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aries1988 : disney   5

Let a Thousand Mulans Bloom

The intention was apparently to create a mythic version of China, analogous to Black Panther’s Wakanda, but many fear a slurry of incongruous iconography devoid of meaning.

I’ve seen online criticism of this mythic approach that likens it to other examples of diaspora culture, like General Tso’s chicken, as well as jokes about how producers shouldn’t have hired set designers from Chinatown. But what underpins these quips is the idea that the diaspora has had its Chineseness corrupted by Western society, that diaspora cultures with their own real histories are no longer “authentic.”

The danger of a mythic mashup of Chinese culture is thus less that it is historically inaccurate and more that it reiterates the idea constantly pushed by the Chinese government—that there is an ancient and eternal Chinese nation-state. It turns the “One China” policy into mythology. It isn’t so much pandering that I fear but the idea of a flattering of very modern—and exclusive—ideas about Chinese identity rather than one that interrogates and reinvents them.

For all its songs and wise-cracking dragons, it also reframes Mulan’s story as one of struggling to meet parental expectations, a sense of alienation from one’s wider culture, and self-discovery in disguise, all of which resonated with the diaspora audience.

somewhere along the process the diaspora was cut out of the conversation. That’s visible in Mulan’s surname, which is now written and pronounced as Hua (Mandarin) and not Fa (Cantonese).
diaspora  chinese  american  entertainment  movie  classic  female  warrior  question  debate  disney  critic 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
How castles became monuments to myth and whimsy

Here’s the romance: this church was dedicated to St Mary, then a patroness of militant types because her womb was deemed impregnable, except to God. Shown in medieval paintings and tapestries in a paradise garden, her symbolic hortus conclusus is very conclusive indeed, bound and defended by locked gates and crenellations. So whole castles like Santa Maria da Feira in Portugal took her name, along with chapels serving castles from Prague to Dover.

The psychologist Bruno Bettelheim suggests we all hold a psychological disposition toward castles, and as children conjure them to process our understanding of the world. He wrote: “ ‘Once in an old castle in the midst of a large and dense forest’ — such beginnings suggest that what follows does not pertain to the here and now that we know . . . The old castles, dark caves, locked rooms one is forbidden to enter . . . all suggest that something normally hidden will be revealed.”

Ryman went on to design the Cinderella Castle in Orlando, completed in 1971 at 183ft. This concrete and fibreglass construction looks more French, specifically the 15th-century Château de Saumur. There are now six Disney centrepiece castles, designed as variants of a theme, the latest in Shanghai completed in 2016, which Disney describes as “seven towers, two of which embody the guiding creative principle of Shanghai Disneyland”. And yes, it also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
romantic  caste  children  architecture  design  disney  disneyland  west  tale  history 
august 2017 by aries1988
八十年后,王子终于露出了真实嘴脸(part 3) – 《冰雪奇缘》影评
迪士尼的电影,其实八十年来都在专注贩卖同一主题:要有梦,要勇敢追梦。但是这做梦也有不同的做法,男人和女人的梦也大不相同。男孩子的梦想,1940年的迪士尼动画《匹诺曹》中概括的最为充分,那就是成长、成为一个男人。但是对等的女性梦想,却直到1989年的《小美人鱼》才出现,落后长达半个世纪之久。在此之前的女性角色,梦想都是“被男人解救”。究其原因,当然和迪士尼先生自己的社会价值观与当时的时代背景密不可分。

一个社会的风气,一个国家的发展,必定是向着更深入、更全面的民主化发展。而人类文明的走向,也必定是向着消除一切不公正歧视的目标前进,任何企图阻止这一进程的行为都不过是螳臂当车。任何企图逆转这一进程的个人,历史都要让你吃不了兜着走(想想希特勒的下场)。
disney  critic  idea  business  opinion  female  feminism  liberalism 
may 2014 by aries1988

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