journey to adulthood. They should be able to state 1-2 explicit ways they can apply the lessons from the movie, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”
edited by hdao on 8/15/2016
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8/24/2016 4:58:13 AM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject:
China Institute USC Summer Seminar 2016
Movie Review
Dishoom (Translates in English to “Punch” and formally in Hindi as “Dishonor”)

I was fortunate to view this movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema in Jaipur in Rajasthan India. It is an action adventure film wherein two detectives try to locate a missing Cricket Star before the big game between India and Pakistan. The film has plenty of slapstick humor coupled with who gets which girl? The theater seats over a thousand customers who become an interactive part of the experience with oohs, aahhs, and clapping their favorite stars as they enter scenes. Most of the dialogue was in Hindi with English words and phrases sprinkled throughout the movie. The experience was extremely entertaining and I enjoyed this assignment.

Michael Madruga
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8/25/2016 2:48:46 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject:
Great entertaining film. Since watching "Finding Mr. Right" I have been inspired to learn a little more about Fan BingBing the main star. Saw some recent interviews with her in English as she is taking lessons and beginning to appear more and more in western media. She did an interview with The View this last year in English. Was interested in the controversy with the world war II film she stared in that got her into some hot water with the party, saw some video clip of this. Also watched her in the historical role of the Emperor's concubine and this sparked an interest in seeing the original film representation and reading about the historical figure in Chinese history that met with a tragic end. Fan BingBing is certainly a star of talent and global appeal that we in the West will probably be seeing more of. My sons recognized her from her role in X-men. A plethora of film studies opportunities and ways of weaving in several historical and contemporary learning through he variety of roles.
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8/28/2016 12:08:44 PM

jschilp
jschilp
Posts: 24
Subject:
On the recommendation of a colleague, I watched "The Sword of Doom" directed by Kihachi Okamoto. A 1965 film about revenge that turns from a mission to a way of life, this film not only showed the artistry of camera work of the time but also allowed viewers into the training schools and challenge events of 1860's Japan. I was most surprised at how the pre-battles & extremely slow posturing and positioning was a key element in certain climactic scenes. Often these scenes were silent, heightening the tension as we waited for Ryunosuke to strike. I'm glad it wasn't as fight oriented as some films of the day happen to be. Instead, there was character development and a place in history as the film took us to three specific events in the last days of the Shogunate period. If I was to pity the main character here, the film missed that mark. His brutal sense of vengeance and his need to slay those in his path derive a sense of deserved punishment in the end as he continued to attempt to attack the ghosts of former victims. Instead, I felt even more for the wife of his last opponent to whom he was supposed to gracefully lose. He promises her this before he takes advantage of her physically. When he kills her husband the next day, she vows to run away with him since she has nothing left in the village. Over two years, she raises Ryunosuke's boy and they live poorly but she hates him for ruining her life. If Ryunosuke had lost as he promised, maybe he wouldn't have faced all those ghosts in the end but of course, then we wouldn't have this film.
At any rate, I was pleased by the artistry, use of camera angles, silences employed, and scenery used as backdrop for the story. Being stuck with many films recently that have no concern for plot, "The Sword of Doom" has opened my perspective to a different genre of film.
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