Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001
message is coming a bit late, but I've only recently found the website.
I doubt that the two people to whom I'm writing in response will
check this message board again, but I'd just like to clarify a few
points. First of all, Michael says that the Orient and the Far East
are not figments of the European imagination, and that you should
"call them as you see them." I'm sorry, Michael, but they most emphatically
are and by refusing to recognize the latent racism in these monikers,
you are subscribing to the objectification and racial stereotyping
of a whole set of cultures and ethnicities. I suggest you read Edward
Said's "Orientalism" for more on why you should not use those ignorant
and offensive terms. Secondly, to Tracey Bauer, "college student"
- in scrolling down past a few more entries, I noticed that you
said you had been exploring Japanese culture and products of it
- such as this movie. I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but
Crouching Tiger is a CHINESE movie, and how it is a product of the
Japanese culture is beyond me. As a Chinese American graduate student
working towards my PhD in East Asian Studies, I believe you are
suffering from delusions of Japanese grandeur. Firstly, Japan started
off, millenia ago, as a tributary race of China. Much of its own
culture derives from extensive borrowing and copying of Chinese
culture. Secondly, to say that a Chinese movie is a product of Japanese
culture is ridiculous and pathetic, at best. I'm not saying that
Japan does not have a nice culture of its own, but please get your
facts straight before posting idiocy.
Subject: Crouching Tiger
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001
From: Tracey Bauer
March 15, I wrote a little something about different cultures and
this movie. I believe you misunderstood me. I was writing in response
to another message in which the gentleman writes, "the jade fox
definitly represents the devil." It was statements like this that
I had in mind when I wrote about forcing your own culture's ideas
onto another. This movie was in a totally different cultural mindset,
one that puts little or no emphasis on Christianity. I wanted others
to understand that those who were a part of this movie had no such
"Christian" symbolism in mind. Please don't misunderstand, but in
a Sunday School environment, one may be able to draw comparison.
I believe that, though this can be done, a person cannot assuredly
claim that "the jade fox represents the devil" when this was more
than likely not the intention of the writers, directors, producers,
actors, etc. of the movie.
Tracey Bauer (college student)
WOULD HAVE LOVED IT TOO
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001
I think William Shakespeare would have liked this movie. It has
some similarities to Romeo and Juliet...at least in the tragedy
of it all. I also felt as if there was a lot of Biblical symbolism
in the movie---Jade Fox as "The Evil One," ...Jen as "The Tempted
it wasn't marketed at all as the kind of movie I found it to be.
I have watched other foreign films with subtitles, and after the
first few minutes, you find it easy to follow. In fact, after an
hour or so....you almost feel as if you can understand the spoken
language....and the subtitles almost feel unnecessary. My husband
almost decided not to see it when he found out it was not dubbed.
I'm glad he changed his mind and went with me.
didn't discuss our feelings about the end of the movie right away.
It's the kind of film that leaves you.....well.....wanting a different
ending. (Kind of like Romeo and Juliet?) It's not just a love story.....CTHD
is not just a tragedy...it's not a comedy....and it's not a fantasy.....but
it has some elements of all of these things. If you haven't seen
it yet (Christian or not), you really will enjoy it. From the Christian's
point of view, I do feel there is much symbolism in it....relating
to giving over our lives and surrendering it all before true happiness
and healing can take place. Believe what you will about the end....but
it's the rest of the movie that is worth your time and attention.
The scenery is eye candy....the music is exciting....the acting
superb and the costumes are beautiful. You'll almost believe that
when you walk away from the movie.....you'll be able to fly.
fact.....I feel like wielding a sword right now. Think I'll go outside
Subject: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Review
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001
I've seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon twice now, and I'm still
thinking about the deeper meanings behind the movie. I'm still in
awe of the beauty seen in every detail of the choreography and every
camera angle, particularly the scene where Li Mu Bai fights with
Jen among the trees. The most striking of the movies many things
is that in order to find yourself, you most first lose yourself.
Jen is confused; she wants too many things; she doesn't know what
is right. She wants to follow Jade Fox, she wants to follow Li Mu
Bai; she wants to be with Lo, she doesn't want to be with him. She
wants to be happy and thinks with the Green Destiny in her hand,
she will be. Yet even with the sword, Jen is defeated by Li Mu Bai.
Her pride prevents her from becoming his disciple, and she is kidnapped
by Jade Fox, and Li Mu Bai dies. It is with his death, that Jen
realizes how irresponsible she has been, and she travel to Wudan
mountain where she jumps of a high bridge. In the legend Lo has
told her, jumping with a faithful heart makes your wish come true
even if you get lost in the process. By jumping, Jen is giving herself
up, to wherever her greatest wish will take her. As Christians,
we are Jen: clinging on to the world, thinking it can make us happy,
and our pride prevents us from accepting salvation. We are lost
lambs, found by Jesus and given purpose. When Jen jumps, she is
giving up her life, her security, her pride, so that she can find
her true self.
DO GET IT
Subject: I do get it.
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001
comments appear to support me more than not. She indicates that
this film has so much more significance to those with Asian backgrounds.
That is what I mean when I say that I don't think films like this
should be included along with mainstream American movies. Yuna wants
us to believe that there is no middle ground between collectivism
and her so-called "American Individualism". I am sorry for the problems
involved for persons with bicultural issues but this movie, as Yuna
states herself, can only add to the confusion. Don't let this movie
make that much of an impression with you. It is, after all, just
to David: The terms Eastern, The Orient, and The East are not figments
of imagination. Political correctness is not what you are striving
for in your reviews. Please call them as you see them. Thanks.
MOST ARE CLULESS
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001
Tiger holds ultimately so much more significance to those of obviously
Chinese descent as well as other Asian cultural backgrounds. I myself
as a Korean American, still westernized and clueless, can only somewhat
grasp the significance of these themes of honor, duty to family,
and love that cannot be.
enough, most people like Michael (who wish to relegate all "foreign
films" into separate categories) and Lance do not get it. Especially
the ending. I think Wilson Wong said it best that the film is simply
about love torn apart by the need to honor. And Richard's analysis
of Jen's plunge at the end is also right on point - that her rash
puerile behavior is finally overcome when she realizes she must
purify herself, mature and dispel all dishonor by mimicking the
act of the person in the legend.
difficult enough for me as a westernized Asian American to understand
how someone could withhold a lifelong love for someone else, even
if it was a best friend that had been involved. Or how love that
seems passionate and right could not work out. But in Asia and in
Asian American families then and today, there still remains the
significance of collectivism over that rugged American individualism.
It poses problems for bicultural products like myself and my generation
and will probably always do so.
I believe that the honor and deeper, more selfless love that we
see displayed in CTHD is a very accurate and beautiful portrayal
of what's good and honorable in Asian culture. It's the Asian voice
that's finally been heard in mainstream Hollywood, loud and proud.
It's not surprising that most are still totally confused.
is the correct terminology, not Eastern, by the way. The Orient,
or the East, is the figment of some European man's imagination.
Thank you so much for your contribution, I really appreciate it.
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001
this movie was nominated for best picture I will never know. It
won for best foreign film which is good, it is a foreign film. The
special effects were incredible but the story was lackluster at
best. Let's keep foreign movies in that category and not allow movies
such as It's a Beautiful Life to be included in categories other
than foreign films.
Subject: In regards to fending off the devil
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001
think you have to be careful about assigning so much religious (Christian)
significance to a film like this. I am a Christian, and I also have
been exploring a little bit of the Japanese culture lately through
products of it (like this film and some anime). I would have to
agree with another gentleman that Western society on the large scale
just doesn't see this movie the same way those of its own culture
do. I'm sure there was no intention of having Bai be a Christ-like
figure, etc. Please take this film in context. It is one thing to
say it holds messages regarding honor and love, but it quite another
to force one culture's belief system onto another.
By the way, I loved the movie.
Tracey (college student)
Force? Hmm. We always see the world in the context of our own experience
and culture. I am not Japanese. Therefore, I can only understand
their stories through my own narrow grid. And vice versa. But this
is the nature of story. We all understand stories differently, even
within the same cultural context. To experience a story differently
than someone else and expressing that is not "forc(ing) one
culture's belief system onto another." It is dialogue. And
in dialogue we develope understanding and tolerance toward others.
Cultural dialogue is a beautiful thing. -David
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001
From: Ellen KC
was astonished that no computer enhancement was used! However, I
believe the rapid choreography in the fights must have been screened
faster than how it was filmed. Otherwise the fights defy comprehension
with their spins, high twirling jumps, flips which couldn't be accomplished
in real time, just reel time. I have no comments about the film;
just wonder if I should take two 13-year-old boy-girl twins and
their 10 1/2 year old sister to see it. I'm sure the boy would love
the moves & sort of ignore the discreet fornication, but not the
girls. They have never seen subtitles in a film before, & that's
a plus to encourage reading. Comments?
Please omit my address. Thanks.
My first visit here.
My diocesan newspaper rated Chocolat as objectionable for all because
of its disrespect & mockery of Catholicism, though my previous diocesan
paper rated it higher (a new, more conservative bishop than the
one I got to know?). I haven't seen it yet.
DON'T GET THE ENDING
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2001
part of the reason why some Westerners like Lance or Betty don't
get the ending is because the concept of honor is so lacking nowadays
in Western society unlike in many Asian cultures, where shame at
one's own misdeeds can weigh very heavily on oneself and your family.
Jen won her freedom at the end, but at the terrible cost of good
people like Yu Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai sacrificing their own happiness.
Jen spends much of the movie like your typical rebellious teenager
pursuing her own selfish desires, acting rashly and ignoring her
obligations; but in the end she finally realizes this and grows
up, which is why she acts the way she does at the end. This is her
hidden message to Lo when she recalls the legend of the young man
who jumped off a mountain to realize his wish that his parents be
healed and tells Lo to make a wish; only if they were pure of heart
will his wish be granted and her dishonor be washed away.
OFF THE DEVIL
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001
a great film! Ii had doped you might have more insight into its
deeper meanings however. i'm still a little confused by the final
scene. my wife and i decided it was the girl's way of wishing to
return ot her time of innocence before the events that led to so
much heartache took place. i can see some of the love story - love
versus duty - but i think the central message of the film was about
the influence one can have on the direction of a young person's
life. the jade fox definitely reprents the devil. jen has a gift
that the devil wants to corrupt, lest she use it for good. bai and
shu lien want to help her control her passions and train properly
to use the gift for good. if the devil could not control her victim,
she must destroy the victim. in the end, bai as a christ-type must
sacrifice his life to save jen's soul in defeating the jade fox.
what a great film!
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001
you enter a movie with high expectations you are destined to come
out dissapointed."- Fortune found at the bottom of my popcorn at
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
me just say I was very dissapointed in the story- not the visuals
or effects in this film. Yes, the fight scenes were pretty cool,
and with no digital animation you must give it a thumbs up for innovation,
but the story was just weak. I believe the long flashback just killed
the pace of the film. It is very hard to have any type of emotional
attachment for a little spoiled brat like Jen. If you want to see
a great Eastern film, The Seven Samuria is the best. Kurosawa is
still king. Check out Rashomon for truly groundbreaking way to tell
a story, and Yume for great visuals. Go into Tiger/Dragon with low
expectations and you might come out on top.
HAVE YET TO GRASP THE MESSAGE
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001
Seems like a lot of your readers love this particular movie but
have yet grasp the real intended message of the movie. It is simply
love but torn apart by the need to honour.
story does revolve around if there comes a time when you are dead,
your fiance was left in this world but grew fond of your best buddy.
What should both of them do? Hold fast to the honour in rememberance
to you or just accept the fact that both love each other?
the perspective of the East, a man that honour his best friend and
sometimes it is upheld through the sacrifice of love for the woman,
is a honourable man indeed. And the sad part of it all is that,
the woman (play by Yeo) is from the pugilistic world and know that
honouring a friend is the most important thing of all and she kept
tragic of it all is that, only when honour was put aside by Li MU
Bai (Chow) to accept her love, he is killed for doing the last mission
of his life for master te.
but there are Chinese Heros that stood by honour and brotherly bond
then to accept the love of a slain/deceased's fiance.
it is commendable to do this to remember a good friend by, is it
fair to the woman? Maybe, maybe not. This film is to convey that,
it is better to love sooner than to regret not to pursue it in the
theme: Guiding a good student to do good, the student will do more
good. Guiding a student to do bad, the student can become the worse
devil in the world.
all teachers/instructors of young people. You are the light of this
world. Do good, and they will follow.
theme: Do not be naive to the ways of this world. The stories of
adventures and of heros are meant for the eyes and ears, but reality
is not what it seems. It may eventually lead to the death of a loved
one, and also leads to your own death.
all I have for this show. I am glad that as a Chinese, the real
action films are now shown in hollywood. Real Hard work instead
of computer animation/special effects, can be seen to an appreciative
crowd. I am glad that CTHD has done Asia proud.
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001
Wars in Chinese? (with subtitles) That was my first impression of
Crouching Tigers...but there was a deeper message that I can't quite
get my arms around. Visually stunning; the violence is more choreography
than gore. Strong women (literally) roles--they seem to possess
head, heart and physical strengths. The "love" storyline is engaging--sexual
themes are minimal--some hot n heavy encounters, yet no nudity.
Spiritual themes seem secondary to the martial arts sequences...(more
than once I felt like I was watching a human version of a video
game.). But there is a strong "good conquers evil" message with
a mystical side. I love the wise older characters who try to mentor
the young in the paths of goodness. There is even an attempted message
of non-violence in this movie despite the fight scenes. American
filmmakers could take a clue from this--it is possible to produce
an action movie without blood and guts.
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001
family is split down the middle on this film. Though I found it
beautiful to watch I cannot say I liked the film. There were many,
many things that the film did very well. I would have to say it
was the best use of wires/flying I have ever scene, especially the
scene in the bamboo. However, as you look at a story and see who's
character the story really is. I did not like that person. I was
never interested in her story. Rather, I would have loved to have
learned more about two of the other characters. It is an interesting
film about finding who you are, and honor. Fat was wonderful.
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001
loved the artistic presentation of the movie and it was thoroughly
engaging. However, I am not sure what it was really about. I understand
the mythical part of the storyline. Was there a deeper message that
I missed. The ending left me hanging which I suppose was exactily
what they wanted. We could decide for ourselves what it meant--part
of the ongoing mystery--or for a sequel. The marial arts scenes
were fabulous. You know each move had to be choreographed, but then
the shooting of those scenes was an art form in itself. Graceful
and breathtaking. I am looking forward to your review.