Links for December 4, 2016

Searching for Lady Kung Fu

May Joseph, a professor at Pratt Institute who wrote an essay about Ms. Mao as a feminist hero, encapsulated her influence this way: “She was a radical feminist cinematic presence before there was a language for that,” she wrote in an email. “She is the Lauren Bacall of kung fu.”

Ms. Mao, however, bristled at grandiose notions about her legacy; she was not interested in hearing that she had become the subject of feminist literature.

“This is not a gender situation,” she said with a baffled expression. “I just played myself. I am strong and I am powerful. That is how I became the most important female kung fu actress of my time.”

Angela Mao & Carter Wong - The Tournament 1/1

Outside Your Heaven: Hollywood’s Ghost in the Shell: Anime Lost In Translation

The new Ghost in the Shell seems racist in ways that only post-racial thinking can generate. Instead of taking the original Japanese cyberpunk story and transposing it to, say, New York or L.A., it still takes place in Japan, but with inexplicably white actors. Not only that, but the “Japanese-ness”, at least from a stereotypical Hollywood perspective, seems to have been amped up. Yes, the original Ghost in the Shell is obviously Japanese and steeped in Japanese culture, but this trailer feels different. It’s this fetishistic obsession with geisha, tea ceremonies, and samurai that pervades most mainstream Hollywood depictions of Japan, going back to the well-meaning gestures of stuff like You Only Live Twice and reaching its zenith in the Japan-phobic days of the late 1980s, when fear of Japanese economic dominance produced such goofball depictions as Black Rain and Rising Sun.

"Symphony No.9, Boogie" by Matryomin ensemble "Da"