For me, Yimou Zhang’s movies are about style, about aesthetics, about colors, movements and emotions. Hero has been particularly strong in this department. I really cannot judge The House of Flying Daggers, since I have only seen it in bad quality on a small screen – seeing Yimou Zhang’s movies on the big screen is a must. In this movie, colors do signify solidarities and they also speak of the clash between gold and silver, the clash between the reigning sun and the silent but still present moon. Martial Arts only appear sporadically in this movie – it is more of a theatric play, showing the subtle moves in a game of life and death, in which words are not spoken loudly – and thus the silence is contrasting with the regular announcements of the hour of the day and its meaning by a herold who is walking through the scenes again and again, introducing another drip of poison in the relations between the main protaginists everytime he appears with his bell and his ritual announcements.
I am still somewhat undecided about how I would classify this movie. Which is probably a good sign. Expecting simple but clear messages and colors alike– as in Hero – in was overwhelmed by the richness of colors, the many flowing, rain-like silk curtains, the patterned carpets, ornate dresses, relief-overgrown armors, and bejeweled hairdoes (does this word really exist? does or dos?). I also was unsure about the huge slaughtering scene close to the end of the movie. However, this movie is from China and when I try to perceive it in that context, it seems more plausible and more interesting. The only problem is, however, that I know very little about China. I guess that is why the movie has left me wondering…
IMDb entry | Trailer
Tags: eastern, Yimou Zhang