Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Really excited by the "creative resurgence" of Zhang Yimou, whose early films (Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, etc) are some of the most sadly poetic and hypnotic ruminations on Chinese culture and tradition ever set to celluloid. In a way comparable to Ang Lee, who scored with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and blundered about as effectively with Hulk, Yimou has broadened his scope, stepping away from the somewhat stilted realism of his late 90s work into pure legend with classic Honk Kong fantasy/action influences, but there's still that amazing sense of the mysterious and transcendental (think of Akira Kurosawa's mythical, revolving perspective eplorations of historic Japan) that's marked all his best work. Last year's Hero with Jet Li was a strong and successful experiment in the "genre," but House of Flying Daggers has genuine masterpiece potential. Exciting may be an understatement.

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