Analyze the artistic use of colours in Zhang Yimou’s Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

Analyze the artistic usage of colorss in Zhang Yimou ‘s Raise the Red Lantern ( 1991 )

The lighting is enormously influenced by the director’s usage of intense, frequently over-saturated colourss. The colourss are non merely used to delight aesthetically, but besides serve as symbols throughout the movie. The colour “red” has legion significances throughout the film, with its most important significance being “power” . There is a immense power battle between the married womans as they intentionally make determinations to crush the other courtesans, with the wages being the ruddy lanterns. The scenes are besides frequently tinged either ruddy or bluish, and contribute to the tone of the movie. When the scenes have a ruddy touch, emotions such as lecherousness or choler are heightened. When the scenes have a bluish touch, there is a more cold and melancholic feel to the ambiance. Colorss are besides used to divide the courtesans from each other, with each courtesan holding a colour subject within their room and vesture. For illustration, the Second Wife is represented by xanthous to do herself appear guiltless and joyful, while the Third Wife is represented by the colour red to stress how much she wants the master’s fondness and how lively of a individual she’s coercing to pin down indoors. Songlian wavers between a assortment of colourss, as she switches different colour subjects when proving which of the courtesans seem to be most successful at winning the master’s attending. When all of this doesn’t affair to her anymore, she is frequently shown in black, which represents her “color” every bit good as her resigned credence of her destiny. The colour and lighting of the movie stress the frequently galvanizing tone and subjects of the movie.

Zhang Yimou ‘s ocular universe here is portion of the narrative. His maestro shooting, which is returns to once more and once more, looks down the cardinal infinite of the house, which is unfastened to the sky, with the houses of the married womans arrayed on either side, and the huge house of the maestro at the terminal. As the seasons base on balls, the courtyard is sprinkled with snow, or dripping with rain, or bathed in hot, still sunlight. The retainers come and travel. Up on the roof of the house is a small caducous which is sometimes whispered about. It has something to make with an earlier married woman, who did non adjust good.

Yimou uses the bold, bright colourss of “ Ju Dou ” once more this clip ; his movie was shot in the authoritative three-strip Technicolor procedure, now abandoned by Hollywood, which allows a profusion of reds and yellows no longer possible in American movies. There is a sense in which “ Raise the Red Lantern ” exists entirely for the eyes. Wholly apart from the secret plan, there is the sensuous pleasance of the architecture, the cloths, the colour contrasts, the faces of the actresses. But beneath the beauty is the barbarous world of this life, merely as beneath the comfort of the rich adult male ‘s house is the wickedness of bondage. ( http: //www.rogerebert.com/reviews/raise-the-red-lantern-1992 )

Mr. Zhang makes redolent usage of clear, simple colourss, from the lanterns themselves to the blue of the house ‘s rooftops at dusk. And he captures a elaborate ocular sense of the rites regulating Songlian ‘s new life. ( Ceremonial black lantern screens are employed when one of the married womans commits a black evildoing. ) The house itself, hauntingly photographed, becomes a perfect ocular metaphor for Songlian ‘s predicament. Vast, joging and queerly empty, it has developed the expression of a prison by the movie ‘s shutting minutes.

The movie is attractively photographed utilizing a procedure that captures the color of the many colourss employed by the manager.Raise the Red Lanternis visually arresting, and the entreaty to the oculus merely heightens the film ‘s emotional power. The comprehensiveness of reds, oranges, and yellows is unlike anything that has been seen in an American movie for old ages. Zhang clearly understands at least one of the cardinal regulations of movie devising: that a great-looking image will heighten a superior narrative. ( hypertext transfer protocol: //ibfilmsas.wikispaces.com/Raise+the+Red+Lantern )

the colourising techniques confirms the duality between maleness and muliebrity in the movie’s context. While most of the colour tones in the film are bland and more toward the cold side of the colour spectrum, there are two really typical warm colourss that were used: the ruddy lanterns and Meishan’s ruddy frock. The ruddy lanterns are lighted whenever Master Chen “visits” one of his married womans.

The fact that merely the married woman who is visited by Master Chen can hold her room lighted by the ruddy lanterns leads us to tie in this ruddy colour with female gender. When Master Chen discovered that Songlian lied about being pregnant, he ordered his retainers to cover all the ruddy lanterns in Songlian’s one-fourth with black fabrics, which can be easy connected with maleness. In other words, maleness one time once more dominated and laden muliebrity. The ruddy lanterns have become black lanterns, merely like muliebrity have now submitted to maleness within this family. In another scene, Yan’er was being punished for her effort at societal mounting. We saw in old scenes that Yan’er room was decorated with ruddy lanterns, demoing her strong look of muliebrity. However, when the whole family found out about this, they decided to fire the ruddy lanterns. Yan’er witnessed her ruddy lanterns fire wholly into black ashes. This tragic occurrence exhausted her and was an indirect cause of her decease subsequently. This transmutation from the ruddy lanterns to black ashes once more hinted at the power relation between maleness and muliebrity. The regulations of the family, the forces of maleness have destroyed Yan’er’s dream of carry throughing her muliebrity.

In another singular scene, Meishan was seen singing Chinese opera in the courtyard of the edifice composite. Her ruddy acting frock contrasted greatly with the dark bluish colour tone of the infinite around her. This is the tallness of her muliebrity look and the minute of her transient freedom from patriarchal subjugation. Even though she is surrounded by the maleness overload of the edifice construction and its colour, her ruddy frock, an allusion to her muliebrity, still commands the most attending. It is in this minute that her feminine ego radiances through the masculine patriarchal limitations.

However, when Meishan noticed that Songlian was watching her, she instantly stopped singing and took off the ruddy bed of her apparels to uncover the black frock she was have oning. The transmutation from ruddy to black is one time once more spotted here, which can be explained as a measure back to world from the never-never land. Femininity is mere figment of imaginativeness and maleness is world in this instance. In the concluding scene, Songlian is seen rolling in her ain one-fourth lighted by the ruddy lanterns. She has fallen into the land of semblance: the semblance of muliebrity resulted from her witnessing the devastation of muliebrity ( Meishan’s executing ) . Her one-fourth, even though lighted by the ruddy lanterns, looks really different from before: what draws our attending in this concluding frame is non the ruddy visible radiation of the lanterns that represented muliebrity, but the eerie dark bluish colour tone of the environing infinite that reminds us of the terrorization indestructible oppressive forces of maleness in the Chen’s family. The colourising techniques hinted that maleness is permeant in this societal scene and muliebrity merely has no topographic point but in the fanciful land to be. ( http: //easdiary.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/raise-the-red-lantern-1991-the-struggle-of-femininity/ )

To stop, ruddy is the colour of love and of power. Red, such a dramatic colour, plays an of import function in political relations. It has been use in national flags, in military uniforms and as a symbol of communism or socialism. In the movie, ruddy is efficaciously used as the colour of the lanterns. These ruddy lanterns that are shot against fade colourss of black, brown and grey background, stress their significance for the four courtesans. These ruddy lanterns imply that one has won the competition, one’s tactics are effectual, and one has obtained the privileges and prestigiousness along with power for that twenty-four hours. Red is more sensed as a colour of power than a colour of love. I guess there was no love at all or maybe it was non explicitly shown. Truly, how can one love a adult male who good, provides all the luxuries the courtesans needed but is besides the beginning of hatred, competition, heartache and even discontentment? But they chose to keep their relationship with Master Chan decidedly non chiefly because of love but because of their desire to see power even for a short period of clip. ( http: //polsci167.blogspot.ca/2007/09/raise-red-lantern-hierarchy-of-societal.html )

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It is common cognition that colour engineering applied in the movie allows film makers to pull strings emotions to please audiences in their ocular universe. Color engineering is used for symbol to alter audience’s perceptual experiences today. As for thefifth-generation Chinese movie manager Yimou Zhang, “ colour is n’t merely of import… it is his prima lady ” ( Howe ) The colour red is the signature for most of Zhang Yimou’s movies such asRed Sorghum,Ju Dou, and Raise the Red Lantern ( Tan Ye ) . Raymond besides agrees that “the three of films” above are “all made make bolding usage of the colour ruddy ” ( Zhou ) . However, Raymond continues to reason that Zhang’s use “ of colourss is found in different ways with different deductions in his early and later plants ” ( Zhou ) . What does Zhang’s red suggest? It is therefore really of import to find the significance behind the ruddy he uses in a filmas a manner to understandthat specificfilm, although it is truly a topic of much argument. This essay will, take Raise the Red Lantern ( the movie screened in category ) as illustration, to analyse its artistic usage of ruddy coloring material.

Tan Ye one time mentions the statement of the significance of ruddy related inRaise the Red Lanternas: “Some think the ruddy lanterns reveal the sexual laterality of the patriarchal tyrant and the ruddy lanterns may besides imply the fulfilment of the concubine’s desire.” ( Tan Ye, 1999 ) But, in his position, Zhang’s red colour defies narrow reading as a temper. Red is no longer merely a colour of jubilation in old China, or colour of revolution in a modern China, nor is it a colour of maliciousness. ( Tan Ye, 1999 )

Red is used copiously in Raise the Red Lanternand ” is of high importance [ in ] the movie ” ( Derek ) . This has to dowith the fact that itserves three intents: screening position, finding power, and representing person interrupting the regulations and losing their power.

Red as Status

The movie uses the colour red as a manner of making position in the family.Raise the Red Lanternis a movie about “ [ T ] he [ struggle ] of [ four ] married womans and their retainers for position in the hierarchy of the family ” they live in ( Coughlin ) . This battle arisesfrom ” theMaster ‘s… sturdy regulation that is seen and felt ” throughout the movie ( Coughlin ) i»? . The married womans ‘ “ position… is straight relative to how extremely she is favored ” by the Master ( Berardinelli ) , which is determined by “ his sexual choice for the eventide, [ where ] the chosen married woman enjoys this family ‘s equivalent of ostentation ” ( Howe ) . “ Servants bent and light a parade of ruddy lanterns taking up to [ that married woman ‘s ] bedroomdoorway… [ and ] [ H ] Er pess are bathed, ” covered in ruddy cloth, and ” so therapeutically rapped with wooden paddles ” ( Howe ) . So, the figure of times the married womans are presented with the colour red straight relates to how high they rank in the house ‘s construction. The more they are presented with it, the more the Master enjoys them, doing them rank higher in the house ( Hamilton ) . Therefore, the colour ruddy is synonymous with the position of the married womans causingit to be the symbol of that position.

Red as Power

Red is besides used as asymbol for power in the movie. This occurs because “ the [ M ] aster ‘s favour [ besides ] determines which of his married womans commands the most power ” ( Berardinelli ) .Going along with the construction of the family, whoever is chosen the dark before “ decides on the family ‘s repast [ s ] … the [ following ] twenty-four hours ” ( Howe ) . Although ruddy does notspecificallycorrespond with the chosen wifein these specificscenes, it still plays a critical roleinshowingtheir power. When a married woman is presented with ruddy lanterns, they gain power for the undermentioned twenty-four hours ( Howe ) .If one of the married womans has “ [ degree Fahrenheit ] requently lit lanterns, ” so they have greater power over the the operations of the full house ( Hamilton ) . Therefore, the usage of redto show theMaster ‘s choice and which wifegets powercauses redto be asymbolfor thatpower.

Redcan besides be seen portraying power in another manner during the movie. Thiscan be seenwhen Songlian pretends she ‘s pregnant.Because the Maestro believes she is pregnant, he grants her more power than the other married womans. For illustration, Songlian wants a back hang-up and explains to the Maestro that Zhouyan, the 2nd married woman, is good atmassagesandwants her to make it. TheMastersummons Zhouyan and makes her give Songlian a back message. Inanyother circumstance, theMaster likely would n’t hold allowed it, but becuaseshe wassuppose to bepregnant, he did. Now, during this clip, Songlian’slanterns are lit continuously and she dresses wholly in ruddy. By making this, the movie has efficaciously used redas a manner ofportraying power by holding it wholly cover the pregnant married woman, whohas the most power in the family.

Red as Loss of Power

Although ruddy is specifically meant as a colour to demo position and power, redalso portrays the loss of power. The preliminary to this is whenSonglian cuts Zhouyan ‘s ear.Although Songlian does n’t actuallylose any position or powerbecause of this, her standing with the other married womans is shaken. Itappears as thoughSonglian didthis on intent because she was frustrated with Zhouyan, doing her outto be a force to think with. In this scene, Zhouyan ‘s manus is covered in blood, which is a dark shadiness of ruddy. This blood portraysthat shaken standing because it is blood ‘she spilled ‘ in her defeat, raising concern in the other married womans. Since red is the colour of the object that makes the married womans uneasy, ruddy portrays that shift in power.

Thefilm goes beyond this to demo that ruddy is a symbol for the loss of power in two other scenes. First off, “ ruddy musca volitanss of menstral blood on [ Songlian ‘s ] white bloomerss [ give ] off her program ” of feigning to be pregnant ( “ Zhang Yimou ‘s Chinese Ghost ” ) . Shortly after that, Songlian finds out Yan’er was the cause of the Master determination this out and ” she throws Yan’er ‘s ruddy lanterns onto the white snow ” ( “ Zhang Yimou… ” ) which exposesher secret. These two sequences are “ ocular [ ly ] analogue ” because they both show redwhen a secret is found out ( “ Zhang Yimou… ” ) . Besides, they both end in person losing their power. Songlian gets her lanterns covered, losing all position and power in the family. Yan’er stays outside andbecomes ill, which “ eventuallyleads to her decease ” ( “ Zhang Yimou… ” ) . Because of this, Yan’er losesthe littlepower she feltbeing the Master ‘s kept woman. So, these sequences reveal thatredsymbolizes theloss of power by holding redas the colour of the object that uncovers a secret andultimately strips person of the power they have.

While most of the colour tones in the film are, there are two really typical warm colourss that were used: the ruddy lanterns and Meishan’s ruddy frock. The ruddy lanterns are lighted whenever Master Chen “visits” one of his married womans.

In add-on, a really singular scene about Meishan in ruddy acting frock supports the duality. Meishan is seen by Songlian singing Chinese opera in the courtyard one forenoon, and her ruddy acting frock looks so bright against the dark bluish colour tone of the infinite around her. This is considered as her muliebrity look and the minute of her impermanent freedom from patriarchal subjugation. “Even though she is surrounded by the maleness overload of the edifice construction and its colour, her ruddy frock, an allusion to her muliebrity, still commands the most attending. It is in this minute that her feminine ego radiances through the masculine patriarchal restrictions.” ( )

However, when Meishan noticed that Songlian was watching her, she instantly stopped singing and took off the ruddy bed of her apparels to uncover the black frock she was have oning. The transmutation from ruddy to black is one time once more spotted here, which can be explained as a measure back to world from the never-never land. Femininity is mere figment of imaginativeness and maleness is world in this instance. In the concluding scene, Songlian is seen rolling in her ain one-fourth lighted by the ruddy lanterns. She has fallen into the land of semblance: the semblance of muliebrity resulted from her witnessing the devastation of muliebrity ( Meishan’s executing ) . Her one-fourth, even though lighted by the ruddy lanterns, looks really different from before: what draws our attending in this concluding frame is non the ruddy visible radiation of the lanterns that represented muliebrity, but the eerie dark bluish colour tone of the environing infinite that reminds us of the terrorization indestructible oppressive forces of maleness in the Chen’s family. The colourising techniques hinted that maleness is permeant in this societal scene and muliebrity merely has no topographic point but in the fanciful land to be. ( http: //easdiary.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/raise-the-red-lantern-1991-the-struggle-of-femininity/

the colourising techniques confirms the duality between maleness and muliebrity in the movie’s context. While most of the colour tones in the film are bland and more toward the cold side of the colour spectrum, there are two really typical warm colourss that were used: the ruddy lanterns and Meishan’s ruddy frock. The ruddy lanterns are lighted whenever Master Chen “visits” one of his married womans.

Supporting colour As? ? concludes that ruddy, such a dramatic colour, is perceived as a colour of power. In Raise the Red Lantern, “ red is efficaciously used as the colour of the lanterns. These ruddy lanterns that are shot against fade colourss of black, brown and grey background, stress their significance for the four courtesans. These ruddy lanterns imply that one has won the competition, one’s tactics are effectual, and one has obtained the privileges and prestigiousness along with power for that day.”