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roddy

First Episode 43: 倾城之恋, Love in a Fallen City

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roddy

A part of the Grand First Episode Project -- See this thread for more info.

TV show: Emule Download, watch online at Sohu.

Vocabulary

Based on a story by 张爱玲, we have here the tale of the once aristocratic but down on their luck Bai family, and the newly rich Tang's, joined together by the marriage of the Bai family's youngest daughter 白流苏 and son of the Tang household 唐一元。 There's also some skint bloke in Hong Kong who I think is part of the Bai family, but I'm not sure. The entire thing takes place in . . wait for it . . 1930's Shanghai. There's an English translation of the book, and a Chinese movie of the story.

I've only watched the first episode, but so far this is looking fairly classy. The language can be quite formal, but is generally straightforward and slowly delivered. The sets and filming seem really good, and so far I'm liking the characters. There are a lot of people running around in the Bai family, but so far I haven't got them mixed up. The only poor part was when the guy in Hong Kong runs into some foreign princess who's lost her luggage which is really silly. Plus it's such a cliche, I can't move in Beijing for princesses in distress.

Knocked up a word list while watching - haven't done translations or pinyin, but you can filter it through your dictionary or annotator of choice.

裁缝铺

眼不见心就静

公帐

金山银山

两情相悦

可心

嫁人

正厅

人逢喜事精神爽

洞房花烛夜

金榜题名

长袍

马褂

簪缨

逢迎

念经

不谋而合

情投意合

和美

孟光遇到梁鸿

相敬如宾

称谓

晓事

书香

名门

何以见得

娇羞

排场

风光

败落

纸糊

花团锦簇

抛头露面

招惹

闲话

大门

二门

局促

名门望族

怜悯

富家子

落魄

大慈大悲

出阁

兄长

楷模

权当

月尾

姨娘

惹是生非

望族

枷锁

铺张

陪嫁

寒酸

蹭破

蹩脚

世家

遗老遗少

根基

攀荣附贵

派头

劳力士

春心

当剑卖马

提气

挂帅

厚爱

奏乐

高堂

诗书

联姻

凤毛麟角

化干戈为玉帛

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Edited by renzhe

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skylee
The entire thing takes place in . . wait for it . . 1930's Shanghai

I think the fallen city refers to Hongkong in WWII.

Maybe the 1st episode takes place in Shanghai. This is from the novel -

香港的陷落成全了她。但是在這不可理喻的世界裏,誰知道什麼是因,什麼是果?誰知道呢,也許就因為要成全她,一個大都市傾覆了。

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roddy

Must be then - going to watch a few more episodes, will see how long it stays put. I had a quick look at the second episode, that seems to still be in Shanghai.

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roddy

Fourth episode and 流苏 is still miserable in Shanghai. Unless they move the whole cast to Shanghai I'll probably lose interest when it shifts to Hong Kong, it's the sisters-in-law and the nasty 姨娘* that are most fun. Apparently they have taken quite a lot of liberties with the story.

*Got to love a language that has a term for 'your dad's concubine'.

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renzhe

裁缝 cái féng * tailor / dressmaker

铺 pù * a store

眼不见心就静 yǎn bù jiàn xīn jiù jìng * out of sight, out of mind

公帐 gōng zhàng * accounts of an organisation / public accounts

金山银山

两情相悦 liǎng qíng xiāng yuè *

可心 kě xīn * satisfactory

嫁人 jià rén * to get married (of woman)

正厅 zhèng tīng * main hall

人逢喜事精神爽 rén féng xǐ shì jīng shén shuǎng * happy events do good to one's heart

洞房花烛夜 dòng fáng huā zhú yè * put out candles in the new home (成语 saw); fig. wedding celebrations / wedding night / by extension, newly-weds

金榜题名 jīn bǎng tí míng * successfully pass the imperial examination

长袍 cháng páo * gown

马褂 mǎ guà * mandarin jacket

簪缨 zān yīng * high-ranking official

逢迎 féng yíng * to meet face to face / to flatter / to make up to

念经 niàn jīng * recite or chant Buddhist scripture

不谋而合 bù móu ér hé * agree without prior consultation / happen to hold the same view

情投意合 qíng tóu yì hé * two parties be congenial / share much in common

和美 hé měi * harmonious / in perfect harmony

孟光遇到梁鸿

相敬如宾 相敬如宾 xiàng jìng rú bīn mutual respect

称谓 chēng wèi * title / appellation / form of address

晓事 could this be 晓市 or 晓示?

书香 shū xiāng * literary reputation

名门 míng mén * famous family / prestigious house

何以见得 hé yǐ jiàn dé * what makes you think so?

娇羞 jiāo xiū * bashful / shy

排场 pái chang * ostentation / a show of extravagance / grand style

风光 fēng guāng * a natural scenic view

败落 bài luò * decline (in wealth and position)

纸糊

花团锦簇 huā tuán jǐn cù * ornamental / beautiful decorations

钵 bō * alms bowl / small earthenware basin

抛头露面 pāo tóu lòu miàn * to show your face in public (derog.)

招惹 zhāo rě * to provoke / to tease

闲话 xián huà * /digression/gossip/complaint/

大门 dà mén * entrance / door / gate

二门 èr mén *inner gate

局促 jú cù * narrow (surrounding) / short (of time)

名门望族 míng mén wàng zú * offspring a famous family (成语 saw); good breeding / blue blood

怜悯 lián mǐn * pity / mercy

富家子 fù jiā zi * rich family

落魄 落魄 luò pò down and out / in dire straits / unrestrained

大慈大悲 dà cí dà bēi * (to show) great mercy and sympathy

出阁 chū gé * (of a girl) get married

兄长 xiōng zhǎng * elder brother / term of respect for a man of about the same age

楷模 kǎi mó * model / role model

权当 quán dāng * consider something to be

月尾 yuè wěi * last few days of a month

姨娘 yí niáng * maternal aunt / (old) term of address for fathers concubine

惹是生非 rě shì shēng fēi * to stir up trouble

望族 wàng zú * distinguished/prominent family

枷锁 jiā suǒ * stocks and chain / in fetters

铺张 pū zhāng * ostentation / extravagance

陪嫁 péi jià * dowry

寒酸 hán suān * miserable and shabby / disgraceful

蹭破 cèng pò * scratch (e.g. a scratch that breaks the skin)

蹩脚 bié jiǎo * inferior

世家 shì jiā * family influential for generations / aristocratic family

遗老 yí lǎo * old adherent of a former/overthrown dynasty / old diehard

遗少 yí shào * young adherent of a former/overthrown dynasty / young diehard

根基 gēn jī * foundation

攀荣附贵 pān róng fù guì -- I think this is like 攀龙附凤 -- to play up to people of power and influence

派头 pài tóu * manner / style

劳力士 劳力士 Láo lì shì Rolex (Swiss wristwatch brand)

春心 chūn xīn amorous feelings / stirrings of love

当剑卖马

提气

挂帅 guà shuài * to take command / to assume leadership / to dominate

厚爱 hòu ài * great kindness / care and support

奏乐 zòu yuè * to perform music / to play a tune

高堂 gāo táng * hall with high ceilings / one's parents

诗书 shī shū * the Book of Songs 詩經|诗经 and the Book of History 書經|书经 / books or literature in general

联姻 lián yīn * related by marriage / to connect by marriage (families, work units)

凤毛麟角 fèng máo lín jiǎo * lit. phoenix feather and unicorn horn, fig. an extremely rare object (idiom)

化干戈为玉帛 huà gān gē wéi yù bó * cease hostilities and make peace

Edited by renzhe

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renzhe

Finished the first episode.

I wasn't expecting this to be interesting, but it certainly was. The sets are simply gorgeous, and the characters interesting.

I'll look at a few more episodes of this. Don't know for how long the story will keep me interested, but it's beautiful to look at and very well filmed.

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muyongshi

Just and FYI the Youku link is broken, but I am watching it here on Soho so didn't go and find the youku one. Sorry!!

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roddy

Thanks, edited that in. Enjoying it?

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muyongshi

Well I enjoyed the first episode but at the same time wasn't too sure that I could make a decision on whether or not to keep watching it, it felt very surface so I watched the second episode as well.

While I found it enjoyable, I did not find that it grabbed me. I felt like it was mainly going to be about family issues, and I just don't like to see people go back and forth like that. Of course there will be other elements of danger/intrigue but I did not feel that the story line was going in a direction that was worth it for me to keep going on watching them.

Probably the first first episode that has actually stayed as mainly the first episode.

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renzhe

I'd like to keep watching this, but it's so SLOW to download that I might give up. The first episode took me weeks, and the second one does not seem to be any faster. I don't know if I feel like watching it online.

The good news is that I have the short story, so I'll read that in any case.

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skylee

Talking about the novel, just want to point out that the author's name in the OP should be 張愛玲, not by 张爱林.

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roddy

Oops, fixed.

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renzhe

I have to say that this started very promising, but fell apart shortly afterwards. The relationship to the short story is very tenuous (it is only 40 pages after all), and most of the show seems to be a random soap leeching off 张爱玲's good name with very little to do with the actual novel.

So, while the first episode is really great, I gave up very soon. This is what made me turn off:

白流苏's husband 唐一元: Oh, I need a shower, can you boil some water for me?

白流苏: OK, let me go and boil some water

唐一元: *runs off to the whorehouse while she isn't looking*

白流苏: Eh? Where did he go?

:roll:

Of course, 唐一元 is not even in the book.

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