Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chinese Novel Is Now A Hit TV Show

I had read the book "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" over 2 years ago and I really don't like that book. That book was hard for me to read because it had too much "American Dramatization and Mis-interpretation" of the Chinese culture that as a reader, I felt like I was reading a play performed by all American casts. You know how long time ago, Hollywood liked to cast Caucasian actress and tape her eyes and let her play a Chinese girl in a movie... When I saw an old movie like that, I felt funny. When I read "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" I had the exact same feeling.

Anyway, the above is a slide show of a TV series that is based on the best selling Chinese historical novel, written by Chinese. They have more accurate portrayal of the Chinese people and culture in that period of time. This is a big difference from the American made movie like "The Last Emperor". That movie, from costume to dialogue to the manner of the people, also made me feel very odd. For those of you who are interested in learning the Asian culture, don't watch movie like "The Last Emperor", "The Memoir of the Geisha" or "Joy Luck Club". Don't read books like "The Snowflower and the Secret Fan" either, because these are the Americans' fascination and imagination of what Asian culture is to be like. If you rely on those in becoming more worldly or in understanding the Asian people, you will be way off. I suggest reading books that are written in Asia by the locals and watching movies and TV shows produced by the locals there, like this one above. I won't say the above TV show is an absolutely accurate portrayal of the Chinese culture and history because like all TV shows, its biggest element is to entertain, not to educate. This TV show also has a big spoiler that angers a lot of the Chinese fans of this novel. That is, they added a White character "Benjamin" in the TV show which the original novel doesn't have. Lots of Chinese are mad about this. But other than that, other cultural elements are alright and they are closer to the facts than those American made Chinese movies and books. Ignoring the only white character in this show, the show does reflect how a lot of people in China are relating themselves to culturally...This TV show can be an introductory course for foreigners if they really want to start seeing Chinese cultures through the eyes of the Chinese.

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