second timothy


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Jiang Wen: protagonists in Chinese war films

More Jiang Wen! I’m currently reading Chinese and Japanese Films on the Second World War edited by King-fai Tam, Timothy Y. Tsu, and Sandra Wilson, a collection that includes two essays analyzing Jiang Wen’s Devils on the Doorstep and one essay devoted to Donnie Yen’s Ip Man. (I’ll post on all of these!)

I’ve just finished the essay “A genealogy of anti-Japanese protagonists in Chinese war films, 1949-2011″ by Timothy Y. Tsu. Tsu actually considers two roles portrayed by Jiang Wen, namely the memorable “my grandpa” in 1987′s Red Sorghum and Ma Dasan in 2000′s subversive Devils on the Doorstep, which JW also directed, produced, and co-wrote. (Aside: Although it’s very difficult for me to choose, I think DotD may be my very favorite of the films JW has directed.) I thought the contrast here is interesting.

Tsu identifies Red Sorghum’s “my grandpa” as “the non-ideological but patriotic peasant”:

Internationally acclaimed, Red Sorghum pioneered the transformation of the socialist resistance hero into a non-ideological character. ‘My grandpa’, the unnamed hero, is not a communist but an uneducated, bare-chested palanquin carrier… his patriotism is instinctive. Indeed, precisely because the movie strips him of ideology, it can concentrate on celebrating his rage at the Japanese as a primal form of patriotism. As embodied by ‘my grandpa’, this patriotic instinct is presented as an authentic constituent of ‘Chinese-ness’, timeless, visceral, and unsullied by ideology. 

Here is Tsu’s perspective on Devils on the Doorstep and Ma Dasan, whom he calls “the scheming peasant”:

Winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes in 2000, Devils on the Doorstep claims the distinction not only of having been released in Japan, a feat seldom achieved by Chinese movies about the war, but also of receiving enthusiastic reviews from mainstream Japanese media as well as from Western critics. Widely praised as an ‘anti-war film’, it is notable for its sympathy for both the victims and the aggressors in war, and its condemnation of war as dehumanizing and incomprehensible for all involved. In addition to its universal anti-war message, the movie also presents a vigorous challenge to the socialist anti-Japanese protagonist, to the extent that it could not formally be released in China….

With its barren rural landscape, austere farmhouses, and simple peasants, Devils on the Doorstep replicates the mood of good old socialist anti-Japanese movies, only to undermine that association by presenting a hero who is no hero at all by the conventions of socialist cinema. Although their poor peasant pedigree is beyond dispute, Ma and his neighbors depart from the stereotype in that they are more interested in self-preservation than resisting foreign aggression…. When Ma finally attacks the enemy, the war is already over. Most strikingly, Ma dies a common criminal, condemned by a Chinese officer. The war is thus an absurdity for Ma: it robs him of everything worthwhile and brings no justice in the end.

Next up, the essay “The Sino-Japanese War in Ip Man”!


Sherborne’s Turing-Cumberbatch Connection

Benedict Cumberbatch may have gone to Harrow but his father, the actor Timothy Carlton, came to Sherborne!

Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch came to Sherborne in September 1953 and left in 1958 with his Valete in The Shirburnian confidently proclaiming that he was heading ‘To the stage’. Which is just what he did, changing his name to Timothy Carlton and making his West end stage debut in 1963.

Timothy Cumberbatch was a member of Lyon House where his contemporaries included John and Christopher Morcom, the twin nephews of Alan Turing’s school friend Christopher Collan Morcom who died in February 1930 while still a pupil at Sherborne, and where one of the dormitories was named in his memory.

When Timothy came to Sherborne the important role that Alan Turing had played in the Second World War was still shrouded in secrecy but his early work on computers was beginning to be discussed, in fact Turing’s last visit to Sherborne School took place in March 1953, just 6 months before Timothy’s arrival, when he gave a paper on the Electronic Brain to The Alchemists society. Turing died the following year and in 1955 his mother endowed the Turing Prize for Science at Sherborne in his memory. The Morcom family had also endowed a prize at Sherborne in memory of Christopher, known as the Morcom Prize for Science it was first awarded to Alan Turing in 1930 and again in 1931. In 1957, the prize was awarded to Christopher Morcom’s nephew, John Morcom. Both prizes are still awarded at Sherborne today.

It was while at Sherborne that Timothy Cumberbatch first took to the stage. In 1956 he appeared as Mrs Reade in the Lyon House play of J.B. Priestley’s Cornelius: A Business Affair in Three Transactions. The Head of Lyon House wrote in the ‘House Notes’ that ‘it was generally voted a great success. The enormous cast – 20 – made the production difficult, but it was worth it because of the fun and experience it gave to a large amount of people. Though the play itself was not a very good one the standard of acting was almost universally very high. For this all thanks to Mr Buchanan.’

Mr Buchanan was in fact Major John David Buchanan, MBE, who had come to Sherborne in 1948 to teach English. Having served in the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War he then became Private Secretary to Sir Alexander Cadogan, Britain’s representative at the United Nations. Buchanan surprised everyone when he decided to change career, becoming a schoolmaster first at Westminster Under School and then at Sherborne. As a teacher of English, Buchanan conveyed his own passion for the subject to his pupils, not only in class but also in House plays and as Chairman of the James Rhoades Society, where boys met together to read plays and of which Timothy Cumberbatch was a member. During this time Buchanan introduced the boys attending the meetings to a wide range of playwrights, including Shakespeare, Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Arthur Miller, Jean Anouilh, Noel Coward and, in 1957, to a radical new work by John Osborne called Look Back in Anger. When Buchanan left Sherborne in 1958, to become Headmaster of Oakham School, the Hon. Secretary of the James Rhoades Society wrote ‘It would be useless to try to assess the value of Mr Buchanan in the short space accorded to me, but let it suffice to say that the Chairman reading his “old men” parts, Mrs Buchanan’s excellent refreshments and the innumerable pleasant evenings spent at Lenthay Fields will remain in the memories of members past and present for a long time indeed.’

With his passion for acting ignited, the young Timothy Cumberbatch appeared again on stage in the 1958 Lyon House play, R.F. Delderfield’s Worm’s Eye View. In this comedy, set in the Second World War, Timothy played the part of Mrs Bounty who bitterly resents having five RAF recruits billeted in her home and redirects her frustrations against her family.

The Head of Lyon House wrote in the ‘House Notes’ that ‘There were times when the incredible strain of acting and rehearsing and organising began to tell and one wondered whether the whole thing was worthwhile. The final result proved that it was, but I would emphasize that the once every two years rule must be kept to, if only for the sake of the house’s reputation as actors, which at the moment stand very high.’ The reviewer in The Shirburnian noted that ‘T.C.C. Cumberbatch and S.W. St. J. Lytle presented an appalling pair of dragons in Mrs Bounty and her insufferable son, whose icy scorn and ruthless tyranny were so thoroughly odious that it was at once clear that there might perhaps be some slight friction here and there… I shall remember for a long time the sight of the quivering Taffy planting his foot firmly in the jelly, and of a pile of irate airmen taking it out of the wretched Sydney Spooner while the Duke, wide to the world, was blissfully smothering an outraged Mrs Bounty with ardent embraces.’By the time Timothy Cumberbatch left Sherborne School in 1958 he had decided that he wanted to become a professional actor, a decision that one day would influence his own son, Benedict Cumberbatch, to follow the same career and would result in him portraying Alan Turing, one of our most famous Old Shirburnians, in the 2014 film The Imitation Game.

Rachel Hassall

27 November 2014

  • special thanx to adris777 of tumblr for submission
D.Gray-Man theory: Who is the Heart

Alright so the whole conversation of who has the Heart of Innocence is probably one of the most pondered questions DGM has yet to answer. I’ve thought about this long and hard, and I actually have a theory for it. Just read this and you’ll see it.
First, if it were to be one of the exorcists, it would have to be one that we’ve grown attached to. (To give a shock factor to the audience.) so, it can’t be someone like Chaoji or Timothy.
Second, it has to be one of the main four: Allen, Kanda, Lenalee, or Lavi. Because they’re the characters that we’ve grown attached to most since they’ve been important since beginning chapters and so on.(Automatically taking Krory and the others out.)
Third, analyze each character’s innocence development. It can’t be Allen. Not only would it be too obvious, but so much has happened to Allen already that it would just pile up and make Allen seem like a Garry Stu which he is not. We’ve seen his innocence advance into Crown Clown AND we saw how it saved his life by healing the wound the tease made in his heart. That, and he’s also the 14th Noah. Going back to the Garry Stu, he can’t be both.
Lenalee was thought to be the Heart, but she isn’t. It’s been proven that her innocence actually went through an unknown stage that’s now known as Crystalization. Kanda’s went through Crystalization as well. We saw how Lenalee went through the difficulty of Crystalization after HER innocence saved her life during the fight with the level 3 akuma. We also saw how Crystalization improved her skill as an accomadator.
It can’t be Kanda either. Not only did his go through Crystalization, but we saw his process of becoming an accomadator. (Backstory) we know he was made to become an exorcist, but he didn’t connect with the innocence right away. In fact, he hated it. Not only that, but in the manga it says that Kanda is becoming a fallen. AND he’s a General! Too much is going on with his innocence, so he’s crossed out. Leaving us with only one person…….
Lavi HAS to be the Heart! Throughout the story, we don’t see Lavi’s innocence evolve at all. Sure, he has the Fire Seal and the Wood Seal, but that’s all we see. His innocence never did anything too grand like the other’s did. We don’t even know how he got the innocence. (Then again, we don’t know anything about him.) and with the situation he’s in now, kidnapped by Noah and having Fiddlers parasite, it would be the perfect opportunity for HIS innocence to save HIM. But think of it this way; in an interview with Katsura Hoshino, she said she had a terrible fate planned for Lavi. What if it dealt with his innocence? She never said anything about him dying. If Lavi’s innocence gets destroyed, and it is the Heart, everyone else’s innocence would be destroyed too. And Allen’s innocence is the very thing that’s keeping him from becoming the 14th. Lavi HAS to be the Heart for those very reasons!!! It just leads up to it!!! If his time is coming up in the manga, it has to show something with his innocence like it did everyone else’s. HE HAS TO BE THE HEART!!!!

Hello) Today I am celebrating achieving 900 followers with this:

Every Monday morning for the past seven years a perfect single rose has arrived for Wanda Ventham. They’re from her second husband, actor Timothy Carlton – and even he is away filming or on tour, the rose arrives.

“Tim is a great romantic, which is really why – in the end – I decided I would remarry, “ Wanda told me.

They were married in April, 1976, but had been together virtually since they first met in Ireland in 1972 while filming sequences for A Family At War. At the time her first marriage, to businessman James Tabernacle, was well on the way to a conclusion.

“Tim didn’t break up a marriage,” she said, “but I suppose he was what was needed to help me make the final decision. All divorces are unpleasant, but I was lucky because I had someone in my life to cushion me.

“Even so, it didn’t make it easy, and I ended up feeling really sad and with an awful sense of failure.”

But that’s all well in the past now. She and Tim have a three-year-old son, Benedict, an energetic handful who was treating the living room like sports stadium when I saw Wanda at her Kensington flat.

“Our brains go to jelly the whole time,” she said, watching him. “He has been rather vile today, though – you’ve hit on a bad day. He has just had his adenoids and tonsils out and his temperament has gone slightly loopy in the last day or so. But even at times like this Tim is fantastic with him.”

While Carlton was being fantastic, keeping the boisterous Benedict relatively quiet in another room, I asked Wanda about her daughter by her first marriage.

“It’s smashing to have a 20-year-old daughter because our interests are so similar,” she said. “She’s an art student now, something I always wanted to be when I was a child and before I decided to become an actress.

“Tracy was 13 when Tim and I got together, but I had no misgivings about living with him. Thirteen is a vulnerable age, but she was mature enough to realize there wasn’t happy relationship between her father and me.

“She has never taken sides, although she leans towards me. I think it’s because she has always lived with me and that is where her security and her continuity have come from.

“When I first got married my parents, and my husband’s, would have been horrified if we had decided to just live together. But now – I would encourage my daughter to live with someone at first rather than jump into marriage straight away.”

Tracy took time off from school to be at Wanda and Tim’s wedding. Her only objection seemed to be her mother’s choice of a wedding outfit – jeans, held up by braces. And she was really delighted when her step-brother arrived on the scene.

I asked Wanda (who gives what she calls “a rather flashy cameo performance” in John Osborne’s play You’re Not Watching Me, Mummy on Monday and will star in a second series of Fallen Hero later this year) what she felt was meant by the word “raunchy”. A well-known gossip columnist she was never met recently described her as “a very raunchy lady”.

“I don’t know,” Wanda said. “It sound rather game, and I’ve always led such a domestic life. Raunchy doesn’t sound at all domesticated…”

And Wanda Ventham, who seems to be rather more disturbing than domesticated, started to make Benedict’s tea. When you have Benedict in the house, you can’t just sit around all day looking like Wanda Ventham.

Phrase of the century:

While Carlton was being fantastic, keeping the boisterous Benedict relatively quiet in another room…

I am sorry, Benedict, I seem to be in love with your dad…