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Globalization and Hybridization in Mulan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 9745502 蘇筱雯 Prof. Iris Tuan.

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Presentation on theme: "Globalization and Hybridization in Mulan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 9745502 蘇筱雯 Prof. Iris Tuan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Globalization and Hybridization in Mulan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
蘇筱雯 Prof. Iris Tuan

2 Globalization The old kind of globalization Homogeneity Eurocentrism
Ex: Disney movies

3 The Little Mermaid (1989) Beauty and the Beast (1991)

4 The New Form of Globalization
Stuart Hall “…the most profound cultural revolution in … the twentieth century has come about as a consequence of the margins coming into representation…”(183). “…marginality has become a powerful space…” (183). Eurocentrism multiculturism Ex. Disney movies

5 Aladin (1992)- Arab Pocahontas (1995)- Latin America

6 Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee 2000)
Chineseness? Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee 2000) Mulan (Disney 1998)

7 The New Form of Globalization
Stuart Hall Two characteristics of global mass culture: 1. centering in the West ex: western technology, the concentration of capital, language(English)… 2. homogenization “It wants to recognize and absorbs differences within the larger, overarching framework of what is essentially an American conception of the world” (179).  “globalization is a process of profound unevenness,” the confrontation between the local and global is never a fair game (182).

8 My argument I believe that only by being recognized on the global scale can local cultures be elevated to a higher level. Therefore, rather than holding a defensive or hostile attitude toward the hybrid cultural production, we should be open-minded and positive about the emergence of diverse presentation.

9 Globalized Ethnic and Americanized Chinese Film
Both movies are overloaded with traditional Chinese images in order to satisfy audience’s oriental fantasy. Mulan starts with calligraphy drawing which introduces the film title with a dragon totem and ends with Chinese phrases while showing the closing credits

10 In-between the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Chinese gardens, Chinese lanterns, chopsticks, Chinese Lion Dance, dumplings…


12 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Long shots


14 exotic and familiar?

15 Cultural Translation “refers to the process in which film directors, considering audiences living in different cultural backgrounds, transform the original value of the cultural texts into a new form recognized by the audiences” (Chi 82)  Both movies translate Asian values such as filial piety and obedience into individualism and feminism, which are much celebrated in the western culture.

16 Mulan individualism compliant girl  an unruly teenager a family decision an unpermitted act Feminism elegant manners wide behaviors honor family by marriage war & intelligence (masculine strength)

17 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Feminism Centered on female characters – martial art, wisdom, strategies individualism Lee’s (Yun-Fat Chow) and Yu’s stubborn practice of the clichéd notions of the East is constantly mocked by Jade.

18 Chineseness Some radical reviewers charge that the female protagonists in these two films have no Chineseness at all. They blame that both directors for merely combining some eastern philosophy with a Westernized plot to “make this film a successful global commodity at the cost of 'authentic' representation of its original culture” (Lee, 283).

19 Mulan incorrect historical background, unrelated images Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon unauthentic martial /kung fu movie modern speeches international crew members

20 Globalization Sacrifices Chineseness?
Chinese traditional values ruined… The contact with other cultures develops a more refined Chinese culture. By introducing Chinese culture to other ethnic groups, we have a chance to reflect what need to be improved. Ex. Ang Lee Chinese culture  martial arts ( no language/ cultural barriers)

21 To introduce more sophisticated or refined part of Chinese culture, he has to make the film understandable and communicable. He utilizes some western approaches to make up the insufficiency of Chinese movies. “to be more Chinese you have to be westernized, in a sense” (Lee 307). ex. 1. using western psychology to complex his characters (Freudian theory helps understand the hidden message repressed in Chinese society.)

22 2. looking to the Hollywood musical to
integrate the narrative and spectacle/action (Klein 32) A transformation for Chinese films is necessary because “if we insist on shooting films in the so-called ‘authentic’ way, it will fail to attract modern Chinese audiences’ attention, let alone foreign spectators” (Lee 307).

23 Returning to Chineseness
Mulan returns to her female identity and her marriage with the general is highly suggested in the end of the movie, Jade commits suicide to repent her rebellious behavior. In my opinion, these two movie’s depiction of the tension between concealing and revealing one’s repressed feelings and desires best reflects the essence of Chineseness.

24 Pure Chineseness? Hybrid --Culture itself is always in the process of changing, absorbing and reshaping. imagination, collective obsession, nostalgic sentiment “the habitual obsession with ‘Chinesesness’…is a kind of…sinocentrism—that draws an imaginary boundary between China and the rest of the world” (Chow 5).

25 Yet in a broader sense, Chineseness is shared by people living in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and diasporic Chinese. Chinesenesses

26 Conclusion Culture is in a dynamic movement, and so is the making of Chineseness. Globalization just facilitates the cultural hybridization to a larger extent. Since it is impossible to avoid or escape the global phenomenon, it is better to embrace the exterior influence than stubbornly cling to the conservative notion.

27 Nonetheless, we cannot overlook the potential threat that a more dominant culture might domesticate and assimilate the others.  imbalanced power “a rebirth is only possible when a local culture opens itself to the impact of globalization” because it expands its depth and width (Zhuang 18). We should be more positive about the cultural hybridization which in effect contributes to a more diverse and profuse Chinese culture.

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