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Wang Dulu and Ang Lee

Wang Dulu and Ang Lee

Artistic Creativity and Sexual Freedom in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

(p.11) Chapter 1 Wang Dulu and Ang Lee
Adapted for the Screen
Hsiu-Chuang Deppman
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter treats stylistic and philosophical issues raised in and by one of the world’s best-known Chinese films, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). Ang Lee’s transformation of Wang Dulu’s 1941 story sensitively reinterprets narrative situations and character psychology, thereby illustrating the idea shared by many adaptation scholars that narrative is the common ground beneath fiction and film. Scholars reveal that the goal of adaptation is to simplify and condense a work from which it basically wishes to retain only the main characters and situations. Yet Lee’s adaptation also does much more. It not only capitalizes on its heroine and on a supremely climactic narrative event, it also introduces a transcendental style that enables gender politics to figure artistic freedom.

Keywords:   Ang Lee, Wang Dulu, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, character psychology, gender politics, Chinese cinema

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