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We saw Hero last night at the Nova. Not on a huge screen, but it was big enough. I cannot stress how important it is to see this film on a large screen. The costumes, the sets, the coreography of the fights, the HUGE numbers of extras crawling around... a TV just won't cut it.

bishi_wannabe went on about how it was a film with a heavy political message with some fight scenes thrown in (impressive fight scenes, yes, but you I think can see my point). I have to disagree with this, because I've never been one to follow fashion. I mean, it was political in the way that many samurai films are political, but the over-all message didn't strike me as particularly political or patriotic... It, to me, seemed more a film about honour, personal ideals, and duty.

In short (and I know I'm going to offend people with this one), it struck me as a chinese samurai film. But I have a biased opinion. I've always been more interested with japanese culture over chinese culture, and I'm familiar with themes from japanese stories more than those in chinese stories.

In any case, go see it. It's worth it. Also, I want to be Maggie Chueng when I grow up.

And in other news, bunyip_the_cat. I was bored.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC)
Are the Nova screening the "Quentin Tarantino Presents: Hero" version?

How long was the movie?

I ask as I have heard a rumour that version is edited. (And the subtitles are dumbed down)
Nov. 18th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC)
It was about 2 hours long... and while some of the subtitles were different from other versions (if you've seen it, the two characters written in the sand at the end), but I didn't get the feeling that the subtitles had been dumbed down too much. But I don't know, I've only seen this version.
Nov. 18th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen it about 20 times, including the big screen. I picked it up in China in March 2003. Bloody Miramax love sitting on great foreign films for some reason. I'll never know why they didn't release Shaolin Soccer in time for the World Cup, it seems they want asian films to fail so they can prove that Hollywood films are better or something.
Nov. 18th, 2004 02:58 pm (UTC)
Growing up to be Maggie Cheung is an admirable goal. :)

I disagree with you on the small vs big screen comment though. Having watched it on DVD at home many months ago, I was very impressed and moved by the film - it was powerful and magical. Yes, it will look much more visually impressive on the big screen (Zhang's use of colour is amazing) but the soul of the film doesn't require that big screen experience in my opinion.

There's definitely a lot of discussion that arises from that film, I look forward to having the chance to talk about it in person.

When I get the DVD back from your brother, you should come over and watch House of Flying Daggers. Less politics in that one, but lots of heart.
Nov. 18th, 2004 03:11 pm (UTC)
Maybe... but if you *are* going to see a film on the bug screen, something like Hero is a good choice. And yeah, we should catch up sometime soon.
Nov. 18th, 2004 03:29 pm (UTC)
I don't like watching movies on the bug screen - people look funny with that sort of criss-cross pattern on their face! :P
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC)
and that constant buzzing sound gets annoying after half an hour :)
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:16 pm (UTC)
Bah! The mockery! The relentless mockery!
Nov. 20th, 2004 11:53 pm (UTC)
I thought they only had Bug screens in NZ ...
Nov. 18th, 2004 03:28 pm (UTC)
In short ... it struck me as a chinese samurai film... I'm familiar with themes from japanese stories more than those in chinese stories.

I think Hero is a lot more "romantic" and the drama a little more easy to relate (is this the right word? I know I have never faced that crazy kung fu dilemmas) to than most Chinese cinema, and gives it a lot in common with samurai movies.

In terms of the politics, I imagine that for a non-English film to be popular (in terms of the box office), it can't afford to be so subtle, since it has to withstand the translation process.

I quite like the movie, and having seen it a couple of times now, I like it significantly more than Crouching Tiger.
Nov. 18th, 2004 03:30 pm (UTC)
Definitely better than Crouching Tiger... IMHO :)
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the political debate isn't supposed to be subtle or intricate :)
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC)
After all, it is Chinese politics ;)
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:02 pm (UTC)
Since I'm somewhat talked out regarding Hero (I think the only thing I really had to say was "Wow!") I'm going to discuss Bunyip, and the neglecting of a key interest.

She forgot to include "Devouring Orcus" as an interest
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't think the fight scenes were thrown in - they all had purpose, meaning and emotional engagement, great stuff. And it was certainly about honour, personal ideals and duty, they just all had a very political subject.

The ideal that Nameless, Broken Sword and Qin Shihuangdi are talking about is philosophical, but it's a philosophy that's only meaningful in a political context. That doesn't detract from anything, it's part of what makes Nameless, Broken Sword, Flying Snow and Qin Shihuangdi such brilliant portraits of being a Hero in the classical sense.
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying it detracts from anything. All I'm saying is that, in my opinion, the political themes were little more than the different colour themes at parts in the movie - it provided a backdrop (albeit a necessary one) for the story, but the story itself was no more about the colours than the politics.

But, you know, that's just my opinion.
Nov. 18th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd say the politics in Hero is kinda like what you got from The Two Towers (movie). It was fairly obvious that Trees = Good, Industry = Bad, but it really isn't a big "theme" overall.
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:22 pm (UTC)
hero is a masterpiece.

how come your bougu is not red? :P
Nov. 18th, 2004 04:27 pm (UTC)
Because it's shiny, sparkily blue-green-purple. :)
Nov. 18th, 2004 08:01 pm (UTC)
Curious - what things do you think made it more Japanese? (other than the ubiquitous Kodo drumming...)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )