Yellow Earth

[Huang tudi, 1984]
Film
Yellow Earth, produced by the Xi’an Film Studio, is one of China’s most famous films. Directed by Chen Kaige with Zhang Yimou as cinematographer, it launched China’s ‘Fifth Generation’ cinema onto the global scene. The film’s plot is a parody of revolutionary stories. A handsome Party cadre, Gu Qing, arrives in an impoverished Shaanxi region during the Anti-Japanese War to collect folksongs. He stays with a peasant family: father, daughter (Cuiqiao) and son (Hanhan). Cuiqiao and Hanhan are romanced by Gu’s revolutionary message. However, Cuiqiao drowns crossing the river to Yan’an and the peasants return to age-old rituals against drought and famine. The story therefore subverts the Yan’an myth of the Communist Party as the people’s saviour.
The film is famous for its ravishing cinematography.
Panoramic shots of the vast yellow earth, of the Yellow River, and of the empty sky at day and night, re-envision the cradle of Chinese civilization, whether ancient or revolutionary. Yellow Earth returns a concealed Daoist yin—yang iconography as integral to the symbolic world of modern China. In this sense, Huang tudi belongs to the Root-seeking school in 1980s fiction and film.
Berry, Chris and Farquhar, Mary Ann (1994). ‘Post-Socialist Strategies: An Analysis of Yellow Earth and Black Cannon Incident’. In Kinda Erlich and David Desser (eds), Cinematic Landscapes: Observations on the Visual Arts and Cinema of China and Japan. Austin: University of Texas, 81–116.
Leung, Helen Hok-Sze (2003). ‘Yellow Earth: Hesitant Apprenticeship and Bitter Agency’. In Chris Berry (ed.), Chinese Films in Focus: 25 New Takes. London: BFI, 191–7.
McDougall, Bonnie S., (1991). The Yellow Earth: A Film by Chen Kaige, with a Complete Translation of the Filmscript. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.
Yingjin, Zhang and Zhiwei, Xiao and Xiao Zhiwei Zhang, Yingjin (eds) (1998). Encyclopaedia of Chinese Film. London and New York, Routledge, 382.
MARY FARQUHAR

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yellow earth — Yellow Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yellow Earth — Infobox Film name = Yellow Earth image size = caption = Theatrical poster director = Chen Kaige producer = writer = Chen Kaige Zhang Ziliang narrator = starring = Xue Bai Wang Xueqi Tan Tuo Tan Tuo music = Zhao Jiping cinematography = Zhang Yimou …   Wikipedia

  • yellow earth — n. yellow clay colored by iron …   English contemporary dictionary

  • yellow earth — noun : impure yellow ocher …   Useful english dictionary

  • Yellow — Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus light bay …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yellow atrophy — Yellow Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yellow bark — Yellow Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yellow bass — Yellow Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yellow berry — Yellow Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yellow boy — Yellow Yel low (y[e^]l l[ o]), a. [Compar. {Yellower} (y[e^]l l[ o]*[ e]r); superl. {Yellowest}.] [OE. yelow, yelwe, [yogh]elow, [yogh]eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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