When Mei Lanfang encountered Fei Mu: Adaptation as intersemiotic translation in early Chinese opera film

Kenny K.K. Ng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter examines the intersemiotic translation of Chinese opera for cinema, between stage and screen. It examines the collaboration of Fei Mu and Mei Lanfang in producing China’s first color movie, an opera film, A Wedding in the Dream (1948). The two artists attempted to expand the expressive borders of stage and screen to forge a cultural identity of Chinese cinema. But the intermedia venture presented issues in adaptation, cinematization, and translation. How does opera film reconcile the realistic tradition of cinema with the figurative nature of Chinese theater? The study looks at the intermediality of adaptation as a practice of intersemiotic translation, focusing on how the symbolism of Chinese theater can be translated into cinematic form.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOpera in Translation
Subtitle of host publicationUnity and diversity
EditorsAdriana Serban, Kelly Kar Yue Chan
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Pages75-94
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789027260789
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameBenjamins Translation Library
Volume153
ISSN (Print)0929-7316

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bejing opera
  • Chinese theater
  • Fei Mu
  • Intermediality
  • Intersemiotic translation
  • May Fourth
  • Mei Lanfang
  • Opera film
  • Realism
  • Screen adaptation

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