Chapter published in:Opera in Translation: Unity and diversity
Edited by Adriana Şerban and Kelly Kar Yue Chan
[Benjamins Translation Library 153] 2020
► pp. 75–94
When Mei Lanfang encountered Fei Mu
Adaptation as intersemiotic translation in early Chinese opera film
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.
Keywords: Chinese theater, Fei Mu, May Fourth, Mei Lanfang, Bejing opera, opera film, intermediality, intersemiotic translation, realism, screen adaptation
Published online: 29 October 2020
Farquhar, Mary, and Chris Berry
Lei, Daphne P.
Scott, Adolphe Clarence
Wang, David Der-wei
1999 “Xiqu yu dianying de jiuge: Mei Lanfang yu Fei Mu de Shengsihen ” [The entangled relationship between traditional theater and cinema: Mei Lanfang and Fei Mu’s A Wedding in the Dream ]. In Wenyi lilun yu tongsu wenhua [Literary theory and popular culture], ed. by Peng Hsiao-yen, 547–576. Taibei: Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy.