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Release: Oct. 12, 2001

'Blush,''Raise The Red Lantern,' By IWP's Su Tong Will Be Shown

"Blush" and the Academy Award-nominated "Raise the Red Lantern," films based on the works of Chinese fiction writer Su Tong, now in residence at the University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP), will be shown Oct. 26-27 at the UI.

"Blush," winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in Room 203 of the Becker Communications Studies Building. The event will include a discussion featuring Ye Yunshan, a UI graduate student in Asian Languages and Literature and IWP graduate assistant, who is currently teaching a class on modern Chinese writers.

Su Tong, who is one of China's most prominent young fiction writers, will speak at the Oct. 27 screening of "Raise the Red Lantern" at 7 p.m in Room 101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building.

Both screenings are free, and the public is invited to attend.

Directed by Zhang Yimou in 1992, "Raise the Red Lantern" won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Best Cinematography in the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, and Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography at the National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Film critic James Berardinelli wrote that "Raise the Red Lantern" is "one of the more sublimely beautiful and openly disturbing films of the 1990s. . . one of those all-too-rare motion pictures capable of enthralling an audience while they're watching it, then haunting them for hours (or days) thereafter. . . 'Raise the Red Lantern' is visually stunning, and the appeal to the eye only heightens the movie's emotional power."

Roger Ebert concluded his four-star review, "There is a sense in which 'Raise the Red Lantern' exists solely for the eyes. Entirely apart from the plot, there is the sensuous pleasure of the architecture, the fabrics, the color contrasts, the faces of the actresses. But beneath the beauty is the cruel reality of this life, just as beneath the comfort of the rich man's house is the sin of slavery."

"Blush" was directed by Li Shaohong in 1994. After viewing "Blush" at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival, critic Shelly Kraicer called the film, "A subtle, exquisitely filmed melodrama that hides a lot beneath its surface. Set immediately after 1949, the story follows two former prostitutes, the older, savvy Qiuyi, and her younger naive 'sister' Xiao'e, as they struggle to fit into the 'New China'' . . .

"Xiao'e's solution to reconstructing herself as a 'new Chinese' is socialist-conventional, and ultimately leads nowhere. She goes through Communist reeducation, marries Lao Pu, bears his child, but doesn't grow, can't hold onto any of these. Qiuyi, on the other hand, escapes from the CPC's

reindoctrination, chooses the path of traditional Buddhist renunciation, and successfully rebuilds her identity."

A Chicago Tribune review called "Blush" "A moving and intelligent examination of eternal love. . . one of the most intriguing films of the year." And Jonathan Rosenbaum described "Blush" in Chicago Reader as "the most emotionally complex picture I've seen from mainland China about the effect of the communist revolution on the lives of ordinary people."

Thirty writers representing 24 countries are now in residence at the IWP through Nov. 20. The IWP was the first international writers residency at a university, and it remains unique in world literature. Over the years, nearly a thousand writers from more than 115 countries have completed residencies in the program.

Like most IWP residency groups, the 2001 community is a mix of poets, fiction writers, screenwriters, playwrights, journalists, essayists and critics. Many of the IWP writers will travel from Iowa City to present lectures, symposia and readings at other campuses in Iowa and throughout the country, and to visit places of cultural or historical interest.

The IWP is staffed and housed by the University of Iowa. IWP writers have been financed by the United States State Department, through bilateral agreements with numerous countries; by grants given by cultural institutions and governments abroad; and by private funds that are donated by a variety of American corporations, foundations and individuals.

To learn more about the IWP, visit <> the on the World Wide Web:. For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.