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Curse Of The Golden Flower - Preview

Curse of the Golden Flower

Preview by Jack Foley

HAVING dazzled audiences with his breathtaking visions Hero and House Of Flying Daggers, director Zhang Yimou is set to return in 2007 with the eagerly-anticipated Curse Of The Golden Flower.

Based on a play written and set in the 1930s (Cao You’s Thunderstorm), the film is set in the 10th Century and follows the fortunes of an emperor who must deal with rising conflict in his household.

The conflict in question threatens to undermine the volatile balance of power between the King and the Queen and his three sons and entails betrayal, deceit and passion – pitting the King against Queen and father against sons.

Early trailers for the film suggest that Yimou has crafted another lavish epic that’s high on medieval spectacle and martial arts set pieces. It looks great.

But as with previous Yimou movies, the emotional impact is also expected to be heavy. For as lavish as the choreography and cinematography looks, it is essentially a personal family drama retold on a big scale. Rather than getting stroppy when he falls out with his father, for instance, the emperor’s son amasses an army against him.

Curse Of The Golden Flower is exciting for many reasons. It marks the first collaboration between Yimou and Gong Li in over a decade following their sudden parting in 1995. Prior to that, Li was considered one of the director’s muses, having appeared in six films, including the critically-acclaimed Jou Dou and Raise The Red Lantern.

Since then, Li has become a major international star following more acclaimed performances in high-profile blockbusters, Memoirs Of A Geisha and Miami Vice.

Joining her in the cast is another major player – Chow Yun-Fat – who flirted with Hollywood in films like Bulletproof Monk but who remains best known (and loved) for Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and John Woo’s The Killer.

He plays the emperor, while his rebellious son is portrayed by Taiwanese pop star, Jay Chou.

Needless to say, early word on Curse Of The Golden Flower is extremely hot, with Yimou predicted to deliver another stunning epic to rival the acclaim surrounding his previous two efforts. We can’t wait.