Film Scouts on the Riviera 2000

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

by Jonathan Robert Muirhead

Film Scouts on the Riviera 2000 is presented by:

This film establishes grandeur with a beautiful, sweeping opening shot. Director Ang Lee glides around the characters, and then zooms into the heart of the stunning fight scenes. Each scene is full of grace and thought. If you miss the subtitle, what was said or thought can be read from characters' reactions, the sudden flash of a sword, or simply turning away.

The robbery of the sword at the heart of the film is a masterpiece of speed and precision. Is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon an arthouse film, or a commercial film? With its thematic depths and oriental myths, the film's in arthouse territory, but Lee's fight sequences beat Hollywood at its own game. Hollywood wrongly shoots films for demographics and target audiences.

Lee has just shot the script and be damned. Lee delicately paints the effects on a person of loss of oneself in one's duties and loyalties to one's master. As with Sense and Sensibility, Lee points out class difference in the monk, the child-bride and the matronly mother figure and how these differences entwine their destinies. A treat for the mind and the eye.

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