Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, and Yimou Zhang take eye-popping wuxia spectacle to new heights in the chop-socky epic The Curse of the Golden Flower, a tragedy whose dark overtones are given ironic counterpoint by the film's garishly lavish sets, costumes, and cinematography.
Or something like that.
Did I mention this thing's got some kick ass action? That it's chock full of sword fights, gong fu fights, ninjas on ropes, and heaving bosoms? That it contains incest, jealously, and gratuitous scenes of traditional Chinese medicine?
I saw the film at last night's AFI Fest Closing Night Gala, with Yimou, Li, and Yun-Fat in attendance, and thoroughly enjoyed it (though my date felt that the anti-piracy security measures were a bit overdone). The production design alone is worth the price of admission, especially as seen in the pristine new print projected onto the Cinerama Dome's gigantic curved screen. Throw in the aforementioned action which, while not as prevalent as in Yimou's previous wuxia films, serves to nicely disguise the screenplay's stage-bound origins, and you've got a shoo-in for a Foreign Film Oscar nom.
Check it out, starting December 14th.
Film geeks: While searching for a link for the Cinerama Dome I found this site, which features a comprehensive overview of every Cinerama film ever made.