20 November 2006

The Blade (刀)

Banditry; brutality; brothels; barrenness; beatings; bloodbaths; beheadings; betrayals; blades. Tsui Hark's take on the classic myth of the one-armed swordsman is closer to Spaghetti western than to wǔxiá piàn.
I loved this film, I loved every moment of it. I loved its debunking the wǔxiá piàn myths. I loved the portrayal of violence as unglamourous. Of martial arts skills as not necessarily useful (the monk in the beginning of the film) or helpful (the prostitute killed by accident). Even xiào (孝), that most cardinal of Chinese virtues, gets criticised.....
Highly recommended.

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