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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: A Portrait of the Ang Lee Film (Newmarket Pictorial Moviebooks) Hardcover – December 4, 2000
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Bordwell explains what the heck the title means (dragons denote hot, rebellious youth, characterizing the lovers Jen and Lo, and the repressed passion smoldering within the older, thwarted lovers, Yu Shu Lien and Li Mu Bai), the film's place in Chinese cinema history (wuxia martial-arts films are a titanic tradition rooted in folk tales), and all manner of intriguing arcana briskly noted in a lively style. Lee tells how the film squares with his other works like Sense and Sensibility: "In a family drama, there is a verbal fight. Here, you kick butt." Though one does wish it were longer, this thoughtful, beautifully laid-out book moves the spirit--plus, it kicks butt. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Susan Salpini, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The book contains a number of beautiful color photographs, and commentary from Ang Lee, co-writer James Schamus, critic Richard Corliss (his Time magazine review, actually) and some background on the wuxia pian film genre the film's story is rooted in. If you're in love with the movie, you'll definitely want this book; having the entire screenplay is worth the price.
What keeps it from achieving the five-star status the film surely will attain is that it really needs a bit more. I would've loved a more in-depth look at the film's production. The book has one sidebar on the beautiful costumes, and glosses over certain production problems (weather, digital wire-removal difficulties); at one point, Ang Lee writes how he doubts he'll ever be fully healthy again, but there's no explanation other than he worked extremely hard on this project.
Still, it's marvelous to be able to read Jen Yu's (Zhang Ziyi) entire restaurant speech (from a particularly thrilling sequence where she battles about two dozen men) and Li Mu Bai's (Chow Yun Fat) touching valediction, delivered to Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). The book's design work mirrors the film's antique look and is a nice match for its production design.
While the film junkie (and "Crouching Tiger" fan) in me would love to read more about how they made this magical movie, I still recommend you check out "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: A Portrait of Ang Lee's Epic Film." But only after you've watched the film.
The book is rich in full-color photos that celebrate the sumptuous beauty of Ang Lee's vision. Looking at the book, I gained an increased appreciation for the artistry and attention to detail that went into the design of the costumes, props, and sets for the film. There are many excellent portraits of the film's superb cast, particularly of Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chow Yun Fat, Chang Chen, and Cheng Pei Pei.
The sidebars are particularly fascinating. Many of them give insights into Chinese history and culture. One sidebar tells a little about Wang Du Lu, who wrote the novel upon which the script was based; another sidebar explores the relationship between "Crouching Tiger" and Ang Lee's 1995 film "Sense and Sensibility." The other sidebars are similarly informative.
This book is a beautiful keepsake that will allow you to relive one of the most enchanting films ever made. Ang Lee, screenwriter James Schamus, and all others who contributed to this book have given a wonderful gift to the film's fans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love these Newmarket film books as a way to remember and enjoy anew my favorite films. With an introduction by the director, a wonderful set of photos and special features on... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Lee Recca Amazon Customer
the book does not tell you much about the actors, the director, the genre, or other related subjects. its okay to browse through while your at a bookstore but not for purchase.Published on April 11, 2001
Ok, I liked the movie, and as the book is like the script from the movie I liked it too, but...
Is that all? the script from what we already saw? Read more