The Park-style Revolver

Park-style Revolver (派克式作论) was a fictional play based on a real event, the Iowa University shooting in 1991. I played Professor Gordon. My student, the one waving the gun (who eventually shoots me) was played by Yin Xiaotian. This was the largest role I ever had and I stayed with the film group for two months in Suzhou, where they had taken over parts of Suzhou University to represent an American campus.

This was also the only time I witnessed the ceremony that the Chinese hold when they start on a film or TV project. They put a video camera in the lobby of the hotel and draped red silk over it and the leading actors bowed to the camera, each holding three sticks of incense in the Buddhist fashion, one for past lives, one for the present, and one for lives to come.

This play was very daring in its day, and also very popular, as late as 2010 I met people who were still watching it on regional satellite channels. There were several scenes which sailed quite close to the wind, my sleazy colleague Professor Smith kept a drawer full of sex toys which spilled out once or twice, and in one scene the leading lady took off her shirt and seduced a man. Going topless in China is strictly not done, and the scene was filmed from behind. But I was told the actress spent the whole morning with her assistant putting papier-mache on her breasts.


Apparently the whole show is now viewable online here