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Zhang Yimou and over stylised films - Hero, House of Flying


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This thread reminds me of an article I read a while ago in the New York Times about the rising use of sex scenes in Chinese films, especially recent films like HoFD, censorship, and a comparison with Hollywood both present and past.

If you're interested the article is called 'Glamour Lives, in Chinese Films' and the address is http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/05/movies/05darg.html

You might have to register to read it. Not sure.

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I wish I agreed with you, I would love to think that something more sophisticated and traditional would pull in more cash. If that is the case then we will see that happen - people like money!

Don't hold your breath.

woodcutter, I'm glad to know I'm not alone in the enjoyment of substance, as someone already mentioned, over cool CG, nice visuals but a weak (or at least unintelligible) plot.

As a poor example, as it was made by westerners, look at 'The Last Samurai.' It's not a wuxia film by any means, but it centered on traditional aspects of an Asian country, certainly had fighting and exhibited the xia spirit in some respects. Observe: no flying. Instead, it had hand-to-hand combat and a...relatively...believable, straight-forward plot for a Hollywood 'historical' flick. All the people I knew absolutely loved it. I was surprised that many even cried at the end. Why? They could actually relate to the characters and they could understand the plot, which arguably also puts a spin and faces to accepted history. And the audience seemed to admire the Japanese protagonists most, no less, so it's not that they liked it because a white guy's the hero. And...shocker of shockers...there was no sex scene on-screen. Now tell me there isn't an audience for a nice, more "normal" wuxia movie along those lines...

Just imagine...something with a great plot, some real, down-to-earth fighting and tactful, careful use of wires or special effects...I'm sure something like that wouldn't drive any viewers away more than another stylized wuxia film would.

Zhang himself said he wants to target more than a domestic audience and keep the western interest in martial arts movies from 'cooling down.' Even if he doesn't want to intentionally target western/westernized audiences, going towards a more "sophisticated, traditional" movie is certainly a possible step he and other directors might take, and I don't see why such a film won't succeed both domestically and internationally. Though I must say, to Zhang's credit, I found HoFD's fighting action, if not plot, much more believable and engaging this time around...scenes with dagger fights and the well-placed arrows were very nice.

Despite your kind warning, I'm currently holding my breath for the 7 Swords production...maybe...this time just maybe... 8)

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