House of Flying Daggers

To the GFT last night, for Zhang Yimou‘s latest epic. Everything you’ve heard about it being fabulously beautiful is true; unfortunately, so is everything you’ve heard about the story being utter pish. But I can happily spend two hours admiring cinematography, so it worked for me. The much-vaunted Echo Dance scene wasn’t quite the landmark I’d been led to expect, but the fight in the bamboo forest really does go down in cinema history alongside the gutter dance in Singing in the Rain. Amazing. Implausible, but amazing. But then, the bamboo forest is such a beautiful, lush, verdant location, just standing in it looks gorgeous. As for the story – well, it’s a decent entry in the ‘longest death in cinema history’ competition, but who cares?

1 thought on “House of Flying Daggers”

  1. Yes, I’d agree with that. It’s good, but it’s not that good.
    When all the guards are running through the trees throwing hundreds of bamboo spears I caught myself thinking, ‘this is just too ridiculous’. Then I came to my senses and remembered Hong Kong prides itself on ridiculous feats of supernatural martial art [remember the classic table scene in The Legend of Fung Sai Yuk 2? If not, rent this movie immediately]. So why didn’t I enjoy this film as much as I should have done? Is it me? Am I getting old or something? No, no it’s ok, I’ve remembered, Kung Fu movies used to not only be beautiful and amazing, but they never used to take themselves too seriously. Crouching Tiger put a stop to that.

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