Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Yellowface staging of 'Mikado' has to end


FredCDobbs
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've seen the old Mikado film, and I think this trend in the media/entertainment is idiotic. Some "modern" people are going nuts about this type of stuff.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/17/opinion/yang-mikado-racism/

 

"Each time, the use of yellowface has been defended as loving homage or harmless parody. Each time, when Asian-Americans have pointed out that we don't find the wearing of cosmetics and wardrobe to simulate Asian appearance to be "loving" or "harmless," our concerns have been dismissed.

 

Which is why, despite my deep personal love of musical theater, I think these "traditional" productions -- yellowface productions -- of "The Mikado" have to end."

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen the old Mikado film, and I think this trend in the media/entertainment is idiotic. Some "modern" people are going nuts about this type of stuff.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/17/opinion/yang-mikado-racism/

 

"Each time, the use of yellowface has been defended as loving homage or harmless parody. Each time, when Asian-Americans have pointed out that we don't find the wearing of cosmetics and wardrobe to simulate Asian appearance to be "loving" or "harmless," our concerns have been dismissed.

 

Which is why, despite my deep personal love of musical theater, I think these "traditional" productions -- yellowface productions -- of "The Mikado" have to end."

 

What trend is idiotic?    The trend to continue the use of yellowface or complaining about the recent use of yellowface?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What trend is idiotic?    The trend to continue the use of yellowface or complaining about the recent use of yellowface?

 

I'm talking about the modern trend to try to change the original 1885 opera, which is a humorous 1885 look at British politics in Asia, with some cute 1885 musical tunes and songs in it. To have used real Japanese people in the opera in 1885 would have been an insult. But the way it was and still is, it's more of a joke about the British colonial way of thinking, and not insulting about the Japanese. I just can't imagine real Japanese people singing those comic songs.

 

It's like when I hear an Italian opera, I want all the singers to pretend to be Italians, whether they are or not. If they are funny goofy Italians in the opera, that's fine with me, if it's an old opera. Just as it is ok with me for Abbott and Costello to play dumb white guys.

 

As a matter of fact, years ago I saw some kind of comedy WW II film, and it showed a scene of Japanese soldiers watching an Abbott and Costello movie and laughing a lot at their antics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

same problems with "Flower Drum Song", do we update the lyrics, characters to coincide with today's sensibilities, or stop just performing these "classics"? altogether?

Films like "Birth of a Nation" can be viewed as a product of their times, a curious piece of history, but plays are being presented as current.

Was always a fan of "The Mikado" and love the wit of Gilbert & Sullivan, but the article does make me think.

:huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well in this case PC has struck out.     Note that this is often the case.      i.e. people protest but they don't prevail.

 

But they do succeed in adding more contention to the atmosphere in which we all live. The work of the angels perhaps - but which ones, the good angels or the bad?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen the old Mikado film, and I think this trend in the media/entertainment is idiotic. Some "modern" people are going nuts about this type of stuff.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/17/opinion/yang-mikado-racism/

 

"Each time, the use of yellowface has been defended as loving homage or harmless parody. Each time, when Asian-Americans have pointed out that we don't find the wearing of cosmetics and wardrobe to simulate Asian appearance to be "loving" or "harmless," our concerns have been dismissed.

 

Which is why, despite my deep personal love of musical theater, I think these "traditional" productions -- yellowface productions -- of "The Mikado" have to end."

 

Fred what do you expect from a society that wants to ban the word bossy and wanting baseball teams to change their names i.e. the Redskins?

 

Political correctness is over the top and in the UK, one can be arrested for using certain words. This nonsense is nothing but a distraction to keep our minds off of more serious stuff like unemployment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fred what do you expect from a society that wants to ban the word bossy and wanting baseball teams to change their names i.e. the Redskins?

 

Political correctness is over the top and in the UK, one can be arrested for using certain words. This nonsense is nothing but a distraction to keep our minds off of more serious stuff like unemployment.

 

No society wants to ban the word bossy.    Only SOME people within a society.     So what I see here is overreacting and paranoia related to Political Correctness.     To me this PC paranoia is just as foolish as being too PC.     Like I posted often those pushing a PC agenda fail.    e.g. the FOOTBALL team the Redskins;   This debate as been going on for decades,  but another NFL season will start with the team using that name.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No society wants to ban the word bossy.    Only SOME people within a society.     So what I see here is overreacting and paranoia related to Political Correctness.     To me this PC paranoia is just as foolish as being too PC.     Like I posted often those pushing a PC agenda fail.    e.g. the FOOTBALL team the Redskins;   This debate as been going on for decades,  but another NFL season will start with the team using that name.   

 

But if you take away over-reaction and paranoia of pc ideas, what'll become of Fox News? How would they fill 24 hours a day without all those "War On" reports? Their viewers depend on Fox to get them all jacked up on bullsh!t topics - don't you know that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, "all I know" is, the music from The Mikado is absolutely delightful, and the world would be a poorer place if it was never performed again. If they want to make adjustments to the make-up, so be it. Whatever. As long as they don't change the music.

 

PS: I'm surprised all you cinephiles don't appear to be aware of this:

There's a Mike Leigh film from 1999, Topsy-Turvy, that's all about Gilbert and Sullivan, and specifically the creation of The Mikado. How it came to be, what inspired it-both its lyrics (W.S.Gilbert) and its music (Arthur Sullivan) - and what was going on in the lives of these two at the time, is all detailed in this engrossing movie. 

It's a must for any Gilbert and Sullivan fan, but holds a lot of interest for the un-initiated too.

 

topsyturvy2.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No society wants to ban the word bossy.    Only SOME people within a society.     So what I see here is overreacting and paranoia related to Political Correctness.     To me this PC paranoia is just as foolish as being too PC.     Like I posted often those pushing a PC agenda fail.    e.g. the FOOTBALL team the Redskins;   This debate as been going on for decades,  but another NFL season will start with the team using that name.   

 

If one can be arrested in a country like the United Kingdom, it's hardly paranoia.  It's only a matter of time here if things don't change. It's not paranoia if its shoved down ones throat every time we  turn on the television hearing someone is offended in every which way because the "offended" person don't like certain words and wants a change or ban. I am not referring to racial derogatory words that is hateful i.e. the n word (in case that was mention to sideline the issue) which I am totally against.

 

Remember back in the 70's feminist want people to stop using phrases like mail man and wanted it changed to mail person?  That fell out of favor very quickly because society made the decision it was a stupid argument.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, can we talk about Mike Leigh?  What a terrific filmmaker!  He's one I don't think TCM has shown any films of, and would be a great addition.  I especially like his Five Minute Films, Four Days in July, Secrets & Lies, and Happy-Go-Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 It's not paranoia if its shoved down ones throat every time we  turn on the television hearing someone is offended in every which way because the "offended" person don't like certain words and wants a change or ban.

 

Seems to my your complaining is just like the people you're complaining about.  If you don't like it shoved down your throat, don't turn on the TV.  But really I think what's being shoved is the charges of political correctness, not the political correctness itself.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If one can be arrested in a country like the United Kingdom, it's hardly paranoia.  It's only a matter of time here if things don't change. It's not paranoia if its shoved down ones throat every time we  turn on the television hearing someone is offended in every which way because the "offended" person don't like certain words and wants a change or ban.

 

To me it is paranoia if one is unable to handle someone giving their personal opinion related to what offends them.   

 

I disagree with the author of the article related to this thread but it is only an opinion.  I also don't see where he is calling for the government to get involved.    He just has an opinion;  An opinion that will likely be ignored by the theater producers.   So what harm did this opinion cause?    NONE.    But since there appears to be fear associated with said opinion I call that paranoia.

 

Also,  changes are natural in a society.   At one stage in our society being against slavery was being PC.    In the last few decades it was equal rights for gays.    So just because a view is a PC POV doesn't make it wrong by default.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, can we talk about Mike Leigh?  What a terrific filmmaker!  He's one I don't think TCM has shown any films of, and would be a great addition.  I especially like his Five Minute Films, Four Days in July, Secrets & Lies, and Happy-Go-Lucky.

 

NO!

 

db, how mean is that? Good thing we know you're keeeding.

 

slayton, baby, never mind the discourteous indigo gentleman.  Speaking personally, I'd annex the Sudetenland. I mean, speaking personally, I'm a great admirer of MIke Leigh's work. Especially Naked, Secrets and Lies, and the aforementioned Happy-Go-Lucky. (The lead actress in that, Sally Hawkins, played Cate Blanchet's sister in Blue Jasmine, by the way.)

Sometimes I get him mixed up with another British director, Ken Loach.  

 

To bring this back on-topic: Although Topsy-Turvy  received mostly positive reviews when it came out (1999), director Mike Leigh was criticized at the time for the very thing this thread is about - white people making themselves to look Asian in the film's version of "The Mikado".

But since the movie is set at the time G and S wrote the damn thing, (1885), of course the performers of the operetta are going to do "yellowface". It would have been historically inaccurate to depict it any other way. 

 

Nobody (except me, and I'm against self-aggrandizement, except when it comes to taking credit unnecessarily) has mentioned that the music to The Mikado  is lovely, with deliciously melodic and catchy tunes, and clever (albeit occasionally unkind) lyrics. Music like that should never be "banned". 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If one can be arrested in a country like the United Kingdom, it's hardly paranoia.  It's only a matter of time here if things don't change. It's not paranoia if its shoved down ones throat every time we  turn on the television hearing someone is offended in every which way because the "offended" person don't like certain words and wants a change or ban. I am not referring to racial derogatory words that is hateful i.e. the n word (in case that was mention to sideline the issue) which I am totally against.

 

Remember back in the 70's feminist want people to stop using phrases like mail man and wanted it changed to mail person?  That fell out of favor very quickly because society made the decision it was a stupid argument.

There are a lot of women competing in triathlons. How does "Ironperson Triathlon" sound to you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If one can be arrested in a country like the United Kingdom, it's hardly paranoia.  It's only a matter of time here if things don't change. It's not paranoia if its shoved down ones throat every time we  turn on the television hearing someone is offended in every which way because the "offended" person don't like certain words and wants a change or ban. I am not referring to racial derogatory words that is hateful i.e. the n word (in case that was mention to sideline the issue) which I am totally against.

 

Remember back in the 70's feminist want people to stop using phrases like mail man and wanted it changed to mail person?  That fell out of favor very quickly because society made the decision it was a stupid argument.

 

Sorry but I still feel your very confused here.    You make what I feel is a paranoid comment: It's only a matter of time here if things don't change.

 

That is paranoia because it implies there is something to fear.

 

Later on you remind us that 70's feminist wanted a change and society rejected that.  So it is NOT just a matter of time, is it?   Instead society changes some things (mostly for the better) and doesn't change other things  (because they are lame ideas).     No need for fear.   

 

Also as others have pointed out you appear to want to surpress people's opinions just because you don't like them.  That is PC behavior on steroids.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...