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[TVB drama] 《蔡锷与小凤仙》Cai E And Pocahontas

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发表于 2009-12-4 15:31:31 |显示全部楼层
Got this article off someone else's blog.
Once again, the drama was compared with the true history. The author is more on the side that dramas should not be distorted too much.
What's your view?

I like her analogy with Pocahontas
;P


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Here in Malaysia, Chinese audiences have been following, in the past 2 weeks, a hongkong series called "In The Chamber of Bliss" 蔡鍔與小鳳仙. The series is aired daily on weekdays and repeated in the weekends. Housewives especially enjoy the sad but romantic love story of General Cai E 蔡鍔 and his Little Dove 小鳳仙, a popular courtesan in early 20th century China.


Both Cai E and Little Dove are actual historical figures, as with some of the main characters in the series. Curious about this story, I tried to read about them online. Without the ability to type chinese, it took me a while to go through the materials available. But as I translated more of the writings on Cai and his lover, the more their love story departs from that fabricated by the Hong Kong TVB producers.

Think Pocahontas.

Although in reality, Pocahontas did not have any love affairs with Smith.

In the series, Cai is portrayed by one of Hong Kong's most well known veteran actor, Damien Lau (of the Tokyo Trial fame). Damian is well into his 50s while the real Cai E died when he was only 33 years old. Dove is portrayed by Cathy Chow, who is about a decade younger than Damien. In reality, Dove met Cai when she was about 17 years old and became his mistress soon after.


Many students of Chinese modern history credit Cai E with the courage to be the only person who took solid action into fighting Yuan Shikai, who after ending the chinese dynasty, proclaimed himself to be the next emperor. This part of the story is pretty well preserved in the HK series, with the exceptions of some omitted supporting characters.

The love affair between Cai and Dove was changed a lot to tailor to modern day audiences. It goes to show how much our perceptions and values have changed as chinese. In Cai E's time, it was probably widespread that abandoned girls either died on the streets or sold to prostitution. Many, as young as 10.

The series told a story about little Dove who chose prostitution as a means to earn a living for her brother and his child. In reality, Little Dove became an orphan at a young age and was bought by a couple  from the street. Her adoptive father raped her and the couple subsequently sold her to a mama-san. This was when she was barely 14.

Unlike the romantic story of a compassionate general meeting a cultured and musically gifted courtesan, reality needs to be deduced differently. Given Dove's background, she was neither cultured nor educated as in the series. Hence, the scenes of cultural and philosophical exchanges are perhaps a far cry from what actually took place. I am thinking exchanges of another kind. Although, my upbringing conditions me to not find it acceptable, but back in those days...who knows? Perhaps Dove did inspire General Cai in his uprising against the evil Yuan Shikai. However, I suspect his inspirations were drawn somewhat differently.

In the tv series, Cai E's wife is portrayed as one who is loved by Cai but sacrifices herself in order for Cai to continue his love affair with Dove. This love affair was meant to be a distraction from Cai E's rebellion preparations. Cai was to be written off as a non-threatening playboy.

Reality may not be as black and white as such. The was a big grey area for true love, lust, violence and all the human emotions cultivated during those turbulent times.

We may all love a romantic story yet I feel history should not be distorted to make it more popular to a particular audience. There are lessons to be learnt from those before our time. It is only through honest representation of their stories can we learn these lessons.











From: http://malaysianindenmark.blogspot.com/2009/10/tell-me-lies-tell-me-sweet-little-lies.html
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I hope u all have watched the drama. Do u need English subs?

EPISODE 01 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Y9KEH0FX
EPISODE 02 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6E2DZ1EW
EPISODE 03 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UIQHA8TC
EPISODE 04 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=1TUR1NYX
EPISODE 05 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6YFYW2VQ
EPISODE 06 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=G7LC0DB3
EPISODE 07 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=8MQ868SN
EPISODE 08 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6K9JWS22
EPISODE 09 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DCSFQCLE
EPISODE 10 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WCCIIUE0
EPISODE 11 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=W15Z9L9B
EPISODE 12 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QQ54FD7D
EPISODE 13 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=0E4XSINL
EPISODE 14 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SA6UNN8S
EPISODE 15 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=JTSW1EY0
EPISODE 16 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PMPOL1R8
EPISODE 17 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ACVFICIP
EPISODE 18 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UGKGJ1M8
EPISODE 19 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PF095K70
EPISODE 20 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4691QJ7H

I found links with Eng subs here if it may be useful for anyone, though I encourage you to get the original DVDs when it's out:
http://xwindx.blogspot.com/2009/09/in-chamber-of-bliss.html
小豬這周一定要中Mark 6


参与松居书籍:《碧海情天》,《男人之苦》, 《原来爱上贼》和 《天地孩儿》http://bbs.lauchungyan.com/viewt ... &extra=page%3D1

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发表于 2009-12-4 23:15:25 |显示全部楼层
I do agree that history should not be distorted too much in dramas. However, as the author also pointed out, in today's world, if the drama was made exactly the way it happened in history, probably not too many people would be interested in the drama. As we have read earlier, not many people have watched this drama because it is perceived as boring without it being given a chance at all. I have watched many movies and drama of real life stories and inevitably, these works of arts of real life stories are always tailored to modern day taste. Well, in my views, I do not think there was too much of distortion although I did question how a prostitute can be so cultured and educated as displayed by Kathy. Anyway, watching a drama or movie is for relaxation, so lets enjoy what we enjoy because we liked watching the actor or the actress and that is the most important thing. The fact remains - It was powerful and impactful acting by the cast, I certainly enjoyed the drama, whether it is made exactly as per history or not. Thank You Sharon for this additional information.
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发表于 2009-12-5 03:43:52 |显示全部楼层
I also agree that the drama could not be a true portrayal of history because it needs to suit modern audience taste.  If it truly portrayed history it would have been a documentary and not a TV series.   I think the most important things when watching a historical TV series are to enjoy the creative interpretation and the cast. Its unfortunate that some of the audiences didn't watch this series because of their feelings towards historical TV dramas because they missed a very good show.  I thought that this series did a great job in balancing history for the most part because a lot of the major events were true (exceptions are any events with the love story).  I also thought that the author of the blog comparing the series to Pocahontas was very interesting.

By the way,  I am not sure how they release TV series onto DVD in Asia because I never see any of the newer series in the United States.  YesAsia only has older ones with the exception of "Gem of Life."  Do you mind sharing with me where to get them?  Thank you.

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发表于 2009-12-5 10:34:05 |显示全部楼层
It is released very quickly here in Malaysia. We get to watch the drama together with Hong Kong through a cable TV called Astro on Demand. Almost as soon as the drama final episode is shown on TV, in a week or so, we ca, get the drama in DVD from the stores. I like to keep the good ones, therefore I normally buy them even though I have watched the drama on Astro on Demand.
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发表于 2009-12-5 11:13:15 |显示全部楼层
Over here in the States we watch 1 year old series through a satellite dish and usually never see them come out on DVD (at least not legit ones).  However the Hong Kong magazines that get ship here are not 1 year old so we would know ratings, plot, and endings before we see them. 
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发表于 2009-12-5 11:44:30 |显示全部楼层
I do agree with both of you in that if dramas were to be made to follow history 100%, it's probably not going to be attractive to audiences.
Therefore, it's probably harder to make such dramas since you need to accomodate such varied perceptions from viewers. Some can't accept extensive distortions which some can't accept factuals. Having a balance is probably not easy, but I would think the production team made quite a good job and the credit partially goes to cast:[42]

Original posted by aznawm at 2009-12-5 03:43 By the way,  I am not sure how they release TV series onto DVD in Asia because I never see any of the newer series in the United States.  YesAsia only has older ones with the exception of "Gem of Life."  Do you mind sharing with me where to get them?  Thank you.


Have u tried the rental stores in US chinatowns? I'm not sure if they actually sell it though they said it's "rental".
The ones released here have a rental sign, but they are on sales, so it should be original versions.

I just did a quick search, senasian is selling In the Chamber of Bliss now.
http://sensasian.com/product.php/en/V20515H-D/In_The_Chamber_Of_Bliss%5BTVB_TV_Series_Vol_1-_20_End%5D/

Shipping origin from Malaysia. Should be the type I've always been getting.
I can't guarantee the quality of this DVD but I've gotten other series from this site, and they are good. awn, u can check it out

Another alternative is ebay, just checked, there's a few sellers too. But please do check their ratings and make sure the copies are legit!!!




小豬這周一定要中Mark 6


参与松居书籍:《碧海情天》,《男人之苦》, 《原来爱上贼》和 《天地孩儿》http://bbs.lauchungyan.com/viewt ... &extra=page%3D1
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发表于 2009-12-5 12:54:35 |显示全部楼层
Have u tried the rental stores in US chinatowns? I'm not sure if they actually sell it though they said it's "rental".
The ones released here have a rental sign, but they are on sales, so it should be original versions.


That's a great idea.  I have to check them out to see what they say.  Thank you.


I just did a quick search, senasian is selling In the Chamber of Bliss now.
http://sensasian.com/product.php/en/V20515H-D/In_The_Chamber_Of_Bliss%5BTVB_TV_Series_Vol_1-_20_End%5D/

Shipping origin from Malaysia. Should be the type I've always been getting.
I can't guarantee the quality of this DVD but I've gotten other series from this site, and they are good. awn, u can check it out

Another alternative is ebay, just checked, there's a few sellers too. But please do check their ratings and make sure the copies are legit!!!


Thank you for helping me search and the ebay advice!  Much appreciated.  I went to that website and it looks like a great.  I noticed that some of their series are Region 3 and while others are Region Free.  Do you know if they release the Region 3 first then later on the Region Free ones?  The reason why I asked is because the DVD players in the States doesn't play Region 3 only Region 1.  So if they do offer the region free later it would spare me from having to buy a region free DVD player.




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发表于 2009-12-5 13:21:36 |显示全部楼层
oh no, u are right.They are normally in Region 3. I doubt that they release Region 1 that quickly, in fact they may not. The ones on ebay are also Region 3. I guess your 1st try should be Chinatown.
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参与松居书籍:《碧海情天》,《男人之苦》, 《原来爱上贼》和 《天地孩儿》http://bbs.lauchungyan.com/viewt ... &extra=page%3D1
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发表于 2009-12-5 14:27:53 |显示全部楼层
No worries.  Thank you.  :[83]
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发表于 2010-4-8 22:56:00 |显示全部楼层
The title attracted me here. Pochahontas? Honestly I need to watch the cartoon to agree. But,  I like what I read 'Housewives especially enjoy the sad but romantic love story of General Cai E 蔡鍔 and his Little Dove 小鳳仙, a popular courtesan in early 20th century China.

Curious about this story, I tried to read about them online. Without the ability to type chinese, it took me a while to go through the materials available.

In the series, Cai is portrayed by one of Hong Kong's most well known veteran actor, Damien Lau (of the Tokyo Trial fame).'

1) Contrary to previous discussions, the series is well-received.
2) It made the author want to learn more
3) For someone like me, who already got attracted to CG in his earlier movies, I enjoy yet tend to take for granted his following productions. It is always a novelty and refreshing feeling to know that viewers are attracted by his works in every era.
学会如何在雨中舞步,吸收更多生活精华,是人生最大的乐趣
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