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Understand China, Chinese and Shanghai (yes, it is difficult)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

I read a review about Taiwanese Ang Lee’s new Venice Film Festival 2007 award winning movie from one my favorite magazine on Saturday. I then followed the movie and research the story, the writer of the story, the husband of the writer, and the characters in the story/movie and reviews about the writer during the weekend. I enjoyed doing this because I really like the writer and her books. She is Eileen Chang (张爱玲). Life weekEileen spent 30 years writing this 29-page short story which happened in 70 years’ ago.

The movie is rated as NC-17 in US. Ang Lee said Don’t expect much from ‘Lust, Caution’ to USA Today. He was talking about the box office performance; I think he was also talking about culture difference. I really doubt that people with Chinese culture background can understand it as the way Chang wanted to express. Can you undertand why it is a big deal? But maybe Chang took 30 years to make it for everyone. We will see.

Anyway, I would strongly recommend people who like Shanghai or want to understand Shanghai should go for the movie. Chang keeps every details through each single Chinese word, and Ang Lee repeated every detail about Shanghai in it. [Note: the woman on the magazine cover is the main original character in Lust, Caution from 1930s’; her name is Ruping Deng.]

I always wonder what do you see when you visit “ancient city/town” in Shanghai neighborhood, like Suzhou, Zhouzhuang, or Zhujiajiao.

Zhujiajiao, China

This is the hometown to NBA hero Yao Ming.

Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, China

A boat ride will be fun.

Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, China

Windor shopping.