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Content

Asian Studies


China, Korea, Thailand



CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 1 - THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

The Middle Kingdom today - how China is viewed through the eyes of the democratic nations of the world.

Geography - The all important geography of China and how it has affected China¡¦s past.

The Dynasties of China - A brief overview of the Dynasties of China, remarkable for their duration and the peace and stability they engendered.

About Confucius - Confucius and his thinking, and how he came to dominate the Chinese world view.

Writing and control - The establishment of the Chinese character script and how it affected the controls of government.

Modern China - The establishment of modern China and its current undemocratic government.


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CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 2 - MATTERS OF THE MIND

Superstition - Superstition, like everywhere else in the world, largely dominated the Chinese mind in early times.

Commentators on the works of Confucius - Confucian ideas established themselves but there were many commentators over the following centuries who muddied the waters.

The Han Dynasty - The Han dynasty was principally responsible for making Confucian ideas the norm for government and society.

Taoism - Taoism, growing out of early animism, developed ideas of non-interference in the ways of nature.

Buddhism - Buddhism, imported from India, introduced ideas of rebirth and reward for good conduct.

China and Tibet - Today China rules Tibet as it has always done. A largely Buddhist country, it has problems with the secular Chinese.

Sung Education and the Mandarin Bureaucracy - In the Sung dynasty, education according to Confucian principles was established on a huge and influential scale.


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CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 3 - HEART AND SOUL

Art and the Bronzes - After trying to establish what art is we look at the wonderful bronze work of early times in China.

Ceramics - Fine ceramics from many different ages have come down to us; in particular the Tang Sung and Ming dynasty ware.

The Chinese Character Script - The Chinese character script is difficult to learn but beautiful to see and writing it is regarded as an art form.

Poetry - Poets have always been held in high regard in China. Even in translation their particular beauties shine through.

Literature - Literature in the form of plays and novels developed in later centuries just as they did in other parts of the world.

Epilogue - After their early brilliance, under a deeply conservative leadership, the talents of the Chinese in all fields began to be stifled and consequently to decay.


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CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 4 - FROM HARMONY TO DISCORD

Music - Music was much enjoyed by Confucius who saw it as a basic element of human harmony.

Houses, Gardens and the Honourable man - With due Confucian regard for order and control over nature, the Chinese gardens are amongst the greatest beauties of the land.

Painting and the Honourable man - For many centuries Chinese painters have wonderfully depicted the people and the landscape.

Science - No society has done so much for science; their great qualities of curiosity and invention have been an immeasurable gift to the world.

Descent into chaos - As the Confucian ethic is dimmed and clouded by blind conservatism, battered by outside forces, Chinese society disintegrates.


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CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 5 - THE ROUGH ROAD TO FREEDOM

Taiping Rebellion - Driven partly by the injustices suffered by the poor and a muddled view of the religious beliefs imported by western missionaries, the Taiping Rebellion rocked China to the core.

Japan - Japan, looked down on by the Chinese as of little import, displays how it has adapted to the times as the Chinese have not.

The Boxers and the end of the empire - As the empire collapses, a secret society called the Boxers feebly attempts to drive out the foreigners.

Japan and the Communist takeover - Japan invades and after the second world war the Communists take over and impose order.

China and the Communists - The rule of Mao and the Communists.

Overseas Chinese - Effective Overseas Chinese communities.

China: The Great Dilemma - The Great Dilemma which faces the Chinese today is how to bring about the democratic freedoms which society deserves without bringing Chaos yet again.


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KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 1: THE DYNAMIC CULTURE OF CONTEMPORARY KOREA

The Dynamic Culture of Contemporary Korea (Volume 1) introduces various aspects of Korea's contemporary culture. It reveals the dynamism of Korean culture with scenes of samulnori, a form of traditional percussion music, Nanta, a high-energy non-verbal stage performance, and the frenzied "street cheering" during the 2002 World Cup. There are also highlights of the hallyu (Korean wave) phenomenon, which has led to the spread of Korean pop culture throughout Asia and beyond.

DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / () / 40 minutes

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KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 2: THE CLOTHES, FOODS AND HOUSES OF KOREA

The Clothes, Foods and Houses of Korea (Volume 2) is a general overview of the Korean ways of living. This includes a description of a traditional Korean house, hanok, and its noteworthy characteristics: ondol, underfloor heating system, maru, traditional wooden floor, and jeongwon, a Korean-style garden. In addition, it explains about the dietary practices of Koreans, like kimchi and soy-bean uses.

DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / () / 40 minutes

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KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 3: THE LIFE OF KOREANS

The Life of Koreans (Volume 3) provides information about the world of Korea's traditional customs and rituals, including, dol, a first-year birthday celebration, as well as practices related to the rite of passage, wedding, funeral, and memorial services in Korea.

DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / () / 40 minutes

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KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 4: THE BEAUTY OF TRADITIONAL KOREAN ARTS

The Beauty of Traditional Korean Arts (Volume 4) explores various genres of traditional Korean art, including traditional fine arts, such as calligraphy, pottery, and landscape painting; traditional music forms like pansori and minyo, and musical instruments gayagum and geomungo; and Korean dance, such as salpuri (exorcist) and buchaechum (fan dance).

DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / () / 40 minutes

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BANGKOK, THE DIVINE CITY

A documentary history of the city of Bangkok from it's foundation at the end of the 18th century up to the last quarter of the twentieth.

The film was shot in 1973 when Thailand was on the cusp of it's astounding development into the vibrant and astonishingly modern city it now is with skyscrapers and expressways on every hand. By showing glimpses of a time long gone the film is itself now a piece of history.

With the founding of Bangkok came the founding of the remarkable Chakri dynasty of absolute kings who have led the country so ably through the complexities of the last two centuries; the film outlines some of their major contributions up to those of the present king. Still today the place of the now constitutional monarchy is kernel as the country struggles to establish its fragile democracy and the film goes some way to explain this. It also brings out the lives of ordinary people and some of the many distinctive elements of the Bangkok world.


DVD / / () / 40 minutes

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KING RAMA 6TH OF THAILAND

RAMA 6th King of Siam

The video follows the life of King Vajiravudh, Rama 6th of the Chakri dynasty of Siam, modern Thailand. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonised by a western power and King Vajiravudh was the first Thai king to have been educated in the west. In the eyes of the world rather overshadowed by his charismatic father King Chulalongkorn (best known to the world at large as the king in the musical the King and I) King Vajiravudh was an unusually talented and sensitive man who learned a great deal from his life in England and who committed himself to continuing the reform of his country begun by his father. Trying to be a democrat and a monarch with absolute power was a difficult act. He soon began appointing people on merit and not because they were his brothers or cousins. This was not the way to win the support of the ruling clique. However up to his sudden and unexpected death in 1926 he clung tenaciously to his beliefs and worked tirelessly and often very effectively for his country. The programme was made with the support of the Museum to his memory in Bangkok and is dedicated to the remarkable school he founded, Vajiravudh College.


DVD / / () / 50 minutes

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NONDUK'S FINGER & THE ABDUCTION OF SITA

The Khon - Two complete ballets

Complete performances of the ballets Nonduk's Finger and The Abduction of Sita performed by artists and musicians from the College of Music and Dramatic arts in Chieng Mai Thailand, filmed and edited by Malcolm Hossick with subtitles and commentary in English.

Nonduk's Finger (duration: 53') concerns the difficulties of Nonduk, gatekeeper to the great god Shiva, and how the help Shiva gives him turns against him. Revenge and retribution and the vagaries of power are the subject of this charming fantasy.

In The Abduction of Sita (duration: 63') Lust and jealousy almost destroy the wonderful relationship between the noble god Rama and his beautiful wife Sita but with the help of the kindly and wily monkey god Hanuman, all is resolved.

These two ballets display the charm and colour of the Classical Dance of Thailand known as the Khon. Mask, movement, gesture, song and music combine to give a strange but timeless parade of human weakness and virtue which reflect in a remarkable way the struggles of modern Thailand to come to terms with the demands of democracy and the weight of tradition.


DVD / / () / 119 minutes

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RAMA & SITA

The Khon - Documentary on Thai Classical Dance

At the end of the 18th century Thailand was defeated by its arch enemy Burma and the capital Ayudhya destroyed. A new beginning was made further down river at Bangkok. Along with new palaces and temples the kings brought back the old forms of dance which had graced the court of Ayudhya. A Thai version of the Indian epic of the doings of King Rama called in Thailand the Ramakien was produced and through the preservation of the dance and the development of these stories, Thai culture was given a new treasure all its own.

Modern times always view the past differently and the traditional arts in Thailand can be easily swamped and forgotten just as elsewherein the world. Fortunately there are still talented and devoted dancers and musicians and artists who keep it all alive and in the Academy ofMusic and Dance which thrives today in Chieng Mai film makerMalcolm Hossick has found a treasure to record for the outside world to see.

This documentary film follows the training and development of young dancers and musicians along with parts of finished performances of two stories from the Ramakien.


DVD / / () / 50 minutes

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