House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Cliches, laboriously presented. Only a self-consciously retro and “pretty” chinese film could get away with some of this creaky stuff. a couple of exciting sequences, especially a fight and chase in a bamboo forest. but perhaps it’s time to ask the same question of Chinese filmmakers like Yimou that the popularity of Kurosawa in the 1970s/80s raised: How much do these costume dramas, calculated to wow western audiences with their scenery, scope, art direction, etc., prevent other more daring and significant films from receiving distribution and reaching larger audiences. I remember the first time I saw the Japanese film “Pigs and Battleships” about Japan immediately after the war—I was amazed because I thought Japanese film was all samourai’s and emperors. Of course, very few people have seen films by either Imamura or Kurosawa, but is it entirely cynical to wonder why Kurosawa in particular was chosen as a “global” film darling?