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The Wedding Banquet

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Monika Kozicz

on 23 March 2015

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Transcript of The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet
The Coming Out
The Banquet
The Dishes Scene
Does this film succeed presenting homosexuality as a universal issue?
Do you see this film as a cross cultural film that will appeal to Eastern and Western Cultures?
Does this Film generalize and stereotype too much?
Which character do you sympathize the most with, why?

The Pregnancy Scene
Repeated Formal Elements
Scene 1: Pampering
Ang Lee - Born in Pingtung, Taiwan.
Graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975, B.F.A University of Illinois & Masters degree in Film at NYU
First Film - Punishing Hands (1992)
The Wedding Banquet (1993) - Garnered Golden Globe and Oscar Nominations, and won a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
Sense of Sensibility (1997)
The Ice Storm (1997)
Ride With the Devil (1999)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Hulk (2003)
Chosen (2001)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Life of Pi (2012)

Long Still take, Medium/close up shot of Wai Tung and his mother.
Color: white
Shadows against the wall are a possible symbolism of the two identities Wai Tung has.

As Wai Tung gets frustrated and moves around more, the frame widen's with him.

Dialogue is a reflection of the generational conflict.

The Coming Out
Thesis: What makes these film distinguised and original, I argue, is not so much that Lee has embraced "queer cinema" per se; rather, in each film Lee has come up with a cogent and credible way to reconcile the senibility of 'queer' with formalist aesthetic of 'conventional' narratives. (23)

The title refers to more than just the climax of the film's dramatic action: The Wedding Banquet is a symbol of the Chinese metanarrative of family. The Wedding Banquet is a symbol of both the Chinese cultural emphasis on rites (doing the right thing the right way), and the Chinese Cultural emphasis on familial continuity. (29)

Liability: Lee's classical detachment is a liablity thater than an assat, and that his approach to cinema may just be too straight to enable his subjects to come across as flesh and blood (24)

Asset: Lee's straight presentation vests jack and Ennis's (Brokeback Mountain) queer love with the university of an existential paradox. (33)

Classical Queerness: Lee's attachment in is two queer films is to remove queer from its contemporaty postmodernist settingg and reconcile it with the classical unity and purity that one seldom associates with queer. (26)
Article: So Queer Yet So Straight
Wei - Wei : May Chin
Wai-Tung Gao : Winston Chao
Simon : Mitchell Lichtenstein

Mrs. Gao : Ya-Lei Kuei
Mr. Gao : Sihung Lung

Setting is in Manhatten
Language used is 60% Mandarin & 40% English
Coming Out into the Global System - Mark Chiang
Mark Chiang discusses Asian and Asian American sexuality in the global System.

The Wedding Banquet is a film about reconciling the conflicts between the competing demands of sexuality and ethnic identity.

This Article raises the question about how and where we locate such transnational cultural productions which is necessary for analyzing The Wedding Banquet.

Chiang mentions scholar, James Schamus, who collaborated with Lee remared that: "if the (three films) could be said to have a common theme, it is the question of the father, of the role of the patriarch in a world where the patriarchy is under justifiable fire"

There are two main arguments in this article that Chiang Attempts to prove which are:
1) Demonstrate that the complex entanglements of sexual and ethnic frameworks of national culture either Chinese or American, but must be read across them in a transnational analysis that attends simultaneously to the local and the global
2) Chiang discusses problems that accompany the globalication of sexuality and identity.

He focuses on two key moments in the Film: the wedding banquet and the consolidation of the reconfigured family unit which appears towards the end of the film.

The Pampering
Close up shot of Wei Wei's Face : she is getting pampered (facial, makeup)

Editing; The camera quickly cuts to different parts of her face as she gets her makeup done.

Sounds: Fast, westernized-sounding, non diegetic music, repeated throughout the film during other chaotic and funny scenes.

- the cuts that focus on her features places emphasis on the process of getting pampered for a wedding (very important in American culture)

- Edits and music - reminiscent of American movies with a makeover scene. (Ex, The Princess Diaries)
Cross cultural elements:

- Language predominantly Chinese, the "universal language" of common traditions

Camera cuts to show the diverse audience- frames a Chinese couple, an American couple and a gay couple.

Color - representive of traditional Chinese culture (Pan shot of the room, red curtains, tablecloths, decor, napkins etc.)

The tone is humorous.
The Banquet
What makes this Film Unique?
- Comedy
- Cross Cultural :
Multilingual: English, Chinese
Merging of Eastern and Western Cultures and Cinemas (Co production Taiwan and the US)
Appeals to Global Audience.
Attempt to decrease the gab between cultures
presents universal issues - sexual idenity, relationships, cross ratial ethic boundaries, generational conflict.
The Pregnancy Scene
The Climax of the whole scheme.

- The tension is finally revealed.
- Dramatic Irony

The boundaries of language and cultures.
Body Language
Tone and Volume

" I watch, I hear, I learn"

Contrast & Depth of Field
Shadows, especially around Wei Tung

There are a lot of scenes with high contrast. Showing the inner conflict of Wei Tung, but also the contrasting emotions within the scene.
The ending scene, very dark - walking toward the light.

Depth of Field.
Doors - "coming out"
The Dishes
The inner tension growing.

Guilt, 'overstaying your welcome', boundaries within a household.

The dad wants to do the dishes, because Simon cooked.

While he does the dishes, they all stand and stare at him in worry.
Full transcript