Tuesday, June 27, 2006

An Asian Moment (Pt. 1)

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the latest still-filming event from Zhang Yimou whose terrific 2004 double-header Hero and House of Flying Daggers is still all shimmery in my minds eye. Those two films were not related in anything other than genre and the presence of one Ziyi Zhang. This latest Curse of the Golden Flower is also a stand alone but this time Ziyi is nowhere to be seen. Yimou has returned to his original muse Gong Li and Nathaniel's jaw has just dropped to the floor. Excuse the drooling.

If this means nothing to you, you really ought to have an immediate DVD double feature of the following: Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou, the two films which made the international reputation of both director and actress, who were also a real life couple (scandalously so, he was married). This new collaboration is on par with, say, a screen reunion of Warren Beatty & Julie Christie(sorry Annette my diva, but that gives me the chills to imagine). Or Woody & Mia … if they could work out their differences while fighting off mutual enemies and balancing on tree branches. I don’t know. It’s exciting at any rate.

Still, I found the press release amusingly overstated [the emphasis is mine]

From Gong Li's stunning performance to Chow Yun Fat's commanding presence to opulence one has rarely ever seen on screen, this movie will have it all: brilliantly executed action set pieces as well as compelling intimate drama against the most colorful historical canvas imaginable.
If I were the scribe here I would definitely remove the “on screen” part of the bolded phrase and replace it with “since the last time you saw a wuxia film” but ... this is probably why I don’t work in PR.


John T said...

I'll join in the can't wait section-after House of Flying Daggers, anything with Zhang Yimou's name on it is all right with me.

Javier Aldabalde said...

I thought "House of Flying Daggers" was just terrible, but this reunion is really something to rejoice. Thank God I'm not the only one waiting.

Anonymous said...

Zhang Yimou is ideologically suspect, i.e. "Hero".

His take on Chinese history in general and Chin Shi Huang in particular reek of authoritarian revisionism. The film was roundly criticised in his home country, despite the gorgeous visuals and lavish budget (by Chinese film standard).

Glenn Dunks said...

I tried to see Zhang Yimou's new film today but I couldn't fit it into my schedule. Oh well, next time hopefully.