Sunday, September 13, 2009

CHINESE EPIC BLOCKBUSTER "RED CLIFF" BY JOHN WOO


Since HOLLYWOOD SPY adores visually stunning epics, here's one from China. John Woo's "Red Cliff" opens in USA in November, and is considered the highest grossing film in Chinese box office history. It marks Woo's return to Chinese cinemas after almost two decades.
With Asian Brad Pitt, Takeshi Kaneshiro in one of the lead roles it tells the story from the period of Three Kingdoms in Chinese ancient history. The land of Wu is attacked by warlord Cao Cao and his army of one million soldiers. In the attempt to unite all of China, Cao Cao has convinced emperor Han to attack the kingdoms of Xu and Wu. Thus begins the military campaign of unprecedented scale. Xu and Wu have to form an alliance to defend themselves. Numerous battles of strenght and wit both on land an sea, will culminate in the battle of Red Cliff which will change the course of Chinese history forever.
Apparently everything in this movie is mindblowingly huge, the sets, the stunts, the photography, the budget, the success, the battle scenes, visual efects ....

4 comments:

  1. I got my hands on the Chinese version (part 1&2) and it was visually stunning, very epic, but felt a bit forced at times. I heard the American release will edit the two parts into 1 at about half the total length so it'll be interesting to see the changes made.

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  2. Yes, I can imagine that Asian movies could be a bit boring to US viewers since they are usually used to some more dynamic actions films with no philosophical moments which the Chinese movies tend to have.

    But people can at least enjoy the visual, epic part, as you said :)

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  3. There are no philosophical moments in Red Cliff. :) If there is something that doesn't quite work in that film, then it's a fault of script or director himself. No special Chinese quirks there... :)

    Generally, most of the movies in their respectable genres are very similar in both East and West. There are no real differences nowadays. Problem is, most of the people here (in Western world) think that Eastern/Asian movie are "strange". And than is a false assumption.
    There are some special genres in Eastern cinema that westerners find awkward. Wuxia in Chinese cinema, and a whole lot of "special" genres in Japanese cinematography. :))
    But most of the mainstream, traditional genres are the same as their counterparts in Wastern cinema.

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  4. There isn't? :) When I mean Asian philosophy I usually have in mind those long quiet scenes, when nobody speaks, you eventually have a camera focused on somebody's eyes or on a suggestive piece of landscape, and you are supposed to figure out the message from it yourself :))

    Bels, you consider us the Western world?? :))))

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