Negative Characters in the Model Works
Not unlike the clown in traditional opera (chou)—a modern version of which appears in the form of the Korean in Raid on the White Tiger Regiment who keeps coming up with wrong rhymes (scene 6)—the negative characters in the model operas all appear slumped or hunched, with their faces down, and avoiding the audience. Sometimes their awkward appearance is stressed by making them wear deliberately badly cut clothes, so, for example in the case of the American military officer in Raid on the White Tiger Regiment. Alternatively, they are filmed from below (e.g. Song of the Dragon River scene 4) or above (e.g. Raid on the White Tiger Regiment scene 2 or in Fighting on the Plain scenes 4, 7 and 8). These skewed filmic perspectives support the same semantics of negativism.
With further revisions of the model works, the number of appearances of negative persons was reduced. In terms of placement on the stage, they were moved further and further to the right (e.g. Chang Fu in Song of the Dragon River or Qian Shouwei in On the Docks as seen on the first illustration, ill. 1.5a). Their movements are inelegant and comic, in the fighting scenes (see Hatoyama and his man on the left), they are always and clearly inferiors, they disappear into the dark: the film versions of the model works display an effective use of shadowing, as in Shajia Village at the end of scene 3, for example, or in the beginning of The White-haired Girl.
The villains are also clad in dark colors, which had been reserved for the fierce and negative and brutal characters in traditional opera as well (e.g., Qian Shouwei 钱守维 in On the Docks, ill. 1.5.a), or Zuo Shandiao (座山雕) Vulture in Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, ill. 1.5c). They are also shown—due to their missing virility—as bald-headed (e.g., Hatoyama 鳩山 in Red Lantern, to be seen in the illustration, and Hu Chuankuei 胡传魁 in Shajia Village) or with greasyed long hair (e.g., the American commander in Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, Nan Batian in Red Detachment of Women, the traitor Sun Shoucai (孙守财) in Fighting on the Plain, as well and one of the bandits, Pi Degui (皮德贵), in the model ballet Ode to Yi Mountain 沂蒙颂 Yimengsong).