Encyclopedia of Chinese Film

By Yingjin Zhang; Zhiwei Xiao et al. | Go to book overview

J
Jade Love

(Yuqing sao)

dir./sc.Chang Yi

with Yang Huishan, Lin Dingfeng

Taipei: Tianxia Film, 1984

Jade Love is adapted from a famous story by the renowned writer Bai Xianyong. Set in the late 1930s, it depicts a woman struggling with her sexuality in a patriarchal society. Yuqing is a beautiful widow who works as a nanny for Rongge, the young master of a rich family in a provincial town. Outside the young master's mansion, she has her own private life: she keeps an invalid young lover, Qingsheng, in a back alley attic.

Rongge soon finds out about Yuqing's secret life. Like his nanny, he is deeply attracted to Qingsheng. He then interposes himself in the already tangled relationship between Yuqing and Qingsheng by taking Qingsheng out for a taste of a 'real' man's life. For the first time in his life, Qingsheng watches Peking opera and falls in love with an actress. After vowing his love to the actress, Qingsheng asks Yuqing for his freedom. When she realizes that she can no longer keep him in their secluded attic, she knows it is time to act. When Rongge wakes up in the middle of the night on New Year's Eve, he rushes to the attic only to find a perplexed Yuqing wielding a knife and stabbing Qingsheng's body repeatedly. She then kills herself, a smile on her face as she dies.

As the most controversial entry in the best film category at Taipei GHA, Jade Love was severely criticized for its 'indecent' portrayal of sexuality. The sharp contrast between Yuqing's volcanic desire and her obedient yet dignified demeanour remains an emblematic image of woman in Chinese literature, and Chang Yi's treatment of the story provides Taiwanese cinema with a memorable screen image.

(YY)


Jiang Wen

b. 1963, Beijing

Actor, director, screen writer

One of the best-known mainland actors since the 1980s, Jiang Wen impresses audiences with his independent spirit and his sense of humour. He was raised in a soldier's family and entered the Central Drama Academy in Beijing at the age of seventeen. He admires Shi Hui, especially his performance in This Life of Mine (1950). Jiang's screen début was as Pu Yi, China's last emperor, in The Last Empress (dir. Chen Jialin, 1985). Since then he has appeared in numerous films, taking a range of challenging roles from emperor, intellectual and peasant to ex-prisoner and detective. He has worked with famous directors on A Woman for Two (dir.Ling Zifeng, 1988), Hibiscus Town (dir.Xie Jin, 1986), Red Sorghum (dir.Zhang Yimou, 1987), Black Snow (dir.Xie Fei, 1989), Li Lianying: the Imperial Eunuch (dir.Tian Zhuangzhuang, 1991), Presumed Guilty (dir.Zhou Xiaowen, 1993), and the immensely popular 21-part TV drama A Native of Beijing in New York (1994). He twice won Best Actor award at HFA and was invited by the State Department on a one-month tour of the USA in spring 1992 as 'an outstanding young talent'. With financial backing from Hong Kong and Taiwan, he adapted Wang Shuo's novel Ferocious Animals and directed In the Heat of the Sun (1994), a nostalgic account of the passionate lives lived by a group of Beijing youth during the Cultural Revolution.

-203-

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Encyclopedia of Chinese Film
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Plates ix
  • Notes on Contributors xi
  • Note to the Reader xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Classified Contents xvii
  • Part I - Historical Essays 1
  • Chinese Cinema 3
  • Hong Kong Cinema 31
  • Taiwan Cinema 47
  • Further Reading 60
  • Further Reading 62
  • Transnational Cinema: Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan 63
  • Chinese Film in the West 66
  • Further Reading 69
  • Foreign Films in China 70
  • Part II - Main Entries 73
  • A - Action Film 75
  • Further Reading 85
  • B - Back to Back, Face to Face 89
  • Further Reading 92
  • C - Cageman 105
  • D - Dan Duyu 136
  • E - Early Spring in February 151
  • F - Family 158
  • G - Game of Death 173
  • H - He Jianjun 183
  • I - Iceman Cometh 198
  • J - Jade Love 203
  • Further Reading 204
  • K - Killer, The 206
  • L - Lai, Stan 210
  • Further Reading 213
  • M - Ma-Xu Weibang 235
  • Further Reading 246
  • N - Narrow Street 248
  • O - Old Well 255
  • P - Pai Ching-Jui 262
  • Q - Qin Yi 274
  • R - Rainclouds Over Wushan 276
  • S - Sacrificed Youth 295
  • T - Taipei Story 329
  • U - Under the Bridge 346
  • V - Visitor on Ice Mountain 349
  • W - Wan Jen 351
  • X - Xia Gang 374
  • Y - Yam, Simon 379
  • Z - Zhang Ga, a Boy Soldier 387
  • Bibliography 397
  • Select Internet Web Sites on Chinese Cinema 412
  • Glossary of Chinese Characters 413
  • Index of Titles 450
  • Index of Names 465
  • Index of Studios 473
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