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Thursday, November 09, 2017

THE GOOD EARTH, GOOD GOD!


With the new technology that abounds, the old-school things are becoming obsolete. Music and art, drama and cinema as a whole seem to have lost some luster in some ways and yet is still appreciated in others.

The other day I was watching an old movie based on an old book, written by Pearl S. Buck titled: The Good Earth. It is a wonderful story about a Chinese couple that rises and falls then rises again to new heights in their lives in China Reading the book was a wonderful experience I had as a young teenager, my imagination staged the whole thing as I read the words between the covers. Written in 1931 and adapted to a play later, then the movie in 1938.

The movie had a great flaw, it was an American movie, one with the main characters being American! Hundreds of Chinese and Japanese and I would bet on Koreans in the movie recruited to play the extras, all around the American actors. The stereotyping was strong as was the perceptions of what China and Chinese were about. Even the racist idea of using non-Chinese Asians to play Chinese became laughable.

Starring Paul Muni as Wang Lung. For her role as his wife O-Lan: Luise Rainer, the makeup could not hide the fact that they were American and looked out of place in their roles to me. This is of course only my opinion but still, it just didn't come across.

I loved the novel and should have stayed with it that way and not watched the movie. However, when a movie stars Paul Muni, I watch.

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