Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Saw Zhang Ziyi in The House of Flying Daggers today. The opening dance scene where she taps the drums using the long elegant sleeves of her brocade robe was consummate. And Takeshi Kaneshiro shooting arrows from across the wheatfield to save her was as awe-inspiring as that other gifted archer Legolas shinnying up a back leg of an oliphaunt. The laws of aerodynamics are freely dispensed with in The House of Fling Daggers: arrows and daggers (thanks to CGI) zip through the air like guided missiles. Also, the expression in Zhang Ziyi's weary face--the steely vulnerability of a blind warrior in constant mortal fear that in the midst of battle her hearing might fail her--is priceless.

(Nevertheless, I'm still partial to that scene in Hero where Jet Li and Maggie Cheung fend off volleys of arrows from the Emperor's army to save a calligraphy school. As the New Yorker review of the movie memorably put it: the pen may be mightier than the sword, but neither is mightier than billowing chiffon.)

Go watch The House of Flying Daggers. It is overly melodramatic at the end, yes; but in order to watch excellent ass-kicking wuxia action, who's not willing to put up with a little syrupy drivel? Not me for sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like Crouching Tiger love story better--Li mU Bai and Shu Lien forever!