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I realized today while talking to a student that I forgot to post my review of this movie! Doh! Spoilers follow, kinda, except if you've ever seen Yimou Zhang movies before I bet you can guess what happens.

Lots of pretty death.

Okay, so you know how Ran was about a king with three sons, and one of them was good and the other two were dicks, and everybody died? This is kinda like that, but way the hell darker. And stranger. And kind of a meditation on Confucianism. If your dad tells you to kill your Mom, which of the following shows more filial piety:

a) Killing your Mom.
b) Killing your Dad for asking you to kill your Mom.
c) Killing yourself so you leave a dishonorable decision with honor. Or something.

Also, remember how in Ran, how everybody died, and the King TOTALLY realized that War was Bad, and all his sons were Dead, and it was Sad? Yeah, that didn't happen here. Chow Yung Fat's basically like, "Oh well, I can always have more." Cos what's the point of three hundred concubines and multiple wives if you can't kill your kids whenever they piss you off?

I'm leaving out a lot of stuff, like the multiple incest plots and betrayals, but I just gotta say that there is something so awesomely cool about having like 10,000+ dudes get slaughtered in your courtyard, and then you have another 1000 coolies run in, mop up blood, and put up perfect pots of flowers so you can sit out on your terrace with your family and explain to them why they must die. Just sayin'.

For the record, Hero is, I think, always gonna be my favorite Zhang. If communism looks that cool, well, there must be something to be said for it. %-)

~~

LJ is currently promoting the "Read 50 Books in a Year" list again. In 2006 I read 103. Eat it, LJ.

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caitri
Jan. 9th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Sure, pick my librarian brain whenever.

For my dress I'm probably going to wear my older sister's backup I never knew she had--she's going to send me pics, and Mom said it looks a LOT like the favorite one I ripped from a magazine. Plus, hey, free.

I've found a gorgeous-looking site I want to make an appointment to see next week. It's in Baltimore--a place from 1879 that looks really medieval, has gorgeous gardens, and a rain plan.

Working on it, in other words. Yourself?
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