4.50 – MULAN (2020) and Honour

The final film in our Disney-animation-and-remakes sub-season is the 2020 iteration of MULAN. After some reviews, we delve into discussions of Disney ‘humanisation’ (sometimes, you just want bad guys to be bad guys), the fact that this movie is aimed at a very different audience from the original, the changes that are made to make this more of a human film, and how honour and ch’i (two big concepts here) mean very different things for different (gendered) characters.

Next Up
The next episode is our 200th — stay tuned to find out what we have planned for this, which may be something of a retrospective.
Recent Media
ARMY OF THE DEAD (2021): Zack Snyder, Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell
STEELERS: THE WORLD’S FIRST GAY RUGBY CLUB (2020): Eammon Ashton-Atkinson, Nic Evans, Simon Jones
PALM SPRINGS (2020): Max Barbakow, Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti
Recommendations
ROGUE ONE (2016): Gareth Edwards, Felicity Jones, Diego Luna
BACK TO THE FUTURE, PART II (1989): Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd
2046 (2004): Wong Kar-wai, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Faye Wong
THE ASSASSIN (2015): Hou Hsiao-hsien, She Qi, Chang Chen
Footnotes
To start with, almost in passing, Sam mentions the concept of magic(al) realism, when talking about the phoenix; more on that here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_realism. When Rob mentions the film’s Wuxia moments, there’s a throwback both to the genre and to some episodes of The Prestige discussing this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuxia; particularly, www.kaiju.fm/prestige/the-assassin-and-cultural-tourismwww.kaiju.fm/prestige/4-05-come-drink-with-me-1966-and-war, and www.kaiju.fm/prestige/4-08-the-legend-of-drunken-master-1994-and-comedy-action. Next, I looked at the title of this article and thought ‘uh-oh, we missed something significantly wrong with this film’; no, it’s just a terrible take: www.sceneandheardnu.com/content/2020/9/18/mulan-is-bad-and-that-was-inevitable. (It’s here to remind us all that other opinions do exist, which is rather the point of film…) Finally, here’s more on the ‘life force’ we discuss a lot in this episode (spelled in any number of ways in the English transliteration): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi.
Next episode is our 200th, and we want your help! – https://www.notion.so/The-Prestige-200th-Episode-0556dca9b5ea4821807e524bfe3be263

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