Production and content review of two film directors
Choose two course films by either Ann Hui (Boat People, A Simple Life, The Golden Era) or Zhang Yang (Shower, Sunflower, Paths of the Soul) through which to assess the evolution of the filmmakers defining production style and technique: how has the filmmaker creatively made use of certain models —genre conventions, cinematographic modes (types of shots, lighting, soundtrack, landscape, and setting) to develop his or her own ‘signature” production style, flavor, tone, or cinematic language? In essence, what techniques and characteristics make for an “Ann Hui film” or a “Zhang Yang film” as its own kind of genre? How are characteristic aspects of their production, financing, and distribution models like casting and transnational co-production reflected in these evolving techniques? How are their techniques adapted to accommodate the different subject matter of their narratives? Cite in detail at least one specific scene from each of the two films. O CONTENT PROMPT O For one of the two essays, choose two course films by either Ann Hui or Zhang Yang (not the same director that you choose for the Production prompt above) through which to assess the evolutions in the filmmaker’s predominant thematic interests, worldview, narrative priorities, and humanistic concems: what social, political, and cultural subjects is the director interested in and how have those subjects expanded to accommodate new source material and types of stories over his or her career? Where do they derive their source material from? How do their stories engage with and comment on (directly or indirectly) the social, political, and cultural contexts into which their films were released? Cite in detail at least one specific scene from each of the two films.