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英语论文总结

更新时间:2009-6-15:  来源:毕业论文

英语论文总结
Television and Orientalism

The thesis mainly talks about what effect Orientalism has on American television dramas, especially actions episodes. The author takes X-Files and Martial Law as examples which show how kung fu influences America and even Hong Kong…Summary concerning Chinese images Chinese actors’ excellent performance has made foreigners become more interested in Chinese culture. However, the foreigners know more about China mainly through television dramas or films whose illusion may cause misunderstanding of the audience’s view about China. As in the thesis, Chinese are traditional, superstitious, malicious, and bloodthirsty, living in a world of murder, torture and exploitation. Such negative impression still exists.

Useful Information   Talk about the changes about the films, in terms of cultureFor many years, the flow of cultural products is mostly from the America to the East, but there are signs of some “reverse flow” in recent years (Baker, 1999). There have been more exchanges between Chinese and American movie directors and talents. Entertainment films, when compared to television, tend to travel across cultural boundaries more easily.Something concerning Chinese images and status in the TV dramas of X-FilesIn the X-Files, the American West, embodied in the characters of FBI agent Mulder and Scully, is somewhat incorporating alternative paradigms such as the paranormal and the meta-scientific. But in this body of hybridized and ambiguous televisual text, the discursive space available for Chinese characters is still very limited. In episode XXX, the narrative hinges on the underground connection between Hong Kong, China and the Chinese immigrant society in the States. The episode struck Hong Kong audience by its depiction of Chinese as traditional, superstitious, malicious, and bloodthirsty. In the story, a Chinese immigrant family in the States has fallen into the trap of a Chinese secret society which organizes underground gambling and trades fresh human organs. The Chinese are living in a world of murder, torture and exploitation. Built around this textual Chinese underworld are incomprehensible Chinese characters, repulsive Chinese medicine, secretive rituals, and mysterious philosophies of filial piety, death and afterlife. These signs and icons serve good narrative functions for X-Files as a horror/action/police/science fiction.Far from being merely fabrications, these representations have strong links with previous creative depictions of the Chinatown and news stories about illegal immigration and the trading of human organs in China. However, taken all these generic and intertextual pre-depositions into account, the thesis of Orientalism still provides an insightful perspective for seeing through the binary of the West and the oriental. Chinese culture is projected as traditional, with a timeless history, yet uncivilized, barbaric and mysterious.Chinese kung fu and philosophies are depicted in American TV action drama series, Martial Law.Another recent American TV action drama series, Martial Law, features Hong Kong Chinese actor Sammo Hung as a kung fu master and veteran police who is sent to America as an exchange from the Shanghai police force. Sammo is a positive character who can hardly be seen as a derogatory stigmatization of the orient. He outsmarts bad guys and some of his American partners by his charming and surprisingly athletic martial arts. Producer Lee Goldbery explicitly indicated that Marital Law is doing what TV does best – escapism. The joke of the show is mostly about the 5-foot-7, 230-pound, 44-year-old Sammo kicking and flipping like Jackie Chan. The story moves along the political correct line of Sino-American co-operation, while the Chinese characters are built on the long tradition of western imagination of Chinese kung fu and philosophies. Bruce Lee on the big screen has been a key model of this. On the TV screen there was David Carradine who played the lead role in the long running series Kung Fu in the early 1970s. Carradine as a Caucasian recycled Orientalist imagery in the positive mode, highlighting the wisdom and physical strength of Shaolin philosophy and Martial arts. Now Sammo, a Hong Kong stunt man rather than a Caucasian, plays a lead role in domestic American television. However, there are still traces of orientalist discourse. Sammo burns incense, performs impossible kung fu kicks and teaches his partners Chinese wisdom and Tai Chi philosophy. These are marked differences which distinguish the pre-modern from the modern, the intuitive from the rational, and the power of the fist from the power of the mechanics. Sammo drinks diet coke, speaks English and tells his partner that he learns from the Discovery Channel. Of course there are occasions for mutual learning: the Americans learn from the legendary oriental and the Chinese learn from the scientific West. The orients in the X-Files appear in the esoteric/negative mode, while in Martial Law, they are depicted in the exotic/positive mode. But both are discursive forms of stereotypical dualism of the modern West and the traditional rest. Reasons for this mixing of the esoteric/negative and the exotic/positiveBecause of the implosion of boundaries between the eastern and western ethnoscapes, previous inflated international stereotyping may sometimes be rehabilitated. In the case of Martial Law, the influx of Hong Kong and Chinese artists into the United States helps to bring about changes. John Woo, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Yuen Wu Ping (the martial arts director of the movie The Matrix) were all closely connected peers in Hong Kong. Together they bring the practices of Hong Kong action movies and TV dramas into the States. Second, the market logic of mass production leads to standardization and disenchantment. In order to “re-enchant” cultural products and stimulate consumption, there is a strong tendency for American popular culture to absorb exotic cultures from all over the world to re-energize itself. Third, the increasing number of Chinese immigrants and the strengthening of their political power within America may add pressure for political correct media representation. The Power of OrientalismI tend to agree with Lodziak (1986) who argues that the ideological effect of television works better for the dominant groups rather than the subordinate. Extending this argument to the transnational context, Orientalism works better in reinforcing Chinese stereotypes among domestic American audience, but is less powerful in “orientalizing” Chinese audiences in their own contexts. However, one obvious transnational effect of Orientalism may be the construction of an essentialized West in the reverse, or what is called “Occidentalism”. Through subtle stereotypical dualism, Orientalism triggers the imagination of the West as a unified and modernized whole, no matter whether the orient is depicted in the esoteric/negative mode as in the X-Files or the exotic/positive mode as in Martial Law. Further InformationGrey Box Kung Fu (1972- 1975) Kung Fu, a TV series produced by Ed Spielman in the 1970s, is a sort of an Eastern Western in which a Shaolin priest, played by David Carradine, is wandering in the middle of the decidedly unenlightened Old West. Martial arts star Bruce Lee was, for a time, considered to play the lead role grasshopper Kwai Chang Caine. The show was never a tremendous rating success in the States, but it attracted a loyal legion of fans who were interested in eastern culture. In the show, Chinese culture is represented in a restricted range of kung fu tricks and quasi-Chinese philosophy. Caucasian actor David Carradine playing the role of a Chinese can be appropriately seen as a representation of a representation. Kung Fu was enthusiastically received in Hong Kong in the 1970s. Arguably, it can be said that this American TV show was having some orientalistic effects by telling highly urbanized Hong Kong Chinese what Chinese culture was through Orientalist eyes.

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