Dualism In M Butterfly And Chen Kaige's Farwell My Concubine

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The transgender actions of the stage create a realm where there’s a dualism between reality and fiction. When a character is portrayed in a believable manner, it’s likely because the actor has assumed at least some of the characteristics of the part they are playing. The fault lies in the dichotomy of the stage; the physical aspects take place in the actual sense anchoring them in reality. However the movements, lines and even the emotions are calculated and derived to evoke imagination and the fantasy of the show. David Cronenberg’s M Butterfly and Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine are films that explore the duality of the stage. Both films explore the idea of femininity, and what it means to “act” the part of being a woman. However, both films seem to embody the female, but only in regards to her male counterpart. They have created her character inside of patriarchal stereotypes, and have rejected the concept of the real woman in favor of the staged one. In Kaige’s Farwell My Concubine, the dichotomy between the staged woman and the real woman is heavily prevalent. Kaige’s portrayal of Dieyi is one that fits into a larger historical construct. Traditionally Peking Opera female impersonators were required to constantly imagine themselves to be women. This is evident throughout Farewell My Concubine as Dieyi seemed to not only imagine but truly believe in his own feminity. After being essentially beaten into submission, Dieyi finally …show more content…
It’s in this assumed role that the gender of the character can be explored. Both Farewell My Concubine and M Butterfly, have explored the gender roles of their characters. Both films exploration of the female femininity is exemplified and embraced, however only in regards to her male counterpart. The films seem to favor the idealized version of what a woman should be rather than who she actually

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