Zhang Yimou's "Hero" at DVinfo.net

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Old August 27th, 2004, 06:57 PM   #1
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Zhang Yimou's "Hero"

I've seen it twice on DVD. Now it finally opens in theatrical release in North America today:

Rotten Tomatoes reviews

I will try and see it in the theatres for the week or so it will be open. It certainly is one of the most sumptuously filmed movies ever made with glorious cinematography by Christopher Doyle. I won't spoil the rest. Go see it for the visuals.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 09:29 PM   #2
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I was very into Zhang's films ten years ago. Raise The Red Lantern had an enormous impact on me. I think it was it's spareness that I found so compelling.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 10:51 PM   #3
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I really loved his films from RED SORGHUM, JU DUO, RAISE THE RED LANTERN up to THE STORY OF QUI JU. Then I lost track of them until HERO.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 11:06 PM   #4
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Hero was backed by the State... If i'm correct, the first Zhang's film to be so.
A good info to know when one reads the story told.

I feel this is very different in spirit and intention to the old Zhang's flicks.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #5
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Sigh...

Shanghai Triad was the last one I paid attention to. I shall have to take a look at his work again.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 12:48 AM   #6
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ALL of his films have received state money. The state just wasn't forthcoming when it came to distributing his previous films because they were perceived as criticism. 'Hero' was made in a new time. The government is different, the market is different, and Zhang Yimou is different. The Chinese state is no longer monolithic. Whereas, Zhang Yimou himself as he has gotten older may be feeling closer to the taoist philosophy.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 01:39 AM   #7
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Taoist philosophy? Erhm. That didn't quite translate for me.
On the surface maybe.

Nonetheless, i enjoyed this beautifully crafted movie with my popcorn.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #8
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Interview with Christopher Doyle

Really good interview with the cinematographer Christopher Doyle. A lot of good ideas and thoughts. Not just a fluff interview.

http://www.reverseshot.com/doyle.html
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Old August 30th, 2004, 07:32 PM   #9
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Thank you very much for that interview article, Keith. I'm off tonight to see Hero!
The idea of being as sensitive to location as possible,
and that location is as much character as anyone else, is also very important to me. Cimema is an exploration of the outer as well as the inner world, the two uniting and representing in just the same way that dreams do. Excellent stuff.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #10
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I'm glad to see articles like that. Frequently we are absorbed with the technical aspects and not too aware of the spiritual, artistic aspects that ground our ideas.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 08:51 PM   #11
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Alright, well I've now seen Hero. I don't see many films at theaters these days, certainly not big movie action fictions, so the sprawling enormity of it all just in itself was very moving for me.

I liked it very much. I wanted to see it boiled for longer into art, I wanted to see more of it's dialogue and narrative told even more visually and poetically. I wanted it's sense of itself to be more, I don't know, innocent. But it's emotional livelihood, for the most part, was as strong and mature as it's use of color, it is giving way to interesting ideas, for me, and I'm going to see it again tonight! Yimou has served the genre very well. (I haven't seen Crouching Tiger...) Can't wait to see his other films again.
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Old September 1st, 2004, 11:36 AM   #12
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i think the american release of it is the edited 96min edition. there is a 120min edition on DVD somewhere. it's more detailed/character, etc. it's also even slower (if you can believe it) than the current one.

i think it's a typical wuxia movie nothing special (except for the brainwashing but other than that...).
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Old September 1st, 2004, 12:49 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Kevin Lee : Hero was backed by the State... If i'm correct, the first Zhang's film to be so.
A good info to know when one reads the story told.

I feel this is very different in spirit and intention to the old Zhang's flicks. -->>>
I agree. I was a huge Zhang Yimou fan for his earlier films. I think he started going downhill when he and Gong Li broke up. Since they stopped going together, her career has faded as well.

I guess Zheng Ziyi is being touted as the "new Gong Li." She's certainly very pretty, but she seems to lack Gong Li's fire (I don't think I'd ever want Gong Li mad at me ;) ).
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Old September 1st, 2004, 09:10 PM   #14
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"i think the american release of it is the edited 96min edition. there is a 120min edition on DVD somewhere. it's more detailed/character, etc. it's also even slower (if you can believe it) than the current one."

You know, it really did feel rushed where it mattered most, something I noticed more so on the second viewing, as though the story and it's themes weren't allowed to breath enough. I'm glad that wasn't entirely a conscious decision on the part of the filmmakers.

Nothing special? No, perhaps not, but, again, I don't see films of this sort, so I dug into the mixture of philosophy portrayed in a physical, yea action, form.
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Old September 3rd, 2004, 07:50 PM   #15
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I saw it today. Visually it was astounding. A lot of the scenes reminded me of Sandy Skoglund photographs. That final scene where Jet Li (was he the Nameless guy?) is walking down the steps and everything is gray punctuated by that red- breathtaking stuff. Or that little shrine in the lake. Or the fight between Moon and Snow where everything turns red. Wow! Really, there were so many amazing things visually about this movie. Also, the sound and score were great. However, the script was way too melodramatic for my taste.
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