POSTER FOR ZHANG YIMOU'S FILM
"HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS" Posted by Picasa THE BEAUTIFUL & SESUOUS MEI
PERFORMING " THE ECHO GAME" IN " HOUSE OF T FLYING DAGGERS " Posted by Picasa BLIND MEI PERFORMING " ECHO GAME " FOR CAPTAIN LEO
IN " HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS" Posted by Picasa MEI & JIN/WIND PURSUED BY
IMPERIAL TROOPS IN " HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS "( 2004) Posted by Picasa MEI & JIN / WIND AGAIN TRAPPED
BY IMPERIAL SOLDIERS IN " HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS " Posted by Picasa MEI & JIN/WIND TRAPPED IN
BAMBOO SPEARS IN " HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS " Posted by Picasa MEI & JIN/WIND HAVING FALLEN
IN LOVE DESPITE THAT THEY ARE ENEMIES IN " HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS " Posted by Picasa
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
(Shi Mian Mai Fu)
Genres: Action/Adventure and Art/Foreign
Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.
Release Date: December 3rd, 2004 (LA/NY).
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of stylized martial arts violence, and some sexuality.
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Takeshi Kaneshiro .... Captain Jin/ Wind
Andy Lau .... Captain Leo
Ziyi Zhang .... Mei
Dandan Song .... Madam Yee
Director – Zhang Yimou
Screenplay – Zhang, Li Feng & Wang Bin
Producers – Zhang & Bill Kong, Photography – Zhao Xiaoding
Music – Shigeru Umebayashi
Visual Effects Supervisor – Angie Lam, Visual Effects – Animal Logic Film (Supervisors – Andy Brown &
Kirsty Miller), Digital Pictures Iloura & Mandford Electronic Art and Design Co, Production Design – Huo Tingxiao,
Action Director – Tony Ching Siu-Tung. Production Company – Edko Films Ltd/Zhang Yimou Studio/Beijing New Picture
Film Co Ltd.
Clps from House of Flying Daggers
Zhang Yimou proves again he knows how to tell a story turning each frame into something poetic & inredible. This is a
great fantasy film . It is amazing to watch . The cinematography & costumes & settings are wondrous if you like. Like
HERO the story slowly reveals more depth as the main characters struggle with their personal feelings which come into conflict
with their sense of loyalty & honour. It is a story of heroism & loyalty & romance & has an operatic feel
to it as did HERO. This is the lesser of the two films as the story is not as well fleshed out nor as much of a sweeping epic
as HERO is. It is also more episodic in the way it unfolds whereas in the film Hero the narrative was related to the Emperor
by the nameless Hero & we are presented different versions of what actually occurred.
The fight scenes are great feats of choreography & are played out as works of ballet & opera. The film also has the
ambition of a Shakespearean tragedy.
The fight scenes are improbable but fascinating set pieces of warriors flying through a bamboo forest through golden fields
or fighting while snow fall & swirls around the combatants.
Anyway here is the plot as it were:
The year is 859AD and China's once flourishing Tang Dynasty is in decline. Unrest is raging throughout the land, and the corrupt
government is locked in battle with rebel armies that are forming in protest. The largest, and most prestigious of these is
the 'House of Flying Daggers', which is growing ever more powerful under a mysterious new leader. Two local captains, Leo
and Jin are ordered to capture the new leader and the two hatch an elaborate plan. Hearing that one of the assassins operates
in guise as a courtesan at the Peony Pavilion. Jin goes in as a customer and asks to see the best girl, the blind Mei, while
Leo pretends to burst in to stop his boorish behaviour. She dazzles him with her dance showing off her skill in what they
call ‘ the echo game ‘ but then tries to kill him. He has her arrested, believing that she is the daughter of
the Flying Daggers’ recently assassinated leader, who is reputed to be both blind and a martial arts master. Captain
Jin will pretend to be a lone warrior called Wind and rescue the beautiful, blind revolutionary Mei, from prison, earning
her trust and escorting her to the secret headquarters of the House of Flying Daggers. They are pursued by soldiers who pretend
to try and kill them to add conviction to the escape. But as they travel, the mission is tested by the inflamed passions between
Jin and Mei and then the news that the general has taken over and ordered the pursuing soldiers to kill them for real.
We later discover Leo knew Mei before & he is also in Love with her thereby creating a “ Love Triangle
which adds more to the opening scenes after repeated viewing .
The ‘Echo Game’ is a dazzling display of choreography of the mix of dance & martial arts( like an over the
top Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly number). We are firmly placed in a world of fantasy of Grand Opera where colour sound &
movement are used to create moments of drama of danger of fear of hate & of love. The love between Mei & Jin /Wind
is the only thing of real value. But No one seems to be who they claim to be so it becomes difficult for Mei & Jin to
come to terms with how they feel about each other since they are pawns in a bigger game. Their loyalty to their masters &
their honour are at stake in a society which holds these values as more important than one’s personal feelings.
For more on this film see:
House of Flying Daggers
Cannes Film Festival site offers plot synopsis, articles, and video clips.
review by Stina Chyn
IMDb: House of Flying Daggers
Amazon.com: House of Flying Daggers (2005): DVD
also see SENSES OF CINEMA
article on Zhang Yimou
by Mary Farquhar