“From the director of Sense and Sensibility,” announced the spokesman for Crouching Tiger, the official trailer for Hidden Dragon, and I blinked. Isn’t Ang Lee’s constant quest to push the boundaries of cinema always brave when it is not always successful?
The Taiwanese-American director worked his way up the Hollywood ladder and how. From the little dramedy Pushing Hands from 1991 to final recognition with the well-done rom-com The Wedding Banquet (1993), Lee has made consistent efforts to improve. With the British drama Sense and Sensibility, in which Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman appeared, he caused a furore in Hollywood for the first time in 1995. But the director really broke the gates of Western industry with his predominantly ethnic cast and crew of the crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon. The 2000 film was a revelation in many ways. The fact that with a Chinese cast and a Chinese story you could make money with Hollywood was a huge win. We also learned that a martial arts film can be so visually stunning not just in terms of its action choreography, but also in terms of the way it was shot by cinematographer Peter Pau.
Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen made up the main characters, and they were all wonderful. Especially Zhang Ziyi, who was wild and graceful with her movements and actions. And that brings us to the mainstay of the film, the wondrous, inexplicable action sequences. The scenes showed characters moving at impressive speeds, climbing bamboo stalks, and flying through the air with quick, sharp movements. All incredible. Everything intoxicating.
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Speaking to AP recently about the legendary bamboo scene, Lee said something very poetic: “You use very heavy methods to imitate lightness.” The director said he was afraid of hanging such large stars in the air for long periods of time : “For every actor hanging up there, you need 30 socialmediagossips on the ground who imitate the bamboo swinging in the wind. I’ve probably done about a third of what I wanted to do. Just as you dream about a movie, it is very difficult to make it a reality. “But Ang Lee’s risk paid off in large measure. Even after more than 20 years of its release, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon remains one of the most successful international films in the US. The film made $ 128 million on a modest budget of $ 17 million in North America alone. In the end, it was Lee’s persistence as an artist that won over everyone.
You can watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on Netflix.