Chinese film-director Zhang Yimou is member of the Fifth Generation. The Fifth Generation itself is celebrated for its filming, specifically for the usage of ocular images, unusual camera motion, graphic contrasts, unusual framing and collages. The movies of Fifth Generation have their ways of stating narratives and narrative, which is largely done through fable. Zhang Yimou himself emphasizes ocular imagination and metaphors to convey the messages of his movies to the audience. In his movies one can detect the accent on the shooting composing and colour symbolism e.g. in “ Raise the Red Lantern ” bright red coloured lantern is used to stand for the married woman which hubby chooses to pass the dark with, and the new married woman which is have oning ruddy nuptials frock. ( Lent, J.A. , Yin, X. n.d. )
Zhang ‘s movies frequently deal with the narratives of provincial or common people ( To populate, 1994 ) , ( Ju Dou, 1990 ) He frequently touches the subjects of love, treachery and sadness ( Raise the Red Lantern, 1991 ) . In his late 50 ‘s Zhang Yimou turned to action films, Wuxia genre, and directed ( Hero, 2002 ) and ( House of Flying Daggers, 2004 ) .
House of Flying Daggers has won awards for Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, Outstanding Production Design and many more, making entire worldwide box office gross of 92 million Dollars. Although Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ( 2000, by Ang Lee ) , besides an international success, still remains the highest-grossing foreign linguistic communication movie. ( Wikipedia )
Hero ( 2002 ) , House of Flying Daggers ( 2004 ) directed by Zhang Yimou and Crouching Tiger, Hidden firedrake ( 2000 ) directed by Ang Lee are the most celebrated and internationally celebrated Wuxia movies. Wuxia genre straight implies that movie incorporates soldierly humanistic disciplines but if analyzed farther word wuxia is composed of two characters. First Wu which describes the abovementioned soldierly humanistic disciplines action, and Xia which describes the supporter of the movie. Xia characters can be both from blue or low background. Generally these are soldierly humanistic disciplines Masterss who seek escapade and who fight for justness. Xia characters, merely like knights, have their codification of behavior which is steering their beliefs, behaviour and life style. ( An Introduction to Wuxia. n.d. )
. House of Flying Daggers, if literally translated from Mandarin to English agencies “ ambushed from 10 waies ” which absolutely describes the tenseness constructing up in the movie when watching unbelievable contending techniques, stickers winging through air and complicated combat scenes. ( Brenner, J. n.d. )
The movie tells a narrative of three chief characters whose lives get entangled with one another. The component that unifies all three of them is the torture for love, their sorrow and devotedness. The movie shows that love can non be based on time- span. One can happen the love of his life during three yearss. The purpose of the movie is to demo how the journey of love unfolds, what sort of forfeits characters make for it and how enormously the experience of love alterations their inner egos and their worldview.
The narrative takes topographic point in China 859 AD during the reign of the Tang dynasty. The movie portrays a corrupted and weak political state of affairs in response to which an confederation called “ house of the winging stickers ” signifiers to subvert the corrupted authorities. The Flying Daggers are a secret confederation composed of first-class martial-art warriors. Members of Flying Daggers are present everyplace in amusement houses, even in the authorities system. Police Captain Leo ( Andy Lau ) besides a member of Flying Daggers and Captain Jin ( Takeshi Kaneshiro ) receive an order to happen and destruct the new leader of the Flying Daggers in 10 yearss. They start their pursuit by sing Peyony Pavillion to take a closer expression at the unsighted terpsichorean Mei ( Zhang Ziyi ) who is suspected to be the member of the Flying Daggers.
The dramatic construction starts to germinate right after Captain Leo suggests Captain Jin deliverances imprisoned Mei, additions her trust and by escorting her leads them to the bigger reward- the trail of the Flying Daggers. The undercover program merely lasts three yearss but these three yearss are what leads to the apogee of the movie. During these yearss Captain Leo suffers vastly and endures insomniac darks as he witnesses the love of his life flirtation and bonding with another adult male. Captain Jin faces quandary of taking sides. As due to General ‘s order he is forced to kill his ain soldiers. The thought of killing his ain people tortures him while love for Mei grows. He reaches the point of no return when he returns for her in the bamboo forest, cognizing he will hold to battle his ain side once more, but he does so for her. Mei, on the other manus, is fighting between love and gratitude toward Captain Leo who has saved her life multiple times and new turning fondness toward Jin.
For escalating the dramatic construction symbolism is used as a tool. One of the first symbols spectator informants is the vocal Sung by Mei in the Peyony Pavillion.
“ A rare beauty in the North, She ‘s the finest lady on Earth, A glimpse from her,
the whole metropolis goes down. A 2nd glimpse leaves the whole state in ruins ”
This is a metaphorical prefiguration of the full tragic love trigon. The Beauty in the North is Mei, whose beauty and love is destructive, ironically even for her. The vocal is sung in the beginning of the movie as in the terminal, during the combat in the snow between three chief characters, when Mei is deceasing.
One of the most impressive minutes is the last scene in the snow. Harmonizing to the manager Zhing Yimou it was merely a happenstance that it started snowing in October but it genuinely did do a fantastic add-on to the ocular aesthetics of the movie. The last scene of snow can be perceived as a symbol. As the spectator sees how the wood of yellow, purple, green and ruddy trees all of a sudden gets covered under a thick bed of pure white snow, it unfolds the climaxing events to come. The pure white snow symbolizes the terminal and the new beginning. It is the terminal, as the snow gets covered with blood of three chief characters. But it besides symbolizes a new page, as that is the twenty-four hours of the great conflict between the Flying Daggers and the authorities. It ‘s a fresh start for all the others but it ‘s the terminal for Leo, Jin and Mei.
In order to underscore Zhang Yimou ‘s techniques of symbolism and metaphorical portraiture of messages one must besides discourse the signifier of duologue in the movie. From the duologue in the Peyony Pavillion about Mei ‘s name audience learns that the chorus girls have taken the names of the flowers while Mei did n’t. The ground for this harmonizing to Mei is that the chorus girls are bogus flowers, as existent flowers grow in the wilderness. This is really interesting if one takes into consideration that Jin calls himself the Wind. So the two chief characters are metaphorically referred to as a flower and the air current. The flower and air current metaphor follows the advancement of Mei ‘s and Jin ‘s relationship and is repeating several times. First case is when Jin takes Mei to the flower field “ where the existent flowers grow ” , makes her a flower corsage and calls her the most beautiful flower among the field.
The metaphor of the air current is repeating in the conversation which Mei initiates in order to understand the purposes and feelings of Jin toward her. Jin tries to explicate his feelings to her by mentioning to air currents properties, that air current is playful and unworried, moves around and leaves no hints and does n’t remain in one topographic point. Mention to the air current one time more emerges in the most dramatic minute of the movie, when Leo stabs Mei lethally. Mei answers Leo ‘s inquiry and says that she wanted to be free as a air current, metaphorically mentioning to Jin and freedom of being with him.
The symbolism for Mei and Jin, as a flower and a air current, helps to pass on the traits of the characters to the audience.
Mei, a flower that grows in the wilderness portrays that her beauty, as her first-class soldierly humanistic disciplines accomplishments are a deathly arm for seduction and devastation. The fact that she is portrayed as eyeless individual elevates her importance and singularity. The best illustration of this is the scene of the echo game. When Captain Leo tosses individual beans she cleanly repeats the reverberations of the membranophones by slaming the arms of her frock onto the membranophones. After Captain Leo tosses full bowl of beans onto the membranophones she demonstrates her exceeding accomplishments in soldierly humanistic disciplines, and hence is revealed to be a batch more than merely a gifted blind terpsichorean.
Jin is the playful or unworried air current. He moves about and leaves no hint. His character is portrayed as a ladies work forces, who likes imbibing, is playful, enjoys traveling to amusement houses and is therefore unable or non willing to perpetrate. His character progresses as he settles, “ the air current will halt at his will ” and transforms into a devoted lover.
Leo is an clandestine character who has endured much of the agony. In his address to Mei he reveals his feelings and agonies stating he has been lasting twenty-four hours by twenty-four hours by the idea of Mei. He is a dependable and cautious character, who looks after Mei and saves her during the combat in the flower field. When his character progresses he turns huffy with green-eyed monster, partly faulting himself but the feeling of treachery is so strong and hurting so deep he merely loses his head, taking him to sharply coerce Mei into doing love to him, and subsequently taking her life.
These three characters are unified by one more trait. All three of them are full of fraudulence. None of them appear to be what they have led the audience or each other to be.
When analysing the characters themselves there is a certain context that these characters should be put into to to the full understand the logical thinking behind their behaviour. All the three chief characters are Xia warriors. Eight common properties of Xia warriors are selflessness, justness, individuality, trueness, bravery, truthfulness, neglect for wealth and desire for glorification. These elements are really of import to take into consideration as the characters of the Wuxia films frequently display these traits. ( An Introduction to Wuxia. n.d. )
The illustration of trueness and treachery in the warrior universe is portrayed by the relationship of Mei and Leo. Mei could non let herself to love Jin as she felt she would bewray Leo, and due to high regard and gratitude for what he has done for her she rejects Jin in the wood. But as it becomes obvious that she fell in love with Jin, Leo becomes coldhearted and Mei has to pay the cost of her treachery, her life.
Besides what seems to be really interesting is harmonizing to what values and properties do warriors set up trust among each other. When did Mei really feels trust toward Jin and starts genuinely falling in love with him? Was it after he saved her life in the wood, or rescued her from the prison? The trust and love come to may after the contending scene on the flower field, when General ‘s soldiers attack Mei and Jin. This being a true, unanticipated and tense combat of twelve soldiers against two, Jin gets stabbed and this seems to be the point of him deriving Mei ‘s trust and love. A perfect account of this state of affairs is given by Shu-lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The experiences and the difficult times spouses face together brings them closer. Shu-lien fell in love with Li-Mu Bai as they have gone through many different difficult times and fought together, seemingly this is what warriors ‘ value and what brings them closer – being there for each other through difficult times and lasting them together as one. In add-on to that Shu-lien ‘s and Li-Mu Bai ‘s love narrative can besides function as a perfect illustration of warrior ‘s codification of behavior. Shu-lien and Li-Mu Bai are in love but they did n’t hold a opportunity to be together and be happy. The ground for this is revealed by Shu-lien who states that the work forces she loved, who was besides Li-Mu Bai brother, died and non to disrespect him and betray him they can non let themselves to be together. This is one of the illustrations of deep trueness, friendly relationship and self-denial that warriors display as they deeply believe and allow their rules steer them.
When adverting these two movies together, one should discourse two peculiar scenes which are of great importance and involvement. The first scene is the contending scene in the bamboo wood. First of all when seeing a bamboo wood in the soldierly art film, it is like a prefiguration of the approaching conflict. Bamboo wood has been used in House of the Flying Daggers where Mei and Jin are attacked by the Generals military personnels, and besides in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon where Li-Mu Bai and Jen are contending. There is an obvious similarity in these two scenes. Fictional characters fight with their armour but besides use the bamboo wood as tool to leap, walk on the thin subdivisions, escape each other by flexing the tree tops, winging from one tree to another or standing on / between two bamboo trees continuing calm and balance. In malice of the fact that audience anticipates the combat manner and techniques to be used, these scenes are still breathtaking due to the command of the histrions, besides due to the astonishing colourss and the lighting of the wood.
Another scene which will besides be discussed is the bathing scene of Mei. Jin, while in the wood, constructs a small pool of fresh H2O, gathers foliages and suggests Mei take a bath. Mei decides to take a bath, and to do her Lashkar-e-Taiba her guard down Jin proposes that he will allow Mei maintain path of where he is by doing sounds by his blade. And in the terminal he offers her fresh work forces vesture.
In Crouching Tiger there is besides a bathing scene where Lo brigand from the desert suggests Jen to take a bath and to guarantee her of his good purposes he tells her he will sing so that she knows where he is. He excessively in the terminal offers her his fresh vesture.
Of class the two scenes unfold in different waies but still there are several elements worth adverting which unite the two except for the basic similarities mentioned supra. In these two films both bathing scenes suggest and take to a new sort of familiarity degree and lead to a romantic fondness between two characters Jin and Mei, and Jen and Lo. The beginning of new emotions and fondness is seen right off in the Crouching Tiger as the characters make love and uncover their feelings shortly after. In the House of Flying Daggers there is an effort of familiarity though in this instance Mei is faced with the load of trueness that she has toward Leo and hence culls Jin by being “ cold as H2O ” . But get downing of the approaching love between the two characters is get downing from the bathing scene in both of the movies.
Except for the beautiful landscapes and nature, puting in House of Flying Daggers is besides one of the elements lending to the ocular aesthetics of the movie. As the clip frame of the movie is during ancient times, Tang dynasty, every item in the movie is meticulously chosen to fit the reproduction of the old times. The blades, the lather manus watchbands male characters wore, the clayware, the instruments played in the amusement house and even the anguish devices gave the feeling of being made precisely during the ancient Tang dynasty by a ready to hand craftsman.
The scene at the Payony Pavillion absolutely illustrated and set the temper of ancient China. There are insides of luxuriant profusion, beautiful costumes, landscapes of mountain scopes, hayfields and Fieldss of snow. SpectacularA Costumes designed by Emi Wada depicted adult females of Tang dynasty really good. Entertainment House is filled with high-toned concubines who are great vocalists, performing artists, know the regulations of entertaining games and have respectable table manners. The costumes are stylish, colourful, with beautiful decorations. Concubines have their hair brushed up with an building above the brow, hair decorated with excessive caput combs and jewellery.
In add-on to ocular aesthetics of the movie there are different sounds used in the film to accomplish the consequence of tenseness, exhilaration and do the spectator listen and watch the movie in absolute silence. The illustration of this is the sounds of H2O droplets and crystalline drapes in the Peyony Pavillion. Besides sounds of winging bamboos, falling foliages, sound of blade cutting the air – all these elements are largely used when Mei is in the epicentre of the battle. As during the half of the movie she is perceived and portrayed as a sightless warrior every above mentioned sound is perceived as a hint of what she listens to and notices in order to organize, and how she perceives the environment in order to support herself against the enemy.
Zhang Yimou has his manner of storytelling through ocular imagination, which can be besides observed in his early plant. He uses de-centered composings, sometimes besides vague angles, utilizes small inside informations such as lighting, sound, strong and beautiful scenery to portray minimum secret plan and beef up the dramatic consequence. His narratives can be perceived as fabrications which are in a sense enigmatic and have equivocal terminations. He uses colour and composing to convey out the oriental temper of ancient China.
His purpose with House of Flying Daggers was to demo the destiny of three chief characters who sacrificed everything get downing with their trueness to their responsibilities, their functions in society, their beliefs, and in the terminal their lives for love. He showed how the interior universe of these characters changed and crashed in wretchedness. As he says: ” Peoples in wretchedness have deep significances, Peoples in wretchedness is what is most of import in art ” ( Zhang Yimou Interview, 2002 ) . Their wretchedness is depicted in really powerful manner which brings out empathy in audience.
After the analysis of assorted elements I can state that Zhang Yimou successfully conveyed his movie ‘s message and torment of the characters really skilfully and in a really affecting mode. The histrion ‘s first-class public presentation made it really reliable to experience empathy and sorrow. And the overall aesthetical portion of the movie made a dramatic and long lasting and feeling.