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Floating Floating Life Life 495200718Janine 495200770 Edison 495200782 Cathy Joe 496200698 Constance 496200727Daphne Tine
Outline • Background Introduction • Characters Analysis • Sisters • Parents • Young Brothers • Brother • Cinematography • Setting • Symbolic Meaning • Conclusion • Questions
Introduction Introduction Constance
Hong Kong • Hong Kong was a dependent territory of the United Kingdom from 1842-1997 • Colonial Flag of Hong Kong, Used in the Past • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) After 1997
1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration • Marked the end of British rule • Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to Chinese rule -The Handover/Reunification (1st July 1997)
The Hong Kong Mass Migration Wave1980s and 1990s • 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration • Prompted immigration of the Hong Kongers • Reluctance of being ruled by the Communist party • Past experiences of political unrest in China caused fear • Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 (六四事件) in Beijing triggered mass migration in the 1990s
Destinations • Hong Kong citizens would not be granted British citizenship • Canada, USA, Australia • Central Richmond of British Columbia, Canada ("Little Hong Kong“) • Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, San Francisco and Singapore.
Number of Emigrants • 250,000 to one million people • 1988-1994 peak years of outflow: about 55,000 people/year
Synopsis Ma and Pa Chan move to Australia with their two adolescent sons to live with their second daughter (Bing) and her husband. • Floating Life is an Australian-produced drama about the experiences of a Hong Kong family, who emigrates to Sydney a year before the handover. Their eldest daughter Yen lives in Munich with her German husband. Bing is demanding towards her parents and younger brothers. She insists that the two boys speak English only and makes sure her parents understand the dangers in Australia. Their eldest son, Gar Min (the family playboy) remains in Hong Kong to wait for his is immigration papers.
Structure of the Movie • House in Australia • A house without trees • A house in turmoil • House in Germany • House in Hong Kong • A House in China
Family Tree Family Tree
Mr. Chan Mrs. Chan Bing Yue Cheung Michael Yen Chao Gar Ming David Mui Mui 1m son Apple Sandi
Characters Analysis Sisters Characters Analysis Sisters Janine
Eldest sister: Yen Chan • Married to a German: Michael • Personality: - caring - brave - pious - soft-hearted - puts her family in priority
Yen Chan • Discontentment : - regrets not being able to take care of her parents - lack of identity - can’t speak fluent German - Cantonese is not Chinese
Yen Chan • Trying hard to get used to the life in Germany - having a German friend accompany Mui Mui home - confronts with a Neo-Nazi at the mall - irony: still believes in feng-sui • Psychosomatic symptom - itchiness from the paint symbol of missing her parents in Australia
Second sister: Bing Chan • Successful businesswoman • Married to an ex-astronaut: Ah-Cheung • Personality: - repressive - bossy - controlling • Cause of her negative personality: - isolation and loneliness
Bing Chan • “The House without Trees” - scared of a mouse - seals the ceiling with tape symbol of her repression - a love affair with the clerk from the restaurant, David but kicked him out symbol of her control
Bing Chan • “The House in Australia” - trying too hard to help her family members to get used to Australia controlling their food, education and manner irony: her family members are tired and scared all the time • “The House in Turmoil” - neglects anyone who turn their back on her
Bing Chan • Discontentment: - being alone for 7 years - a love affair with David - over-controlling of her family members - workaholic - depression • Walking out of depression: - the mother’s prayer
Quarrel between Yen & Bing • Bing thinks of the family as extra burden - none of her parents or her brothers understand her reasons - Yen and Gar Ming are not around to help - wants Yen to take them to Germany - descendants are useless, they won’t look after you when you’re old
Characters Analysis Parents Characters Analysis Parents Cathy
Mr. Chan and Mrs. Chan • Personalities: optimistic, positive • Adjusting to the life in Australia while preserving Chinese traditions • Emotional changes from the beginning to the end • Their attitude toward the ancestors • Image of a traditional Chinese mother • Irony: Mr. Chan met his friend • The disappearance of traditions
Characters Analysis Brothers Characters Analysis Brothers Joe
Observation • First impression of Australia reminded Chau of horror movies. • Yue and Chau help parents defy Bing’s rule and go out for a walk. • They dream about going back to Hong Kong. • First likes Australia for the girls and sports. – relates to the place in their own ways. • Both want to be taller. – struggle to fit in as Asians. • In the house, under parents protection and slight indulgence to pocket money and smokes, against Bing’s rule.
Park Scene • Feels peaceful when Big sister takes them to the park • Both have doubts when asked how Bing treats mom and dad. • Chau doubtfully “repeats” they need to learn from 2nd sister to be independent, especially when they are Asians. • Yue (older brother) is more braver to stand against Bing. Chao (younger brother) is softer and sympathetic. • Yet both are afraid of Bing.
Two brothers are used as battling chips by Bing against their parents. • Yue ran away, even though he was also very scared. • Chao stayed out of sympathy for and fear of Bing. But later also moved in with parents and was more comfortable there.
Youngest Asian Immigrants • Fastest and least painful to adapt • Yue & Chau began to associate with and like Australia through their own ways: girls and sports • Struggles as Asians in a white society • Want to grow taller < struggle of Asian physique • Stillmaintain Chinese filial piety • Did not give in to Bing’s proposition of a deal for its benefits.Still went to live with parents. • Yue did not give in; Chao only stayed out of sympathy for Bing. while adapting to new environment, one never forgets his/her Asian roots.
Characters Analysis Gar Ming Edison
A House in HK: Gar Ming Loneliness & Anxiety The leading causes of Gar Ming’s erotic life 1. The only one of the Chans in the Homeland2. Anxious about the future (1997) or life in Australia3. A stockbroker interesting in stock---money, material life To deal with 1+2+3 sexual pleasure = seek for three-minute satisfaction = three-minute relief & comfort
Self-indulgence in love affair Uncertainty Reason why he is afraid of making a commitment ✗ Bring Sandi to Australia ✗ Have a baby and go to Vancouver with Apple ✗Answer Yen’s question: Go to Australia or not? ✔Agree with the Abortion To deal with the uncertainty Having Love affair Responsibility
Turning Point The Exhumation & Abortion reveals the indispensable family bond 1. Ancestors’ hard effort to settle down (“sit well”)2. Parents’ love is real, while love games provide only emptiness 1 & 2 are undeniable
Turning Point The fetus Makes him think of his parents 1. The quick cease of the fetus: life is vulnerable 2. Once a life is born, the family bond exists forever. 3. sudden existence of the fetus VS. his parents’ long struggling
Realization 1. A life is born to die: immortal life 2. Uncertainty of life: when will it end? 3. How much does it hurt to lose a family 3. Certainty of family love. 4. Love is all about spiritual things. Burden of family = responsibility = no more loneliness = no more reliance on sexual pleasure
Cinematography Cinematography Daphne
Structure • Spatial framework represented by houses at different locations • Plot of immigration supported by Chan family’s “orbit” around the different countries • House (motif) • Isolates and contains inhabitants • National/cultural differences felt by immigrants
Colors • Australia hard-lighting, bleached, overexposed • Germany blue tones, cold, bleak • Hong Kong warm tones, yellow light
Australia Wide open spaces, deserted streets Affective, dispositional break of immigration Shield from light (fear, anxiety) Stark whiteness of the house
Germany Emotional displacement Cold, hard, lack of warmth Inside the house: initially in orange hues, but gradually shifts to blue tones
Hong Kong Home Fully lit, colorful, Busy city setting, crowdedness, suffocation Yolky yellowness could also suggest illness
Lighting Contrast of shadow vs. light Melancholia, fear, distress are all discussed in the dark Extreme brightness: untouchable Coordinated color: normalcy, reality