For some reason, I’ve been into the more romantic martial arts films on Netflix these days. I’m acting like it’s somehow surprising. I love a good wuxia and I’m a romantic at heart. House of Flying Daggers and The White Haired Witch made me teary and I’ve been looking for more like them (and don’t tell me Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; yes, I’ve seen it and I’m trying to look for something new; I tried 14 Blades, but while I give Donnie Yen an amazing amount of credit for looking like that at age 52, he’s not the romantic type).
They’re all silly, of course, but I’m an opera fan and a sad (someone always dies in the really good ones) kung fu film is more like opera than it is like a Lethal Weapon movie. Grand, sweeping, melodramatic statements of overwhelming emotion delivered via medium outside of the standard romantic medium. The plots are silly, but that’s missing the point. If the plots of La Boheme or Madam Butterfly were explained in prose, you’d groan in embarrassment, but even a half decent production of either will make you sob if you have any soul (I recently saw a quintessentially mediocre La Boheme and I still sobbed when Mimi was dying).
Feel free to pass on any suggestions.