Monday, January 17, 2005

Hero


Ok, after all the chaos of this that and the other, I've finally seen Zhang Yimou's Hero.

I'm not sure how to compare it to Zhang's more recent House Of Flying Daggers, although I suspect there's some kind of lesson in what kind of person likes which movie. Personally, I ultimately preferred House Of Flying Daggers.

Hero is a grand, sweeping story about China. There are smaller human stories told against this, but they are all told in how they relate to the greater story of China.

It's also told in a somewhat Rashomon-like manner, which is fascinating and allows for an interesting way to look at the story, but ultimately keeps the story from the kind of intimacy that Zhang achieves in his other works, including House Of Flying Daggers.

Ultimately, all of this does allow shifts in tone in which Zhang paints beautiful celluloid images of China and the people, around which he stages some of the most fluid and amazingly choreographed action sequences (cum dances) that I've seen.

It's a grand, beautiful movie with an amazingly talented cast. I truly loved it, and continue to be awestruck by Zhang's abilities. As a total martial arts dork, I can only hope he stays with the a little more.

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