Wednesday, September 17, 2008


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...


Aaron said...

I totally know what you mean when your life is absolutely changed by a film (or a dessert or a song, etc. etc.) and you want everyone to share in that pure joy and excitement... and they don't. It's a bit frustrating.
By the way, a big thank you for your undying devotion to my blog. Comments make the blog go round. I won't make Drawing Session tonight (I have an off-campus animation class Wednesday nights for the next six weeks or so). Laugh at Jason's jokes for me.

Anthony Holden said...

Isn't that interesting? You end up having this great cinematic experience, and someone else walks away with nothing. It kinda makes you feel like they got the raw deal for missing out.

So...wanna babysit a cute crazy baby on Friday?

J said...

You are so freaking cool.

And, oh yeah, Hero is a phenomenal film. I love every single frame of that movie. I think I've seen it six or seven times, and it's not enough.

I sympathize with your desire to become Chinese after seeing Jet Li prove that being Chinese is better than being anything else.

But really. Really, really, I'm so pleased with your response to one of my all-time favorites. Kudos to you for getting it when, clearly, not everyone does.

Jake Wyatt said...

Here's the scary part: if she was in your TMA class, that girl was definitely majoring in film or theatre. Ouch.

Probably theatre.

Don't let it discourage you, though. As long as SOMEONE recognizes greatness, it's okay to keep working.

kwistin said...

I love how you describe things.

That's a frustrating experience: when something hits you so completely out of the blue and presents itself as this great epiphany, and you're just starving for more--wanting to share it with everyone--only to find out that your new-found knowledge isn't understood by others.

I guess that's partly why we make art, though, eh?

Aaron said...

Oh, by the way, we saw a clip of "Hero" in my Intro to Film class the other day. It was the scene with all the autumn leaves where the two ladies duke it out (having not seen the rest of the film, I hope that narrows it down). It blew me away. I have to see the rest of that movie!
Is double-commenting frowned upon in the blogosphere?

thinker said...

If you liked Hero you should check out the House of Flying Daggers,another excellent movie by Yimou Zhang.
He was also the director of the amazing opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Have a nice week!

Joe said...

hey nice ducks below :P

canoelover said...

I love Hero. And I really like Fearless too. Not as epic as Hero but quite good. Ran is also epic but more of a bloodbath.

And I agree about the DQ/Bread Pudding analogy. You can lead a horse to sparkling mineral water but you can't make it drink.