g Promise me this- Whatever path you take in this life, be true to yourself. h Shu Lien, a main character in the Chinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon gives this advice to Jen, who is a young, struggling girl. This film explores how one can learn how to go beyond the restraints of emotion and freedom typical in Chinese culture, and find personal happiness. The theme is that holding back your true emotions and passions and never allowing them to be fulfilled will lead to a life wasted. Through expressing yourself, you truly can live a full life.
As the title of the film suggests, every character in the film is a hidden dragon in some sense. This is because every character leans to tradition and distances themselves from their personal feelings. As Jen wistfully tells Shu Lien, gTo be free to live your own life… to choose whom one loves… that is true happiness. h The cinematography used in the film is in many ways dazzling and unique.
The most noticeable are the aerial ballet and swordplay fight scenes. It follows the long-established genre in Chinese film and literature called gWu xia. h The Wuxi a were a class of knights during the time of Confucius, who in this fantasy-based fiction often have magical abilities like flight (shown in the film as more like gravity-free leaps), and speed, reflexes, and strength of superhuman levels. The warriors in this film are able to leap, fly, walk on walls, dive, and fight in ways that look more like a video game than real life. The first time I saw this film, it seemed very strange and bothered me because it was so unrealistic. But watching it after I have a knowledge of the history and traditions of China brings it together much more meaningfully.
AuterismJared Goodwin Auteur is defined as a French term for the film director who places a personal style on his or her films. It was first coined by Francois Truffaut to describe the mark of a film director on his films. A director can be considered an auteur if about five of his films depict a certain style that is definitely his own. In other words, much like one can look at a painting and ...
The warriors in the film find personal freedom through expressing themselves with these martial arts techniques. It seems the film has nothing to do with fighting and everything to do with personal excellence. The heroes transcend space, gravity, the limitations of the body and the fears of the mind. In a fight scene in a Western movie, it is assumed the fighters hate each other. In a martial arts movie, it’s more as if the fighters are joining in a celebration of their powers. People still get killed, but they are mostly characters who have misused their powers.
The martial arts scenes look like art. They look more like a beautifully choreographed if brutal dance than a fight scene. All is done so lightly, quickly, and easily. The art of fencing is compared in the film to calligraphy. Calligraphy was seen in Chinese as the highest form of art. Each warrior is masterful of his or her technique, and it is exciting to watch.
The theme that one must express oneself to find true happiness is displayed here, as the warriors develop their personal styles. Although Shu Lien is a masterful warrior, her happiness is unfulfilled because she has never expressed her true feelings for Li Mu Bai. He is one of the great warriors of his time, but after great meditation at Wud an Mountain, he has decided to leave that life behind him. Throughout the film, he uses meditation and reflection to consider his path. Buddhist ideals are reflected by him, as he tells Shu Lien, g Training is everything! h and the things we can touch have no permanence.
Once Were Warriors isn't a fun movie by any stretch of the imagination. Violence and anger are at the core of this powerful film, which doesn't shy away from showing the domestic abuse in all of its potent rage. The story revolves around Beth and Jake Here (Rena Owen and Tempera Morrison) who, to outsiders at least, have seem to have a wonderful life-five healthy kids and plenty of friends and ...
h He has for many years been in love with Shu Lien as well, but their personal feelings lie hidden. For much of the film, they are very reserved around each other and will not talk about their feelings. They do not show any emotion, and feelings are completely disregarded. At one point Shu Lien tells him, gDonft let personal feelings make it worse. h It is clear that to the Chinese, to be reserved and discreet is everything. There is also alot of physical distance between the two.
They are very reserved and stiff, but the viewer can sense the hidden pain and loneliness behind their eyes. Throughout the course of the film, music is integrated very well into the scenes. Music makes the cuts much less choppy and jolting, and is an element that makes the movie flow smoothly together. The film opens with soft, melancholy-sounding Chinese music. Alot of silence is utilized, and this makes the viewer take notice when music does enter the scene.
The Chinese flute makes tender moments of the film more profound. During some of the martial arts scenes, alot of fast-moving, repeated drumbeats emphasize the fast, flashing movements of the swords. They also create tension and excitement. The drumbeats end abruptly when fighting ends and the villain escapes, and this is an element meant to emphasize the finality of the fight. The music in most of the scenes is beautiful and slightly mournful, adding color to the dialogue and action.
Most of the camera techniques appeared very similar to our Western techniques. Close-ups, track shots, and alot of moving camera work is used. The camera moves very slowly during the scenes involving dialogue and plot development. During the martial arts scenes, however, a huge change is seen. Now the camera is fast-moving, with a much greater number of cuts and jolts.
The camera moves with the warriors and creates a sense of unity between the drumbeats and the motion of the camera. Some scenes seem a little too short and abrupt, and I wished the camera had stayed on certain objects and faces longer than it did. It looks a little bit confusing and gbusyh with all the fancy camera work. I especially loved the camera techniques during one scene of startling daring and beauty, when two warriors cling to the tops of tall, swaying trees and swing back and forth during a sword fight. The camera captures views of the warriors from up above, from below, and from all sides and angles. It gives us wonderful views and it seems the camera is integrated just as much into the beauty of the art as the choreography and martial arts techniques.
THE CRUCIBLE Throughout the course of life, many things are needed to survive. The main three are food, shelter, and love. Along with these main things there are side items. One of which is entertainment. Entertainment comes in a variety of forms. Some include: sports, music, video games, shopping, and movies. From observation one can conclude that movies are a popular form of entertainment. What ...
A disregard for the reserved Chinese traditions is first seen in an extended flashback scene. Jen, the confused Chinese girl, finds love with a wild criminal named Lo. She follows her heart as she kisses him in the desert, letting all here fears and traditions go as she is true to what she really wants. She realizes a secret fantasy life, far from the rules that limit her. Later, however, when he comes to her, she rejects him. Her parents have arranged a marriage for her, and she tells him to go away.
She disregards her emotions and feelings. Between Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai, a moment of tenderness is seen at last when he puts his hand to her face. The unrealized love between them is very successfully brought out, as the viewer forgets about the swords and is just watching a man and a woman, tenderly cherishing the unspoken bond between them. The plot comes to its climax when Li Mu Bai is dying. Shu Lien to the last moment tries to disregard personal feelings and stay detached. She tells Li Mu Bai, get your soul rise to eternity with your last breath.
Do not waste it on me. h But the truth finally escapes him, as he tells Shu Lien at last that he has always loved her and cannot stand to enter heaven without her. He tells her his life had been wasted because he had not told her of his love until it was too late. At the last moment, Shu Lien loses her inhibitions and kisses him, weeping. Soon after this, Shu Lien gives Jen the advice to always be true to yourself. The theme is strongly emphasized that a fulfilled life is having the freedom to make your own choices, and be with the one you love.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is glorious, unashamed escapism and also carries a strong message of avoiding the hidden dragons in our lives and following our hearts down our true paths.