CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
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Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 12, 2001
'Blush,''Raise The Red Lantern,' By IWP's Su Tong Will Be Shown
and the Academy Award-nominated "Raise the Red Lantern," films based on the
works of Chinese fiction writer Su Tong, now in residence at the University
of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be shown Oct. 26-27 at the
"Blush," winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, will be screened
at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in Room 203 of the Becker Communications Studies
Building. The event will include a discussion featuring Ye Yunshan, a UI graduate
student in Asian Languages and Literature and IWP graduate assistant, who
is currently teaching a class on modern Chinese writers.
Su Tong, who is one of China's most prominent young fiction writers, will
speak at the Oct. 27 screening of "Raise the Red Lantern" at 7 p.m in Room
101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building.
Both screenings are free, and the public is invited to attend.
Directed by Zhang Yimou in 1992, "Raise the Red Lantern" won a Los Angeles
Film Critics Association Award, Best Cinematography in the New York Film Critics
Circle Awards, and Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography at the
National Society of Film Critics Awards.
Film critic James Berardinelli wrote that "Raise the Red Lantern" is
"one of the more sublimely beautiful and openly disturbing films of the 1990s.
. . one of those all-too-rare motion pictures capable of enthralling an audience
while they're watching it, then haunting them for hours (or days) thereafter.
. . 'Raise the Red Lantern' is visually stunning, and the appeal to the eye
only heightens the movie's emotional power."
Roger Ebert concluded his four-star review, "There is a sense in which 'Raise
the Red Lantern' exists solely for the eyes. Entirely apart from the plot,
there is the sensuous pleasure of the architecture, the fabrics, the color
contrasts, the faces of the actresses. But beneath the beauty is the cruel
reality of this life, just as beneath the comfort of the rich man's house
is the sin of slavery."
"Blush" was directed by Li Shaohong in 1994. After viewing "Blush" at the
1995 Toronto International Film Festival, critic Shelly Kraicer called the
film, "A subtle, exquisitely filmed melodrama that hides a lot beneath its
surface. Set immediately after 1949, the story follows two former prostitutes,
the older, savvy Qiuyi, and her younger naive 'sister' Xiao'e, as they struggle
to fit into the 'New China'' . . .
"Xiao'e's solution to reconstructing herself as a 'new Chinese' is socialist-conventional,
and ultimately leads nowhere. She goes through Communist reeducation, marries
Lao Pu, bears his child, but doesn't grow, can't hold onto any of these. Qiuyi,
on the other hand, escapes from the CPC's
reindoctrination, chooses the path of traditional Buddhist renunciation,
and successfully rebuilds her identity."
A Chicago Tribune review called "Blush" "A moving and intelligent examination
of eternal love. . . one of the most intriguing films of the year." And Jonathan
Rosenbaum described "Blush" in Chicago Reader as "the most emotionally complex
picture I've seen from mainland China about the effect of the communist revolution
on the lives of ordinary people."
Thirty writers representing 24 countries are now in residence at the IWP
through Nov. 20. The IWP was the first international writers residency at
a university, and it remains unique in world literature. Over the years, nearly
a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have completed residencies
in the program.
Like most IWP residency groups, the 2001 community is a mix of poets, fiction
writers, screenwriters, playwrights, journalists, essayists and critics. Many
of the IWP writers will travel from Iowa City to present lectures, symposia
and readings at other campuses in Iowa and throughout the country, and to
visit places of cultural or historical interest.
The IWP is staffed and housed by the University of Iowa. IWP writers have
been financed by the United States State Department, through bilateral agreements
with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments
abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations,
foundations and individuals.
To learn more about the IWP, visit <http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp>
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