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Reading: Chinese Culture on the Global Stage: Zhang Yimou and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

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Chinese Culture on the Global Stage: Zhang Yimou and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Author:

Wendy Larson

University of Oregon, US
About Wendy
Wendy Larson is Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Film at the University Oregon and Vice Provost of Portland Programs.  She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Literary Authority and the Chinese Writer: Ambivalence and Autobiography (Duke University Press, 1991), Women and Writing in Modern China (Stanford University Press, 1998), and From Ah Q to Lei Feng: Freud and Revolutionary Spirit in 20th Century China (Stanford University Press 2009). She is currently working on a new monograph titled, Performing China: National Culture on the Global Stage (in progress).  She was the Keynote Speaker at the 2012 ASIANetwork Conference in Portland, Oregon.
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Abstract

As opposed to Zhang Yimou’s 张艺谋 much-criticized film Hero《英雄》(2002), which addresses the relationship between culture and political power, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles《千里走单骑》 (2005) asks the question of whether, under the conditions of globalization, any performance between cultures can contain truth value, be authentic, or represent something real. Although a key scene acted by Japanese star Ken Takakura effectively expresses his true despair and thus seems to indicate a positive response, Zhang Yimou persistently inserts into the film queries about the validity of performance across cultural and linguistic borders, and the complex trail of conflicting desires that motivate it. Riding Alone is one example of Zhang's complex filmic investigation into the relationship between culture and political power under the developing conditions of a border-crossing global world.

Keywords: China Film 
DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.77
How to Cite: Larson, W., (2012). Chinese Culture on the Global Stage: Zhang Yimou and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 20(1), pp.3–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.77
Published on 15 Nov 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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