Monday, February 18, 2008

The Banquet [Ye Yan]

The Banquet [Ye Yan]. Dir. Feng Xiaogang. Perf. Zhang Ziyi, Daniel Wu, Zhou Xun, Ge You, Ma Jingwu. 2006. DVD. Mega Star, 2006.
Alternate Citation: The Legend of the Black Scorpion [a.k.a. The Banquet (Ye Yan)]. Dir. Feng Xiaogang. Perf. Zhang Ziyi, Daniel Wu, Zhou Xun, Ge You, Ma Jingwu. 2006. DVD. Dragon Dynasty, 2008.

I’m not entirely in tune with the genre of this film, but I’m fascinated by the adaptation itself. The genre, I suppose, is Wuxia. That’s a kind of Kung Fu action film coming out of Hong Kong. Plenty of slow-motion violence fills the film—the aesthetics are like ballet, and that may have a softening effect on the stabbings and choppings.

In any case, that’s not altogether what I’m interested in. The film is a retelling of Hamlet, and it stays fairly close to the plot, but it varies from it in really interesting ways. I don’t want to provide spoilers here, but (if you can take the beheadings and slow-motion blood splattering) you should see this film. The cinematography is fabulously beautiful! Stunning.

See a slideshow of selected stills from the film:

video

Links: The Film at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2012 by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest