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House of Flying Daggers

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House of Flying Daggers us Zhang Yimou's (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero) followup to the astonishing "Hero." Hero was his first Martial Arts film and this is his second. It may seems like this is coming out right after Hero, but hero actually came out in 2002, so House of flying daggers has been 2 years in the making. Anyways, House of Flying Daggers is told with the same visual flair, amazing wirework and general beauty that Hero was. THe difference is that it's more conventional, a bit less ambitious visually and script-wise.


It's a pretty straightforward story about a revolutionary faction rebelling against the Tang Dynasty. A dancer that is part f the group falls in love with a man and lots of stuff happens after that that I wont bother getting into. It's a solid plot with lots of twists, turns and drama.


Zhang Ziyi and Andy Lau deliver both on the acting and fighting side of things. The look is similar to Hero, but a bit more normal, not quite as amazing. Partially because the story is more realistic and less symbolic, and partially because Hero was shot by Christopher Doyle, one the best best cinematographers alive, and this was shot by someone else.


Anyways, if you loved Hero like most everyone did. You'll like this a little bit less, but you'll still really like it. Zhang Yimou is doing a straight drama as his next film and there's no doubt he's great at that, but I hope he doesn't abandon martial arts films because he's made two of the best Martial Arts films in the past decade.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I actualy enjoyed this a bit more than Hero, the characters seemed a lot more human, which makes a nice change, in Hero everyone seemed to be one small notch away from rigeur mortis. But the Hero comparisons are still apt, it's realy just more of the same except without any real moral, fascist or otherwise.


An open question for anyone who's seen it, in the many lingering close ups, just how fake looking were the Police Chiers Hairplugs?. I know China back then was on the cutting edge, but was that an authentic period detail?

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