Ontemporary Chinese Cinema-Raise the Red Lantern
Pick a significant sequence (no longer than 10 mins.) from Raise the Red Lantern. This should be a sequence that you think is both visually interesting and central to your interpretation of the film. Do a close reading of the sequence, paying attention to formal/stylistic details (two or more of the following: music/sound, cinematography, editing, choreography, performance, setting, props, costume, color, composition, etc.), to show how the sequence contributes to the film.
Your essay should answer the following question: How do the formal/stylistic elements in this sequence (elements of the visual style and/or the sound) communicate a central theme/meaning of the film, or contribute to our understanding of the film?
In order to answer this question, you should discuss how the sequence visually (and/or aurally) does one or more of the following: demonstrates a theme; supports the overall feel and style of the film as a whole; creates ambiguity or opens the film up to more than one interpretation; develops, reinforces, or adjusts our sense of the characters; expresses the directoras vision of the material. Your goal is to pay close attention to the elements of the cinematic language and their functions within the sequence. Be focused, specific, and concise. Discuss the narrative only as is necessary in order to make your points clearly. In other words, donat focus on plot; concentrate on analyzing the visual effects and/or the sound in the sequence.
Research: Keep in mind that successful textual/formal analysis also involves understanding how the film fits into the larger context of its social, historical, cultural and political environment. So your close reading of the sequence should be informed by some research on the following: the filmas production and reception history; its relation to a particular genre or tradition of filmmaking or a group of films; its historical, institutional, and socio-cultural contexts and significance; and existing scholarly discussions of the film.