Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Well, it's been awhile.

I'm unemployed. It leaves about as much time on my hands as anything else, I guess. I'm very lucky to have a very kind support system, otherwise I'd be screwed and likely living at home at the moment. I love the city I'm in. It's everything I want. So much of my life is perfect, even though parts of it are obviously very much not.

Below are some very rudimentary thoughts about the new wuxia films coming out soon. I'll try to see them, for Learning, even though I'd like very much to see them with someone like Rob, who's much more nuanced about these things than I am. 

I'm very skeptical of The Man with the Iron Fists. It's written by Eli Roth and the RZA, the latter of which was in the (in)famous Wu-Tang Clan back in the day. As someone who took anthropology classes and a couple of Chinese history classes in college, it's not the obvious anachronisms that concern me, as much as the fact that it's such a startlingly American production of a "wuxia" movie. It probably doesn't help that the trailer looks, frankly, terrible. We have Lucy Liu (I love her, by the way, all her roles are sassy and powerful in some capacity) being a sexy sexpot female that uses prostitutes (wuxia films have a good stock in prostitutes/courtesans) as shorthand for her being Evil. And then there's a scroll that people want, like always, and maybe some "funny" other villains and a blacksmith that has magic metal powers. Also fine, the supernatural is very prevalent in these types of films. It just seems incredibly American, like a greasy meat dumpling you'd get down the street, instead of the cloud-like cha siu bao from a great dim sum place.  

I'd very much like to see it, if only because Quentin Tarantino is attached to the project. I don't know why he keeps presenting things, but it seems like a ploy to get people to respect a movie by two people who haven't been heard of as directors. Mr Tarantino is actually directing a movie that's coming out soon, called Django Unchained, which looks to be a really interesting revenge story set in the South. Jamie Foxx plays Django, a slave that a bounty hunter works with to kill the Brittle Brothers, some evil dudes that sold Django's wife to Evil Plantation Guy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. It doesn't look like it pulls very many punches with its depiction of slavery. My favorite over-the-top scene from the trailer is the epic blood splatter on the cloudy cotton in the field, which seemed a bit on the nose, but it's Tarantino. Blood and gore are his thing when it comes to messages in film. In a way the movie seems closer to wuxia than The Man with the Iron Fists, in that it details rogue "knights" (bounty hunters, in this case) meting out justice and writing wrongs through bloodshed and epic fight sequences.