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Third and Fifth generation Chinese films The organization of Red Sorghum 1987 rearranges the past mythical and factual to encapsulate Zhang Yimous vision of Chineseness Rey Chow in her book Primitive Passions characterizes Zhang Yimou as appropriating a certain vision of a China past to create a pragmatic version of China accessible that at the same time doesnt necessarily accurately depict China yet is pleasing to the viewer outside of that context Zhang through absurd rituals and customs p 145 rearranges the past into a modern vision through extensive use of visuality and cinematic language This modern rearrangement is not a context-less cut-up text as we see in the novels of someone like Burroughs but a glossed dreamy vision which becomes a timeless China p 145 Chow describes this through a semiotic framework in which Zhang uses exaggerated and often incorrect depictions of things Chinese to become signs for China itself and thus become larger than mere events on a rural wine farm or on a movie screen Chow uses Zhangs depiction of women as an example of this She points out as can be seen in Red Sorghums many close-ups of Gong Li that Zhang makes a conscious and tactical mobilization of every kid of event toward visual display a display that is most effectively achieved through women p 149 Though she points out that his interest is not inherently in womens problems themselves p 149 but that he uses them as a lens through which to view Chinese culture These signs construct a signified anthropological ethnographic and feminist view of China It is this transformation through Zhangs savvy with cinematic language which turns the viewer into a migrant It takes them outside of the details of the narrative and gives them Zhangs specific vision of China and puts them in the position of a migrant Someone traveling through China passing judgement on it When Chow says that the chaotic overabundant elements of the
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