Thursday, February 08, 2007


Dir: Ronny Yu

What a laugh. Jet Li was never a great actor, though he's obviously more comfortable in his native language. Here he is playing a great Chinese martial arts legend called Huo Yuanjia and the nationalism is laid so thick its hard to not laugh. I can't but help wonder if this is how western films come across to those who don't 'get' the west. I can imagine Bin Laden and his gang in their hide out watching 'Apocolypse Now' and failing utterly to catch the nuances. Not that I'm comparing myself to Bin Laden! I just can't help but wonder about these things. I had too many art-ref and contemporary art classes back in uni to not see the connections between a society and the art it produces. All art is a reflection you see and any given film is a finger print of the society that made it.

So, it doesn't look too good for the Chinese. The funny thing is, the Japanese film I saw last week had many of the same underlying emotional themes. They say the new century will belong to the new emerging powers, China, India, maybe... Japan and perhaps these films reflect a growing sense of regional independence. Good for them, amusing for us. We can see ourselves reflected in those who follow us I guess and these films give us an indication of how 'we', the west, probably appear to those who do not fit into that loose identification.

As for Jet Li. He's obviously made the right choice. His time in Hollywood was unremarkable by my perception and the roles he was offered were pretty abysmal. The roles he's getting now might be equally petty to me, but I bet he's getting more 'love' from his audience.

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