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rachelmanija ([personal profile] rachelmanija) wrote2007-02-23 11:02 pm

Curse of the Golden Flower (or maybe Lotus?)

Oyce's Dad has been watching this movie on DVD for several days, so I keep seeing bits and pieces of it. It is set in historical-make-believe-China, and looks extraordinary: everything is gilded and ornamented and every shot displays about fifteen different brilliant colors, so every scene seems to be taking place inside a Faberge egg, or a stained-glass window. This is remarkable to look at, but makes it rather difficult to follow the story. Luckily, the story does not appear to be very complicated.

Every time I have glanced at the screen or even watched for extended periods, one or more of the following events is taking place: Gong Li drinking poisoned "medicine," looking pained and haughty; Gong Li's or the poison-carrying maid's breasts are prominently displayed, in corsets so they're practically popping out of their heavily ornamented dresses of cloth-of-gold; people hurrying down technicolored corridors; gigantic gilded and baroque doors opening or closing. The soundtrack appears to consist entirely of BOM! BOM! BOM!

Oyce's Mom wandered in at one point, glanced at all the gold onscreen, and remarked disapprovingly, "Too expensive."
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[personal profile] larryhammer 2007-02-23 04:25 pm (UTC)(link)
It seems there was a lot of cleavage in the early Tang dynasty.

I liked House of Flying Daggers a lot more. And Hero simply infuriated me, after his earlier movies (especially Raise the Red Lantern).


[identity profile] yeloson.livejournal.com 2007-02-23 05:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Funny, I'm the other way around, I loved Hero, couldn't stand House of Flying Daggers. I guess it's too depressing to watch people betray their own ideals every step of the way.
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[personal profile] larryhammer 2007-02-23 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
It's easier for me to watch characters do that than creators.


[identity profile] yeloson.livejournal.com 2007-02-23 06:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Can you elaborate?

I remember hearing the ending of Hero changed because Jet Li really wanted to make a statement with it. Most people read it as super pro-centralized Chinese govt., but I kind of saw it as the ultimate hollow victory- you conquer everything but live the rest of your life in fear surrounded by scheming yes men.
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[personal profile] larryhammer 2007-02-23 09:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I also saw it as pro-centralized China. There were elements of hollow victory, yes, but they didn't overshadow that statement, to my mind.


[identity profile] yeloson.livejournal.com 2007-02-24 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
Any idea what the previous ending was going to be? I mean, given the general historical factor, Huang Di becomes emperor no matter what.

[identity profile] homasse.livejournal.com 2007-02-25 01:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I liked House of Flying Daggers the first time I watched it, but after that, I found I just didn't like it as much. Hero, though, just yeah, much love.

And I really like Curse of the Golden Corset, but probably because I like Gong Li a lot, and Jay Chou is my hands-down favorite singer, so yes, bias.

[identity profile] yeloson.livejournal.com 2007-02-25 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm kind of mixed on Curse of the Golden Flower, if only because endless oppression is depressing, and I go to wuxia period pieces to escape that. I did enjoy the sets, the costumes, the makeup, etc. which blew me away.

[identity profile] homasse.livejournal.com 2007-02-25 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
heh--I'm so used to Chinese movies, especially Zhang Yimou's, having the mother of all depressing endings, so I would have been shocked by a Zhang Yimou movie NOT having an ending that made me want to go shoot myself in the head from depression afterwards. And it didn't really feel like a wuxia movie.