スポンサー広告

スポンサーサイト

上記の広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。
新しい記事を書く事で広告が消せます。

movie

Durian Durian~transformation of China

big.jpg
Durian, Durian. Directer: Fruit Chan. Hong Kong, 2000

The movie starts out with the introduction of a young girl Yan--she was from the northern city of mainland China, Mudanjiang to the special economic zone Shen Zhen as an emigrant worker. Now she came to Hong Kong with a visitors visa effective for just three weeks even without telling her family, to save a large sum of money--she is working as a prostitute.

The movie doesn't depict the stereotypical scenery of Hong Kong by comparing the super modern skyscrapers and the crowded market on the street. Yan's field of activities is restricted to her apartment where she waits for the call from brokers, and the hotel rooms she spends some time. The energy and time to visit those busy downtown street filled with young people of her age is not left for Yan.
Camera follows Yan without getting too involved with who she is and what she is thinking. Yan with full of youth just eats and wash men's body and sleeps with them and falling asleep right after coming home. Without the space for the audience to get emotionally involved, the backstreet of Hong Kong is so complete as the world of itself.

On this backstreet house, a family that also came from Shen Zhen is living. Although the father of this family has a problem and disability in his leg, he already saved up some money and he even bought a house in Shen Zhen, but he came back to Hong Kong illegally for easier life by taking whole family with him. A young daughter Fhan, her mother and her younger brother wash dishes to receive small money for living.

Fhan sometimes see Yan going home, always with a broker following her to supervise. For Fhan, who is also restricted to stay within the dark backstreet for hiding from police investigation for illegal stay, Yan and the broker are the few connection to the outside world. One day when police came for the investigation, Yan and Fhan hid behind a wall together, and after the police left, they talk each other for the first time. For Yan, Fhan is like a small young sister--in the busy life of working, knowing someone innocent like Fhan might be the only rest Yan might have received.

After the expiration of her visa in Hong Kong, she went back to her hometown in mainland. She cut her hair that she dyed for her job in Hong Kong--which completely transformed her to another person from the prostitute in Hong Kong, and now she blends into the atmospher of the quiet hometown.
She is looking for a new apartment with her fiance Xiao-min. The apartment is not fancy, but it is quiet and decent to build a life, unlike the jumble of Hong Kong apartment just for sleeping. Within the new life after coming home, the untold mind of Yan is gradually revealed.


In Hong Kong, even if the living environment was horifying, she could earn so much more than her in her hometown. However, everyone has a decent average life even without such big money--the life level itself is quite stable and wealthy. Yan begins to think about building a normal life--she thinks about starting her own business, or she remembers the memories of studying at a theater school in town.
But Yan had already earned and saved up too much money for living here--it is useless to run business here for such a little income. Of course, she wants to do a business for finding a place her mind rather than for living, but there is nothing interesting enough to push her. Looking at the big money in her bank note, she was afraid of not knowing what to do for the future. After overcoming the economic hardship, she realized with the neccessity to think about herself for the reason to live. The uncertainty of herself put her into moratorium--this keenly captured the mind of those younger Chinese generation who receives the economical affluence. This is also the problem that swallowed young people in Japan.

I was suprised to see the transformation of Yan from Hong Kon days to the Yan in her hometown. It might be the intention of the directer, and the delicate construction of this movie eliminates the stereotypical depiction of a tough people in mainland China living in a quiet life and the energy of Hong Kong at the bottom level.

I remember those young teenage girls just hanging around everywhere in the city--in the shopping mall, empty cafe, souvenir store without visitors--without the place to visit and play around for young people. (2/3 of the population in Shen Zhen were female, and the average age was 17 years old in 2003) They were taken from the surrounding countryside to this special economic zone, and sitting in the ground floor of an empty building. They will never become the consumer--they might get consumed as products like Yan was so they are just waiting--or they won't even have such chance and opportunity. The low temperature of their mind as they were thrown off into such void and emptiness---I can not argue about the energy of youth, the energy of growth by seeing them as a third person from outside of the issues.

At home, Yan doesn't speak about the life in Hong Kong. One day, she was told from her aunt that Yan's younger cousin wants to study dance in Hong Kong so she wants Yan to take her and live there together. Yan can not honestly support that idea. Yan also receives phone calls from her colleagues in Hong Kong telling her to come back for the job, but she no longer wants to go back and do the same. Her insecurity begins to affects the life arround her--she soon gets divorced with Xiao-min. The stoies and descriptions illustrated around these scenes migh be telling that the sense of values about a family, the relationship between parents and chilcren, begin to shift or change even in the countryside of China.

Of course, seeing her close friends of the same generation makes her feel at home even if there are inevitable differences in the ways they think today. There is a scene, that they sing a folky song going outside of the town along with a railroad. The song is very generous hearted for the mind of today's, telling the open and natural daily life and the humorous relationship of the past people. Yan playfully sings that song by herself to the wide open field---a steam locomotive passes by--what a different scenery from the crowded Hong Kong street! The way she sings that song looks like she wants to laugh at the past and forget, or she is trying to cover up the feeling of emptiness for what she did and the money she saved up.

It is also true that for someone lie Yan, who once lived inside of the shadow of a modern city, might harshly experience the light and dark of the civilization and see the vanity side of it. The way she handled those man (more like a sport) was not the depiction of such stereotypical "hardiness=the energy of a city, Hong Kong," but the ironic illustration of an urban reality--a cheap gambling of lives and their container as a city, behind its seemingly flamboyant but skin-deep appearance. Yan took hundreds of men as customers, waves and waves of emptiness--she just brushed off one by one without much thought. The life behind the skin-deep....it was a quite dry humor.

In this movie, there are many metapholic plots--Durian in the movie title might be the metaphor of some important theme. Durian is a popular fruit produced in south eastern Asia, with a thick, spiny shell--it is very hard to open up the shell, and the inside of the shell has a quite strong smell.
In one scene at Hong Kong, Fhan's father brought one Durian home for his family telling he really liked when he had one. But he had hard time opening the fruit, and even though he succeeded, that smell was unpopular among his family members.

Durian is called "the king of a fruit." People know its name. But not many people have experience of actually eating it. It has such a unique appearance unlike other fruit, and facing to that large spiny looks, people will wonder what it is, and how to eat--it is even courageous to say in front of the hard shell, "let's open it" or with that strong, intense smell, "let's eat it." (actually, I never had one)
Yan received a boxed Durian from Fhan as a gift, a nice and warm surprise for Yan. She tries to share it with her family and her friends, but nobody has experience of eating it, so nobody even knows how to eat it. A friend succeeded to open it, but the smell prevented them from eating it. This sounds like a metaphor that something seemingly nice and new is brought in, but nobody knows how to deal with it until it's niceness is discovered--the metaphoric depiction of the relationship between the modern Hong Kong, and the countryside China.

It reminded me of a Chinese aphoristic story. There is a wise sage who has knowledge but he keeps sielnt and doesn't act, and an ordinally who just takes things in front of him without questioning. But there is also a fool, who breakes the established rules and start acting. In front of Durian, we are asked to become one of them--Durian is like a touchstone to wait for some fool to show up. The scene of Yan or her relavites having hard time dealing with Durin might be reflecting the confusing and difficult future of China and its people.


There was another metaphoric episode of Yan---as she was working in Hong Kong, she washes the body of men, so the skin of her hands keep peeling off. One customer, a young punk with a tatoo on his back, talks about the tatoo to Yan. "It wasn't that difficult to get the tatoo--it was painful when it is carved, but that's only when it is painful." This seems like that the punk, an image of a cheesy reality of Hong Kong, got something cheap for his cheap brain, but he is now unescapable from such limited and restricted world by what he got--while Yan, with her youth and energy, the damaged skin just peels off and it is recovered, the new life can begin.

The ending of this movie is the scene of a classical Chinese opera on an outdoor stage in Mudanjiang. It seems that the dancer is Yan, as she might have decided to return to her root. It is not something that we can say that is a happy ending or not--this movie itself was not very "movie" like with straightforward story line and well composited pieces of episodes, and the ending suggests the confusing condition itself of China and its people. The road of a trial and error that they have to take is suggested through this movie.


Those Chinese movies before were typical to present a happy ending or a tragic ending, which is to summarize the movie as a complete story. That enables the audience to easily define the relationship between the story and ourself--for example, the epic story of the past with a tragic ending gives you a catharsis of emotion through nostalgy. That is that and is enjoyable but there is now a new generation who realized that such method of movie making can not describe the reality of today.


Among other Hong Kong based film maker, Won Ka-wai illustrates the dry, inward depression and ennui suddenly outpour with agression, while he elevates its keeness by stylized visual image and editing.
On the contrary, Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-Hsien looks at the characters with such dryness or depression in their mind from outside with a distance. Sometimes the eyes of the camera is steel cold, but the distance itself can become cold or transparent, or warm and close depending on how each audience approachs to the characters.
Judging from the change in Asian film making, a stereotypical illustration of Asian cities can no longer describe what the today's Asia is. What do you say, my asian friends?

P.S. Later I learned this movie is a series of three movies by Fruit Chan. I watched others, too so wait for another review.
スポンサーサイト
Comment
Trackback
Trackback URL
Comment form













管理者にだけ表示を許可する

Profile

ks530

Search BOX・Tag List
Entry Navigator
  • Machine and hands (04/17)
  • The photos today and for the next entry are taken when I visited a wooden furniture factory in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The visit left me various impressions, but
  • Past of Beirut (08/14)
  • Lebanon:My stay in Beirut was accidentaly overlapped with the struggle in Tripoli and the bomb explosion (terror attack?) in Beirut central area.The struggle w
  • Kyrgyzstan 2. Bishkek (11/15)
  • We stayed at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, for a short period of time as we accessed to Naryn. But I could take a short walk around the hotel to feel the
  • Trip to Central Asia 1. Kyrgyzstan (11/09)
  • I recently visited the project sites in Kyrgyzstan and Tadzhikistan for the first time. This time I will introduce the town of Naryn, located East of Kyrgyzsta
  • In praise of light and shadow (08/10)
  • One of the main theme of this blog is to reveal that "a subject" is not externally existing, but internally realized. To do so, we might have to not
mail

name:
mail:
title:
body:


Page Top

Powered by FC2 Blog |

FC2Ad

| Template Design by スタンダード・デザインラボ

上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。