|Hero (Ying Xiong)
||[Aug. 28th, 2004|12:09 pm]
한국 사람이 아니다
I am so glad I never saw Hero (Ying Xiong) on DVD. It's been out for at least a year, and one of my girlfriends bought it in Chinatown last September. But I didn't, and I didn't ask to borrow her copy.
And for once in my life, I am so glad I waited.
Hero is a true epic. The most popular (and most expensive) Chinese film ever, it's been in Miramax's clutches for two years. According to IMDb, it was going to be released with 20 minutes cut out (they were deemed "too Asian and confusing") until Quentin Tarantino stepped in. If anything, those "confusing Asian" bits serve to explain all the confusing Asian bits in almost every other Asian film ever made. It distills the Asian concept of "honour" perfectly.
It's the most stunningly beautiful film, bar none, that I have ever seen. This is the reason they invented Technicolor. Colour is a very powerful thing, and I have never seen it wielded so effectively. The New York Times has a dissertation on the meanings of the various colours; so does IMDb. Some of the scenes are, literally, breathtaking,
It is, perhaps inevitably, compared to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and if you didn't care for that film, you may hesitate to see Hero. Don't. This film declaws the tiger and pulls the dragon's teeth. And it does it, not with a sword, but with a paintbrush.