Monday, October 29, 2007

Curse of the Golden Flower

Curse of the Golden Flower - in Chinese
Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006)

is an interesting film.
I watched a few minutes of a daft martial arts the other day. The monks had a fighting sticks and managed to get the bad ones to bite the sticks so hard their teeth were stuck in the stick. Yuk!

Anyhow I saw Golden Flower on library shelf and was passing by but it looked different and it is. This is more like real history. The plot is not  actual rulers but as maker Ziang Yimou says it tries to show what feudal China was like. The plot is a combination of King Lear and Hamlet as described by Chow Yun-Fa who plays the Emperor

Ziang mentions a proverb "Gold and jade on the outside, rot and decay on the inside." So the film is very opulent - lots of gold and bright colours. Yet very dark deeds going on in the background. The Palace is presented magnificently just as I imagine the Forbidden City might have been like at the heights of its splendour. Although the film is set before it was built. I remember looking into the great hall and my amazement that it would have been filled with all these women and their own sleeping "area". Golden Flower is full of scenes showing how all these people might have operated. The

The battle scenes are not utterly realistic  although they say they were trying to be .  The weapons do kill though and  you can see they are not using those silly flying routines. There is something like a Roman Turtle - a group of men surrounded with shields.

The main courtyard is covered with chrysanthemum as that festival is taking place. Just see what happens to the flowers in the battle and then afterwards.

The Acting is very good.  None of those silly looks of the  martial arts films - these people are real. Well worth seeing

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