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Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:53 pm
by Shen Ai
Dong Zhou wrote:
Ah good, I look forward to Fox reminding us how it degrades men :lol:


They really did that? Ah Fox news...

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:12 pm
by SunXia
Dong Zhou wrote:
Sun Fin wrote:Has anyone heard who is going to play Mulan in this? I heard a scary rumour that it was a famous Caucasian white actress whose name has now slipped my mind but I can find no reference to this online and so was wondering if it was just scaremongering?


I heard quite a few wanted the woman from Shield, otherwise heard nada. It would be disturbing if they can't find an Asian woman for a story about an Asian woman

If it's Chloe Bennet then she is part Chinese and spent time in China and was actually born Chloe Wang.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:08 am
by Bush Leagues
Dong Zhou wrote:It would be disturbing if they can't find an Asian woman for a story about an Asian woman


That's interesting. Why would that be disturbing?

I mean, I guess some might find it offensive? Robert Downey Jr. portrayed a black man in Tropic Thunder, and there was some controversy there, even though it was an obviously ridiculous, over-the-top comedy film.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:00 am
by Shen Ai
Bush Leagues wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:It would be disturbing if they can't find an Asian woman for a story about an Asian woman


That's interesting. Why would that be disturbing?

I mean, I guess some might find it offensive? Robert Downey Jr. portrayed a black man in Tropic Thunder, and there was some controversy there, even though it was an obviously ridiculous, over-the-top comedy film.


It would be wrong for such an inspirational female figure to be portrayed by someone of a different ethnicity entirely, no?

Particularly when part of the inspiration nature of the story comes from Mulan defying the strict conventions of China at the time.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:12 am
by Bush Leagues
Shen Ai wrote:It would be wrong for such an inspirational female figure to be portrayed by someone of a different ethnicity entirely, no? Particularly when part of the inspiration nature of the story comes from Mulan defying the strict conventions of China at the time.


Wait, am I missing something? Is Mulan based on an actual person? I remember reading about the Warring States period general, Lin something (Xiangyu?), but I don't know of any prominent female figures in Chinese history that actually fought. Wu Zetian sure killed a lot of people, but she didn't fight in a war or anything.

As for the movie itself - yeah, the inspiration is about the defying the conventions at the time. Which were basically "It's a man's world, now go get married, that's all you're good for". The point of the story is that Mulan being a woman is immaterial to her ability to fight and honor her family. The ethnicity is kind of irrelevant. Write the same story in England, and now we have the tale of Boudicca; write it in Austria, now we have Maria-Theresa. As a movie-goer, I would rather have the actress who's best for the part.

I guess it would look weird to have the one white chick in the middle of China. :lol:

I don't know. It's not a big deal to me about the actress' ethnicity. If you want to make it look right, the right make-up and possibly post-production CGI effects should get it the actress looking Chinese, even if she really isn't. It might be worth noting that the Greeks and Romans often have men play women's parts - typically younger, fairer men, but they played a woman all the same. It was because their societies were oppressive, but if the director says something like "this is the best person to play this part", I personally can make my peace with that.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:18 pm
by Shen Ai
Bush Leagues wrote:Wait, am I missing something? Is Mulan based on an actual person? I remember reading about the Warring States period general, Lin something (Xiangyu?), but I don't know of any prominent female figures in Chinese history that actually fought. Wu Zetian sure killed a lot of people, but she didn't fight in a war or anything.


I believe it's purely a legend. Based on a poem I believe or some form of Chinese epic. I certainly believe she was inspired by actual females of the times or in previous dynasties of Chinese history.

As for the movie itself - yeah, the inspiration is about the defying the conventions at the time. Which were basically "It's a man's world, now go get married, that's all you're good for". The point of the story is that Mulan being a woman is immaterial to her ability to fight and honor her family. The ethnicity is kind of irrelevant. Write the same story in England, and now we have the tale of Boudicca; write it in Austria, now we have Maria-Theresa. As a movie-goer, I would rather have the actress who's best for the part.


I disagree about the ethnicity being irrelevant. I think it's fundamental to the story. While certainly Mulan being a woman is of greater importance to her being Chinese, it is a Chinese legend, it is about a girl who defies the strict social convention of that period in China. I find it important that she be portrayed as she was in legend. I think it can appeal to the Chinese female youth as well in that way. Mulan is a role model to anyone, but I think it'd be easier for East Asians to identify with the character if they can see themselves as her, and not as some caucasian Hollywood actress cast in a film that is about overcoming patriarchal oppression. It doesn't send a very good message in my eyes. Imagine that, a caucasian Hollywood actress saving China and overcoming Chinese social customs of the time. It seems almost arrogant and offensive to me.

I'm not sympathetic to the argument of "This is the best person for the role". Mostly I find it to be a pure marketing tactic. Either to raise some interest in stirring up such a controversy or to generate interest because you've cast a big name in a role that is ethnically incorrect. After seeing Exodus and The Last Airbender, my feelings on it haven't really changed.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:01 pm
by Dong Zhou
Shen Ai wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:
Ah good, I look forward to Fox reminding us how it degrades men :lol:


They really did that? Ah Fox news...


In fairness, I think it was less News, more one of their programs who may have just been seeking attention

SunXia wrote:If it's Chloe Bennet then she is part Chinese and spent time in China and was actually born Chloe Wang.


I had more heard Ming-Na Wen (I suspect too old for Disney though would be lovely to have a romance for characters above the age of 20) but I realize how my post mixed my two points together. Sorry

Bush Leagues wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:It would be disturbing if they can't find an Asian woman for a story about an Asian woman


That's interesting. Why would that be disturbing?

I mean, I guess some might find it offensive? Robert Downey Jr. portrayed a black man in Tropic Thunder, and there was some controversy there, even though it was an obviously ridiculous, over-the-top comedy film.


Normally, I'm not concerned if they move continents for a story as long as adaptation is done properly to suit new location. However Disney has one black Princess, one Asian one, one native American and a whole lot of whites. I somehow doubt the ratio will change in the live action movies, it didn't seem to in Once Upon a Time. They take the only Asian one and recast it as white? That sends the wrong signal. Even worse if they keep it in China.

If the casting director can't find a good enough actress among the Asian population, they need to be sacked.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:16 am
by Bush Leagues
Shen Ai wrote:I disagree about the ethnicity being irrelevant. I think it's fundamental to the story. While certainly Mulan being a woman is of greater importance to her being Chinese, it is a Chinese legend, it is about a girl who defies the strict social convention of that period in China. I find it important that she be portrayed as she was in legend. I think it can appeal to the Chinese female youth as well in that way. Mulan is a role model to anyone, but I think it'd be easier for East Asians to identify with the character if they can see themselves as her, and not as some caucasian Hollywood actress cast in a film that is about overcoming patriarchal oppression. It doesn't send a very good message in my eyes. Imagine that, a caucasian Hollywood actress saving China and overcoming Chinese social customs of the time. It seems almost arrogant and offensive to me.


Dong Zhou wrote:Normally, I'm not concerned if they move continents for a story as long as adaptation is done properly to suit new location. However Disney has one black Princess, one Asian one, one native American and a whole lot of whites. I somehow doubt the ratio will change in the live action movies, it didn't seem to in Once Upon a Time. They take the only Asian one and recast it as white? That sends the wrong signal. Even worse if they keep it in China.


Okay, that's reasonable. I don't particularly agree, but I get where that comes from, and it's a valid point. Doesn't really both me, but I can see how that would be an issue for other people. For a big company like Disney, it's almost certainly better to just avoid the issue altogether and cast the person with the right ethnicity.

Shen Ai wrote:I'm not sympathetic to the argument of "This is the best person for the role". Mostly I find it to be a pure marketing tactic.


Well, big movies are basically big business, so I expect them to act like a business - that includes marketing ploys and the like. I have no doubt Tropic Thunder expected to garner more bucks as a result of the Robert Downey Jr. issue I mentioned above.

Dong Zhou wrote:If the casting director can't find a good enough actress among the Asian population, they need to be sacked.


Hahaha, that's almost certainly true. I'm not in the industry, so I wouldn't want to make a presumption about how many talented, young, "ethnically correct" actresses there are available for the role. Could be there's only a few that can actually fit the "mold" already cast by Disney, and they may well refuse the part. I'm inclined to trust the experts on this one. Most casting directors probably know what they're doing.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:20 pm
by Shen Ai
Bush Leagues wrote:Well, big movies are basically big business, so I expect them to act like a business - that includes marketing ploys and the like. I have no doubt Tropic Thunder expected to garner more bucks as a result of the Robert Downey Jr. issue I mentioned above.


That kind of casting made sense in the confines of the story I imagine, about a film crew during a film production.

If they took the Mulan story and Westernized it and set it in England or some European fantasy ville I wouldn't have a problem. But if they wanna keep the story about Hua Mulan in China, it'd just be best to cast an Asian actress. As Dong Zhou said, if you can't find a good actress out of the largest population cluster in the world, then you need to look for another job.

Re: Disney Movie Discussion

Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:45 pm
by Dong Zhou
Now big nose Pinnaco (sp?) getting a live action film.

Bush Leagues wrote:Hahaha, that's almost certainly true. I'm not in the industry, so I wouldn't want to make a presumption about how many talented, young, "ethnically correct" actresses there are available for the role. Could be there's only a few that can actually fit the "mold" already cast by Disney, and they may well refuse the part. I'm inclined to trust the experts on this one. Most casting directors probably know what they're doing.


I do get that the list will be slimmed down due to quality and needing the right type of actress (a great tragic actress might not work :wink: ) but I doubt it would be impossible to draw a shortlist list of 10. Probably just need 5 if that. I doubt all 5 will reject the best chance they will get to make a big breakthrough that might otherwise never come for them. Particularly as western TV and films aren't overflowing with opportunities for Asian actresses!

I think if left completely alone with a tale called "Random warrior lady in random country", the cast would be mostly white. Particularly the lead princess. Not an issue of competence, just the usual unconscious biases that skew things (very badly if Disney or British entertainment, America's TV and films does a lot better).