I saw 'Hero' the first time today.
I didn't even know films could BE that good. What an amazing movie. Visually it was incredible: colors transcended their usual background-role. They were practically characters they were so powerful. The martial artistry was beautiful, the scenery was gorgeous, the composition of each shot was inhumanly perfect. I don't know how Zhang Yimou did it. The music was gorgeous, the acting: amazing. The story was deliciously twisted yet refreshingly simple. The themes are still settling into my mind, and I don't feel like I absorbed even half of it. The self-sacrifice theme was powerful, but the emperor's sword-symbol analogy was very profound. I loved that.
I need to see it again (and again and again) before I'll really start understanding all of its layers, though.
But wow. WOW. What a great, great film.
Finishing it, I felt like I'd just been led past an enormous gourmet buffet full of delicacies I wanted to try, but before I could sample more than one or two items, I had to go. It was over. I wanted to restart it immediately, but my brain needs some time to digest.
While I was having my catharsis and wrestling with the irresistable desire to become Chinese just so that I could claim that movie came from my country, a girl behind me started asking questions like, "So...who was that 'Sky-girl'? I don't get it. What am I going to write about?"
AUUUGHHH! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! How does that happen? How could she sit through two hours of 'Hero' and so completely NOT get it??
It was like watching someone taste the (exquisite!) bread pudding from the Commander's Palace in New Orleans, put down their spoon and ask for Dairy Queen instead.
It was just...sad.
I've been thinking about it more and more lately - how films are so completely unique to each individual viewer. It's a fascinating phenomenon. And I like comparing it to food because the same thing happens through taste and food. Films (and all media, really) are mental food. And what we're eating mentally is affecting our health. Affecting us even more than our physical food, really, it's just not as easy to measure...