Continuing the 2017 series with November.
Just on spec I watched Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010) on SBS Viceland yesterday at noon. My TV guide gave no details, so I didn’t realise it was directed by the great Zhang Yimou. Summary, avoiding spoilers:
Set during the end of China’s Cultural Revolution in a small village in Yichang City, Hubei Province, China, this film is about a pure love that develops between a beautiful high school student, Zhang Jing Qiu and a handsome young prospector named Lao San. Jing Qiu is one of the “educated youth” sent to be “re-educated” through work in the countryside under a directive from Chairman Mao Zedong…
I found it totally delightful — and I shed a tear ot two! The lead actors were not only beautiful but very good in their roles.
See also Hollywood Reporter:
The film’s promotion tagline is “the cleanest romance in history.” Indeed, Zhang’s touch is rarely so delicate in describing the pre-pubescent looking Jingqiu’s perplexity and embarrassment toward Sun’s advances, as well as her naivety (she thinks sharing a bed is enough to cause pregnancy). In fact, a deep sexual undercurrent rippling under their blushing complexions — when she frolics with him in the pond, wearing the red swimsuit he gave her, when he bandages her feet, or when they lie down together in the hospital bed (his hand goes straight to where it counts). That is what lends the film its beauty.
Zhou, who is a 17-year-old high school student plucked from thousands of teenage hopefuls, personifies the film — fresh as cut grass, untainted by professional training. She exudes serene calm even as the melodrama intensifies. The film unfolds mostly from a feminine perspective. As a result, Sun’s character is rendered at a remove, and he is too perfect to be more than a cipher.
Almost religious devotion to objects prevails, with a light bulb or a foot basin acquiring symbolic significance as love tokens. The meticulous evocation of period detail reflects the film’s elegiac attitude to ephemera. What it mourns most is not the transience of youth or of love, but the transience of happiness, especially when its harmless pursuit is systematically obstructed by collective ideology.
The male lead`s (Shawn Dou) biography is interesting.
Keep an eye out for SBS Viceland`s midday movies!
There is a lot of interest in the details of the poll. While it is delicious that Tony Abbott proved so out of touch with his electorate that three out of four voted for YES, despite his vigorous Chicken Little-ing for NO, the truly remarkable thing — at first glance — is the very strong NO vote in Labor electorates in Western Sydney.
Why was this so? Obviously there is a degree of social conservatism there that must give Labor pause. Matthew da Silva did a good post Who voted ‘No’? which features this summary:
I have truncated that for readability: go to Matthew’s post for the full version. While there is a fairly obvious conclusion one could draw from this, compare Same-sex marriage: The multicultural communities that voted ‘yes’.
Western Sydney might have voted “no”, but multicultural Australia voted “yes”.
An analysis of electorates where more than 40 per cent of the population was born overseas shows they overwhelmingly backed same-sex marriage outside the Western Sydney ring.
From Moreton in Queensland through Reid in NSW to Gellibrand in Victoria, a clear majority of electorates with large Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese and Arabic-speaking communities got behind the move to change the definition of marriage.
In the top 10 electorates in NSW and Victoria where the overseas-born population is 40 per cent or more outside of western Sydney and the two “no” voting Victorian electorates of Bruce and Calwell, nine recorded a yes vote above 60 per cent….
When my dad sent me a text on Wednesday morning after the result of the marriage equality postal survey was announced, I laughed. And then I cried a little.
His message read as follows: “Congrats to you guys and myself: it’s a decisive win! Abbott, shit yourself bastard!”
It’s funny because there was a time, once, where I didn’t think I could really be myself with him. I couldn’t even be myself with me.
My parents are in their sixties. They grew up in conservative Vietnam, and raised me with those values. We have gay family members, but growing up, we either didn’t talk about it, or did only in whispers….