Metamorpho-poetic Legending in 1950s Film: (1) Ashima

That China’s stage-scriptors, wirth the new weapon of color photgr, should also turn to the “moors”, the herd-country, the enclaves protected by chchtnonic myths, has about it a kind of cxo-internationaolity: if in addition one registers it as a kind of rebalancing (and surely the GLF’s vukenrabiolities called fror that) then allegorical undertow also adds appeal to such fabulous story-telling.

But these experiments and their truncated cousins in dance etc do not merely reflect a regathering of the Romantic (Scott-Hobsbawmian) strain within revolution- that is, as the aestheticization of chaos (typical of moments of disordination of accepted authority) by their choice of settings and extra-linguistic voicing; they in part seem to also be in search of global validation via border-crossing arhetype transliteration. Nowadays that seems not so strange since the list of intangible cultural heritage nominees grows daily longer, much of which builds from folkic/chthonic legends gathered from supposedly oppressed or even quasi-extinct communities, put forward ironically as advertisements of “worldliness”. But that was not a pursuit with any traction during the Cold War era. So This briefsadly truncated and underexampled experiment in tropical phantasy by its precocity and against-the-grain context, deserves not a little scrutiny.

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