Opening self up to all the slings and arrows that comes with expressing opinion but this one is worth it. Three years in a row Chinese film makers have made my movie going worthwhile: First, there was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and then Hero and now House of Flying Daggers. I am left in a awe of the way stories are told, the beauty splashed on the screen from scene to scene, the use of slow motion to heighten the fantastic. The description that comes to mind is fantasy ballet. I applaud all three directories but even moreso I congratulate the cinematographers. Those folk know their business!
And then there is Zhang Ziyi; she has moved to the top of all my all-time favorite actress list. Watching her flawless performance as the blind girl and then as she seriously contemplates running away with Wind: perfect!
I expect this counts as a rant but it is a positive one. Just wanted folk to know that these fantasy movies are as good as any I've ever seen and better than most.
January 25th, 2005, 06:19 AM
May I suggest that you try and get hold of 'Moon Warriors' HE?
Incredible photography and breathtaking swordplay. I loved Crouching Tiger, but wasn't completely blown away, perhaps this movie is to blame. It has been out for years. Also features something I have never seen in a Chinese movie before... A killer whale!!!
January 25th, 2005, 10:50 AM
I wouldn't consider those movies as fantasy. It just lacks that element. The only thing out of the ordinary are those flying and fighting abilities which I have to admit are very impressive.
I sure would like to see something more mythological though involving the supernatural and takes place in the really really ancient times! I remember watching these when I was a kid but I was too young to understand what was going on.
January 25th, 2005, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the recommendation, Juzzza. I'll do that.
Quag: What does it take to become fantasy? IMO, The Echo game, alone, in Daggers is pure fantasy. The capture by the desert band and the re-uniting with this lover; the flying off into never land in Crouching Tiger; those are pure fantasy themes.
January 25th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Something more out of the ordinary! Like different creatures or talking animals :) Magic! or Gods! Maybe even something that involves those lucky cats that you see in every chinese store.
There's plenty of chinese movies out there that deal with supernatural beings. Most of them are comedy though.
I haven't watched Flying daggers but my friends that have seen it said it was overrated.
Flying to neverland in Crouching Tiger? Which part was that?
January 25th, 2005, 04:58 PM
That would be the last scene I guess.
What is and what isn't Fantasy? I don't know, I guess it's difficult to say at times and it probably depends on the eye that sees what he or she consider Fantasy. To me both Crouching Tiger and Hero had elements of Fantasy.
HE, if you're a fan of Zhang Ziyi you should check out a korean/chinese movie called Musa, it's said to be the Korean equivalent to Braveheart. Although it doesn't really have those fantasy elements it's nondeless a great movie I think.
...and while on the topic of great Asian movies that do have fantasy- elements. There's a Japanese anime movie called Spirited Away which I'd recommend, definitely one of the best anime movies I've seen.
January 26th, 2005, 03:03 AM
Yes spirited away is incredible, pure genius in fact.
I was absolutley enamored with that film and I let me five year old watch it and he loved it too.
January 26th, 2005, 06:17 AM
Thank you, guys. Out looking for them now.
January 26th, 2005, 07:36 AM
Yup, I own Spirited Away. Now that was fantasy.
I guess for me fantasy involves some sort of magic or mystical creatures. Like these movies, Labyrinth, Legend, Willow, Excalibur.
These movies I do not consider fantasy, Braveheart, Knight's Tale, Troy.
Didn't really see any magic in Crouching Tiger. In Hero, there was that mental swordfight which sorta didn't make sense. I just think Chinese movies can do a lot better if they wanted a movie to be fantasy.
That last scene in Crouching Tiger, I thought that was her way of commiting suicide. She didnt really transcend, did she?
January 26th, 2005, 07:46 AM
I see what you are saying Quagmire, but then there used to be only two types of Chinese film ever exported to the West, Period Kung-Fu and crazy fantasy kung-fu, so I kinda see Hereford's point too.
It's hard to overlook the flying around and walking on water!!! They give their warriors supernatural and sometimes god-like fighting ability and this for me, is the fantasy element.
B'sides that, I don't think HE was debating the genre, just his admiration for the work.
Wherever you see movies such as this fit, if you know of more, name 'em so we can enjoy them too.
I happen to agree with your opinion re movies like Braveheart and Troy however, they sit on my DVD shelf alongside Lord of The Rings anyway.