Asia and the Pacific Screens
The Big Parade 大阅兵
5:15pm - 7:15pm
08 Jun 2016
The Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU
1986, 103mins, China
Directed by Chen Kaige 陈凯歌
Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
Less well known than his debut Yellow Earth 黃土地 (1985) and his multi-award winning Farewell My Concubine 霸王別姬 (1993), Chen Kaige’s second feature is a very different, more ambiguous work. Filmed with the assistance of the People’s Liberation Army, it depicts an army unit training for a grand military parade, of the kind that filled Tiananmen Square again in September 2015. A tough drill sergeant is hard on the young new recruits, to counter their cocky individuality and hone them into a well-oiled collective. The film’s imagery—shot by Zhang Yimou, the year before his directorial debut with Red Sorghum 红高粱—suggests a more ambivalent subtext regarding collectivism and military culture in mid-1980s China.
This screening is part of the June Four, Three Films special series, it will be followed by a short informal discussion.
This film is part of Asia and the Pacific Screens Season Five: Made in Hong Kong, presented by the Australian Centre on China in the World.