A while back, a girlfriend of mine was good enough to introduce me to a foreign film and martial arts beauty, House of Flying Daggers. I’ll admit, when I rented the film I was solely interested in studying the fighting techniques and had little interest in following the movie. If I’m required to read a translation for two hours the film loses something for me. I find myself focusing too much on the words and missing too many of the visuals. i.e. Body language, subtle gestures, etc. Lucky for me this film had a translated version. Okay, I see all you purist out there shaking your heads. What can I say, that’s who I am.
So the night came when I popped in the film and went about my usual multi-tasking, waiting for the fight scenes to come along. Uh, yeah. It wasn’t long before I was seated, transfixed on the sofa, all my attention focused on the film. I was hooked. I can’t tell you how long ago I rented the movie. It’s a good think Netflix doesn’t charge late fees. It was a LONG time ago, but it’s still sitting here on my desk. I don’t want to return it. That’s the sign of a movie we will eventually own.
I fell in love with House of Flying Daggers that night. I am such a visual person and the film definitely has that going for it and more. Right from the very start it’s highly visual. The scene seen here takes place right near the beginning and is a show stopper, wouldn’t you agree? I have trouble tearing my eyes from it.
Okay, so you have to keep an open mind and allow the filmmaker’s room under the header of artistic license. Obviously the seeds would never fly across the room the way they did, but you must agree it’s beautifully choreographed. Prior to this point it has been established that our heroine, Mei, is blind. Did you take notice of her unusual eye placement?
The film was China’s official choice for the 2004 Oscar Awards and features a storyline about two police officers, Leo and Jin, that devise a plan to trick Mei into revealing her connection to, and the location of, a secret organization opposing the government known as the House of the Flying Daggers. While Leo arrests Mei, Jin breaks her out and attempts to gain her trust. Of course, things are never as they seem.
You may be drawn in by a number of things. An interesting love angle (I don’t want to give anything away, however you may find yourself rooting for a side). An unexpected conflict development. And my favorite, a strong female lead who would “check off” yes to many of the attributes people listed on Marcy Kennedy’s fabulous post What do we mean by “Strong Female Characters? I love a strong female, don’t you?
This movie is only eight years old and appears to have made an impression on a few highly influential people. Consider a more recent blockbuster, sure the setting was cast in the book, but the angle in which our couple lie, the look of the scene, etc. I’ll let you be the judge.
Wait for it… wait for it… okay, you don’t have to wait long. It’s only 10 seconds into the video. Count it, one… two… three…… ten. Okay, you can stop watching. Did you catch it? Heads up, if you watch the whole video – HUGE spoiler. Sigh. Can you tell me which film that reminds you of? Uh, duh. Twilight.
But this film didn’t just inspire great romantic scenes, how about this one? Even if you haven’t seen the movie, there’s no denying the footage.When a film inspires, does it tend to get emulated in other films time and time again? Do you do this when you write? Have you found yourself borrowing ideas from other books? Inquiring minds would like to know.
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