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Posted by BETWEENWATERSUNSEENWednesday, February 22, 2012 12:05 AM
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First of all, thank you for pointing out that excerpt. A lot of good points throughout. I think, looking at something like that interview for example, there's a lot that can be gained there through the discussion of the work. As this interview is included in the BR issue, it's a very meta way of examining what's going on in the text while still remaining a part of the text. The important thing too is that Wang doesn't necessarily supply an answer, more an explanation for the audience to draw their own conclusions. Would Chan is Missing be as great a text without the interview and introduction? Definitely, but the inclusion of both emphasizes the themes and pushes it forward that much more.
One of my favorite quotes: "I think that people look for easy answers all the time, particularly in more commercial films. And I think that's a bad thing. I think films can be a lot more open-ended, that people can be more creative in their own ways of finding answers." A good narrative makes you question and reflect, makes you think. I suppose it's the literary aspect there, but even something simple can be effective at drawing blood. The whole American ideology is based on binaries, and focused on the heroics of the good guy. It's as if we need the hero to come through in the end otherwise our whole world gets thrown out of wack. Thinking about myths, legends, allegories, especially that of non-Western cultures, you see more of an interrogation of ethics rather than a "pure" presentation of right and wrong, more so when presented orally.
Take a look at the Bamboo Buckeroo's selection of themes from Chan is Missing. Wayne Wang talks about the Asian American culture (and I'm projecting here) possibly native cultures' greater acceptance of ambiguity in stories. So, of course, Chan will never be found in his movie; while the mystery is always solved by Charlie Chan in his movies. I agree that in the end, the product has to stand on its own. Not the explanations or the analysis. But I suppose that is the state of affairs these days where the halftime or the commercials become greater than the game.
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