Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: an Analytical Review

Topics: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Chinese martial arts, Bruce Lee Pages: 1 (412 words) Published: August 29, 2012
Hong Kong cinema has unquestionably founded their filmic reputation out of the 1950's martial-arts action films produced by the Shaw Brothers. This can be reaffirmed through the statement in Film Art that, "Shaws made films in many genres, but among its biggest successes were dynamic, gory sword fighting films (wuxia pian, or ‘tales of martial chivalry')" (493). Such films eventually lead to the endorsement of classic martial artists from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan, ultimately establishing a sort of genre built around "meticulously choreographed action sequences," ideally performed by a charismatic actor (494). However, as demand increased, so did production, which prompted many filmmakers to put a great deal of effort into the action-packed sequences, as things such as narrative and characterization became subordinated. Perhaps, the knowledge that even the greatest cinematic martial arts sequences are only heightened by a powerful narrative, spurred Ang Lee to make a film out of the Chinese novel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In this film, the narrative's primary function is not only to frontline the brilliantly choreographed fighting scenes, but also to adjoin such sequences with a powerful narrative that touches upon the emotional vulnerability associated with the human condition. Ultimately, Lee's final product seems to be breaking free from the conventions of the clichéd martial art films of his past, by submitting a product that has a multi-layered narrative which is only enhanced by cinematographic effects and editing. One of the first things to notice about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is the quality of the narrative which according to Cinema Studies, "Refers to the strategies, codes and conventions (including mise-en-scene and lighting) employed to organize a story" (257). In light of this, if you look at the basic character motivations in this story it becomes clear that the characters within are functioning for a variety of complex reasons, most of...
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