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kudra

Anybody seen 江湖儿女?

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kudra

I have the opportunity to see a one-time show in a suburb of Chicago. Has anyone seen it? Has 98% for critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but audience rating is 73%.

I get it that critics might like an art film more than the general public would. Advice? Thanks in advance.

 

 

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李斯飞

I am not a film critic, just your average 周, but I think the ratings this film has are entirely justified.

 

I highly recommend 江湖儿女, it's one of my favourite films generally (not just a favourite Chinese film). Its very moving, has a lot of beautiful cinematography, and makes a very subtle but interesting social commentary on changes to society over the past 2 decades. 

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Lu
17 hours ago, kudra said:

Advice?

Can you afford it? Are you free at that time? Is it feasible in all other ways for you to go (no transport difficulties, no people you really want to avoid, whatever)?

If the answers to all of these are yes, just go! Very worst case scenario is that you don't like the film and have wasted an evening, in which case you will still have learned something about your own taste in movies and about Chinese cinema. More likely scenario is that you will have an enjoyable evening. Because it is a good film. Good cinematography, good acting, good & serious story with some fun conning by the main character as she gets back on her feet. Do go see it.

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Dawei3
9 hours ago, 李斯飞 said:

just your average 周,

I've not seen this phrase before - fun comment!!!  (and I have no comment on the movie, other than if you go, let us know what you think)

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kudra

@Lu: family, kids, all that means seeing it is a trade off. Anyway, I did go and am glad I did. It was interesting how the director somehow seemed to capture such a multi-year time span to show changes. I think I read that he used footage from some previous films of his, although I could be mis-remembering. I was last in Taiwan and China in 1983's and lots of scenes reminded me of that trip, especially the boat on the 长江. 

 

Amusing weird side note: This was a one-off show for a community film club in a suburb of Chicago. The audience median age was probably 60, and there was probably nobody under 45.

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Lu

@kudra, yah, I understand, time is limited. Glad you are happy that you went!

 

Jia did use some footage from previous films (convenient if you always use the same actress), I think mainly the scene with the woman on the Yangtze.

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murrayjames
On 7/9/2019 at 5:39 PM, 李斯飞 said:

just your average 

 

21 hours ago, Dawei3 said:

I've not seen this phrase before - fun comment!!!

 

If you think that’s fun, you should meet my uncle. He’s just your average 舅.

 

More on topic, this movie looks good and I want to watch it.

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Luxi

For people who might want to watch the film with subtitles and may have some difficulties finding it, it's called in English "Ash is the Purest White".

Admittedly, 江湖 is very difficult (impossible, even) to translate in English, but this translation seems carrying it a bit too far. I haven't seen the film yet, though I like the director so it's on my list. I may change my mind about the English title when I see it.

 

This Zhihu page has a post by Jia Zhangke, the film director, commenting on the English title.

 

 

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imron
7 hours ago, Luxi said:

江湖 is very difficult (impossible, even) to translate in English,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rcFoN1Ding&feature=youtu.be&t=272

 

7 hours ago, Luxi said:

but this translation seems carrying it a bit too far

Movie/book titles are often not translated, rather they are just given a new name that works in the target language.  Guess what film has the Spanish title "Todo en un día" (All in a day) - probably not what you'd expect, and definitely not a translation of the original title.

 

Based on the Zhihu page, Jia mentions "Ash is the Purest White" isn't a translation and he mentions why he chose that to be the English title (because it captures an aspect of what he wanted to express in the film).

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matteo

The topic of how titles (and movies / books in general) are translated is a very interesting one. The fact that translations are often very loose and their flavor significantly differs from the original is a major incentive in studying a new language in my opinion.   

 

In Italian ferris bueller's day off is titled "Una pazza giornata di vacanza" - which  means "a crazy day off" or "a wild holiday".

 

Another example is "The catcher in the rye",  the Italian translation is a tasteless "Il Giovane Holden" which means "The Young Holden" 🙄.

 

 

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Lu
5 hours ago, imron said:

Jia mentions "Ash is the Purest White" isn't a translation and he mentions why he chose that to be the English title (because it captures an aspect of what he wanted to express in the film).

Jiang very consciously did not translate the title directly but instead went with an alternative title for the English. Jianghu is a concept that is impossible to translate into English directly (according to Jia, and I tend to agree). He does insist on using the term in interviews and such, and talking about the film, partly for this reason (no correct direct translation available), but also for this reason he felt that it would be confusing to use this relatively unknown loanword in the title. So it became Ash is Purest White, a line from an important scene in the film.

 

Titles of movies and books are often not translated directly. Often a new title is chosen that is thought to be more appealing or clearer for the intended audience. This happens all over the world from and into all kinds of languages.

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