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Archive for June 11th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(Hong Kong 2000 119m) DVD1/2

Aka. Wo Hu Zang Long

The sword of destiny

p  Bill Kong, Hsu Li Kong, Ang Lee  d  Ang Lee  w  James Schamus, Wang Hui Ling, Tsai Kuo Jung  novel  Wang Du Lu  ph  Peter Pau  ed  Tim Squyres  m  Tan Dun (cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma)  art/cos  Tim Yip  ch  Yuen Woo-Ping

Chow Yun Fat (Li Mu Bai), Michelle Yeoh (Yu Shu Lien), Ziyi Zhang (Jen), Chen Chang (Lo), Lung Sihung (Sir Te), Cheng Pei Pei (Jade Fox), Lin Fa Zeng (Governor Yu), Gao Xian (Bo), Hai Yan (Madam Yan),

Ang Lee’s martial arts extravaganza is a phenomenon of modern cinema.  It’s the highest grossing foreign language film of all time in both the US and the UK, fêted as an action-packed classic by many critics the world over, yet some have said that the central romance is shallow, that it doesn’t really have a firm centre.  The fact is that emotions are all under the surface, or at least they are between the doomed couple Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien.  The paradox here is that they possess courage of such a high nature that they regard it as second nature, but do not possess the courage to confess their true feelings to one another.  For the viewer held captive by its visual majesty, it’s heartbreaking.

            Li Mu Bai has come to present the local chieftain Sir Te with his Green Destiny sword on the occasion of his retirement, using it as an excuse to see his beloved Shu Lien, also a renowned martial artist.  However, the sword is stolen by a seemingly refined young girl, Jen, soon to be married off against her will… (more…)

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