The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 19, 1988, Page 6, Image 6

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    Arts & Entertainment
Chinese film ‘Yellow Earth’ lands at Sheldon
By Mick Dyer
Senior Reporter
“Yellow Earth,” also translated as
“Yellow Laod,”arecent film from the
People’s Republic Of China, drama
tizes the contrasting values of feudal
and modem China, raid represents a
spirit of hope for the nation’s future.
Set along the Yellow River in rural
northwestern China in 1939, poor
environmental conditions are a meta
phor for the poor social conditions in
the country at that time.
- •
The Yellow River, the heart of
much of ancient Chinese culture,
represents the spirit of China. The
vast, dry barren land surrounding the
river represents the dying feudal cul
ture, as China enters the 20th century.
The film focuses on the lives of
four people: Gu Qing, a young cadre
who iscollccung folk songs to be used
by the communist party; Cui Qiao, a
free-spirited 12-year-old peasant girl;
her younger brother and her old fa
In the movie, Gu Qing is the epit
ome of the Chinese revolutionary
with his eyes on the future. He is
young, gallant, intelligent, a member
of the army and he even sews his own
cloths when they need mending. He’s
a true comrade.
Cui Qiao’s father symbolizes the
rigid acceptance of out-dated cultural
attitudes that are causing the culture
to stagnate. Cui Qiao and her younger
brother represent the young people—
caught in the middle—who symbol -
ize hope for the future.
There is a lot of singing in the film.
U seems that singing is one of the few
pleasures the people living in such a
harsh environment have.
Ironically, Cui Qiao sings beauti
ful songs about her unfortunate lot in
life in a very sexist culture:
“I’ve been beaten/ because 1 don’t
want to get married/ I only miss my
mother/ I’ve been beaten/ poor girls.
“If I don’t have to get married/ I’ll
be happy though I live a miserable
life/ who will sympathize with me
when I go through hardships/ who
will sympathize with me/ poor girls.”
It’s a powerful moment in the film.
Cui Qiao is painfully aware of the
social problems existing in China at
the time. As she spends time with Gu
Qing (he’s staying with the family in
their primitive home), she is inspired
by the ideas that he brings from the
world outside of her backward, iso
lated community.
She is enlightened and realizes the
possibilities of a better life with
Later on in the movie, after Gu
Qing has left, and on her wedding
night, Cui Qiao steals away toa raft on
the river and escapes her fate in the
remote community to join the com
munists. She explains why this is
necessary to her younger brother
before she leaves.
As she floats down the river, Cui
Qiao sings one last song — a song
about “only the communists can save
Gu Qing returns to the community
to find the land parched, and the local
men praying to the “Grandfather i
Dragon” for rain. The Last moment of
the, film focuses on Cui Qiao’s
younger brother struggling against
the crowd to make contact with his
communist friend who can save them.
At any rate, besides the patriotic
theme, which often seemed to fall
more into the category of propaganda
than art or literature, the cinematog
raphy dominated the film.
Carefully composed camera shots
throughout the movie gave breath
taking panoramic views that seem
more like alien landscapes than agri
cultural land that people cling to for
their very existence. Abstract shots of
the river running past, featuring mo
tion but not form. a! so added meaning
and continuity to the movie.
Through the careful use of the
camera, Chen Kaige, the director of
the film, effectively captured the
desolation of the region and the diffi
culty of life there. It seems almost
ironic that Kaige woi Id choose to
create such powerful nd beautiful
images of such a desper ite land. Per
haps that is to symboli/i die pride and
resiliency of the people who occupy
“Yellow Earth” is appearing at the
Sheldon Film Theater on Wednesday
at 1 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Satur
day at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. as
a part of the new' Chinese Cinema
Series. The Series features eight
modem Chinese movies running now
through Nov. 12 at Sheldon.
“Yellow Earth” is Kaige’s directo
rial debut. He will be interviewed on
stage by Professor June Levine fol
lowing the screening Friday night.
Sheldon to show 10 Chinese films
The New Chinese Cinema Se
ries, running now through Nov. 12
at The Sheldon Film Theater, fea
tures 10 modem Chinese films.
• “Yellow Earth”: Wednesday
at l p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Sat
urday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 7
• “Horse Thief’: Thursday at 7
p.m., Saturday at 9 p.m., and Sun
day at 2:45 p.m.
• “A Good Woman”: Thursday
at 9 p.m., Friday at 1 p.m. and
Saturday at 7 p.m.
•“The Black Cannon Inci
dent": Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at
1 p.m., and Sunday at 9 p.m.
• “Sacrificed Youth": Oct 25
at 3:15 p.m., Oct 26 at 1 p.m., Oct.
27 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 3 and 9
• “In The Wild Mountains":
Oct 27. at 3 and 9 p.m. and Oct 28.
at 7 p.m.
• “Taipei Story”: Nov. I at 3
p.m., Nov. 2 at 1 p.m., Nov. 3 at 7
p.m., Nov. 5 at 3 and 7 p.m. and
Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.
•“A Time To Live And A Time
To Die”: Nov. 3 at9: IS p.m., Nov.
5 at 12:15 and 9:15 p.m. and Nov.
6 at 3 and 9:15 p.m.
• WA Chinese Ghost Story”:
Nov. 8 at 3:15 p.m., Nov. 9 at 1
p.m., Nov. 10 at 9 p.m„ Nov. 11 at
3 and 9 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 1 and
7 p.m.
•“Peking Opera Blues”: Nov.
10 at 7 p.m., Nov. 11 at land 7 p.m.
and Nov. 12 at 3 and 9 p.m.
Have a Hallmark
Halloween! 25% OFF
* Boo Bazaar
^ Sale Good Oct 20th Thru 23rd
Centrum 477-8041
Gloves 'n tails, t-shirts, capes,
bats 'n rats, there's no escape!
Creepy cobwebs, skeleton bones,
ghoulish makeup, scary tombstones.
Ghosts that glow and slimy ties,
garish getups make fun disguise.
Fabhc masks and beanies, toO;
party with Hallmark — create a big BOO!
Visit with Professor Larry Pope
of Drake Law School an
Monday, October 24
Career Placement Center
Nebraska Union, Room 225
Drake University
iaw School_
Frozen Yogurt!
with No Choiosteroll
<1 Can’t Believe ItV\
Hofanoa loko Pkua-70tto and Van Dorn
Phono 4199116 Uncoln
Our 13 th
An all'day party at 1974 prices
Lunch & Cocktails
Friday, October 21st
• 124 North 13th Alloy, Lincoln, NE