This week I’ll be revealing my top ten favourite films, posting one each day with a few paragraphs about what they mean to me. If anyone wishes to share their favourites I’d be happy to hear from you. Today is #9.
9) House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Zhang Yimou’s films are often visual treats, whether it’s the golden fields in the Road Home (2000) or that serene lake in Hero (2002) where Jet Li and Tony Leung run on the surface of the water to exchange an emotional duel. Yimou’s talents are at their very best in the breathtaking House of Flying Daggers (2004), which is rich in colour, stunning landscapes, fabulous costumes and memorable combat scenes.
A tragic love triangle develops amidst a government’s efforts to bring down a rebel group, the House of Flying Daggers. A blind girl, Mei, is tricked into leading a police captain, Jin, to the hideout of the rebels. What begins as a straightforward assignment for Jin becomes a painful duel between loyalty to the government or rebellion in the form of his growing love for Mei.
House of Flying Daggers boasts some incredible scenes:- the echo game between Mei and Leo at the outset, a thrilling fight in a bamboo forest and the brilliant ending where fields and trees, so bright and vivid in colour, are overwhelmed by snow. The visuals and movement are akin to works of art with the flight of swirling daggers followed through high grass or the shedding of blood slowed down to great effect.
Asian cinema has a unique quality that Hollywood simply cannot touch despite the many remakes it has released rather than leaving the originals unblemished. There are few better examples of this than the House of Flying Daggers.
Top Ten so far:
9. House of Flying Daggers (2004)
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