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Zhang Yimou's CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER - Gong Li & Chow Yun-Fat

This is from the Director who brought you
Judou, Raise the Red Lantern and Hero

Zhang Yimou!

This film is China's Official Entry for the Oscars

Starring Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) & Gong Li (Raise The Red Lantern & Memoirs Of A Geisha)

U.S. Official Website by Sony Classics






  • I just wanted to say that PEX SUCKS! This site was cool earlier but now it's getting real ghetto. I mean if the server is busy then upgrade the darn thing. It gets really annoying.

    But anyways, I don't know if and when it will be shown in the Philippines but here's another pic from this film.


    Zhang Yimou and Chow Yun-Fat!



    More Gong Li!
  • paige_8paige_8 PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Thanks for this thread! *okay*

    I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to this film. Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li... what more can you ask? :) Yun Fat looked almost unrecognizable when those pics were released a few months earlier, we had to do a double take if it was really him.
  • ^ Hey no problem. I get to see this very soon.

    Check this out! Here's a screencap of Ziyi visiting her mentor and "Big Brother" Zhang Yimou and her "Big Sister" Gong Li on the set of CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. It's common knowledge that both Zhang Yimou and Gong Li as well as Chow Yun Fat consider Ziyi their "Little Sister."


    I just think it's a shame and stupid that a number of Gong Li fans hate Ziyi. And a number of Ziyi fans hate Gong Li for that matter. It's the fans that are stupid because they love these actors... But these actors and directors are really a community who are friends and support each other they don't get all unprofessional and act like a fan. *okay* Fans can be good. But when it comes to rivalry... it's stupid. No wonder fans come from the word Fanatic. :rolleyes: Plus movie making is an art. *peace*
  • When is this coming out? (Dito sa Pinas, I mean.)

    Coz Monkey Peaches says it will be out by December in Asia, and that isn't a concrete answer.

    Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing this and The Banquet. Haven't had my fill of wuxia movies since House of Flying Daggers.
  • When is this coming out? (Dito sa Pinas, I mean.)

    Coz Monkey Peaches says it will be out by December in Asia, and that isn't a concrete answer.

    Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing this and The Banquet. Haven't had my fill of wuxia movies since House of Flying Daggers.

    Oh I'm not sure. I don't live in the Philippines.

    I'll be honest with you Zhang Yimou is one of the best directors in the world. And not only that he knows how to present a good story no matter the budget. I think this will be a better film than THE BANQUET for the simple fact that Zhang Yimou has more experience than Feng Xiaogang. I also think from the trailers and teasers I've seen that this will be more visually stimulating than THE BANQUET.

    But both films, while seemingly similar are two different films. One is loosly based on Hamlet with a twist of Macbeth (THE BANQUET) and the other isn't. Hamlet is dark and tragic. "Curse Of The Golden Flower" is about Ancient Chinese Imperial politics. One is Shakespeare the other is not. Like I said in THE BANQUET thread I really had problems with the story (Screenplay/Pacing) & editing. Everything was sumptuous. I'll be watching CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER at the Variety Screening here in L.A. so I'm looking forward to that.

    But I suspect this will be the better of the two films only because of Zhang Yimou. Feng Xiaogang isn't global yet.
  • ^
    Well, I haven't read your review in that thread yet, I'm planning to see The Banquet next week.

    But, yeah, I'm a big fan of wuxia movies, and especially Zhang Yimou's treatment. Next to LOTR and Kurosawa's Ran, Hero is my all-time fave movie. House of Flying Daggers was a bit *huh* to me because it ended up being a stylized teleserye, but besides that, it's quite good.

    And yesterday, I was watching the trailers for both films on the Net, and while I can't wait to see The Banquet next week, I found myself really drawn into Curse of the Golden Flower more.

    BTW, Monkey Peaches says it's December for both North America & Asia.
  • CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER will be the American Film Institute's Film Festival's CLOSING FILM.

    Sun, Nov 12 7:30 pm Cinerama Dome $75.00


    China, 2006, 118 min, 35 MM
    World Premiere

    DIR: Zhang Yimou
    SCR: Zhang Yimou, Wu Nan, Bian Zhihong
    PROD: Bill Kong, Zhang Weiping
    ASSOC PROD: Zhang Zhenyan
    DP: Zhao Xiaoding
    ED: Cheng Long
    PROD DES: Huo Tingxiao
    MUS: Shigeru Umebayashi
    Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Liu Ye, Chen Jin, Ni Dahong, Li Man, Qin Junjie

    Fifth Generation master filmmaker Zhang Yimou (RAISE THE RED LANTERN, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) is in his finest form ever with CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. An extravagantly sumptuous tale that is both epic and intimate, this film captures life inside the Imperial Palace in exquisite detail, even as the storm clouds of intrigue and revenge gather towards a climax of breathtaking scope and scale.

    Set during China's **** Dynasty, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER follows the doomed love of an Imperial bodyguard named Phoenix and Prince Ping. Numerous forces, including Ping's stepmother (who is also in love with him) lead the star-crossed lovers on a dangerous journey where secrets of the royal family are uncovered.

    Reunited once again with the remarkable Gong Li, his muse in many of his earlier films, Zhang Yimou also takes full advantage of the legendary Chow Yun-Fat, cruelly handsome here as the Emperor, and brimming with evil cunning. The most expensive film yet made in China, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER spins an intriguing tale and is a feast for the senses.



    NOTE: Since it's the closing gala film it always says it's sold out. But in reality it's not. They just give priority to people like me. Who are members and have passes. You'll have to keep checking and likely RUSH buy them on the day of. Good Luck! I'll be there my seats are mine. I hope to see some of you there.

  • JENSIE_GJENSIE_G PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    ^Wow! Sana ipalabas din talaga dito sa 'Pinas! Looks interesting as well!

    How about Taiwan? Ano entry nila sa Oscars?
  • JENSIE_G wrote:
    ^Wow! Sana ipalabas din talaga dito sa 'Pinas! Looks interesting as well!

    How about Taiwan? Ano entry nila sa Oscars?

    "BLUE CHA CHA" directed by Cheng Wen-****
  • mcjdhjj.jpg





    PIX COURTESY OF sina.com.cn
  • Bump! I'll be watching the World Premiere @ AFI FEST on Sun, Nov 12th 7:30 pm @ the Cinerama Dome. It's also the Film Festival's Closing Film and Gala Presentation.
  • JENSIE_GJENSIE_G PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    I am so looking forward to watching this film very soon! :cool:
  • JENSIE_G wrote:
    I am so looking forward to watching this film very soon! :cool:

    My Girl Li's going to be there. Zhang Yimou too. At AFI Fest I mean. After the 12th you'll be able to read some reviews. It's the world premiere you know.
  • Well I saw this last night @ the closing gala/world premiere @ the AFI Film Festival.

    I gotta say it was dissapointing. I mean it had times of goodness. But over all I thought it was much slower than THE BANQUET. Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat were there at the ArcLight's Cinerama Dome theater. It was given a warm responce. I thought it was more respectful. But when I talked to my friends in the press like Kirk Honeycutt from the entertainment trades Hollywood Reporter and Robert Koehler of Variety as well as other friends who were in the audience it was a huge let down. Especially if it's a film by master filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

    With all the hype surrounding the film a lot of people I spoke with were saying that the story was the biggest problem. And unlike THE BANQUET it had far less action sequences. To the people I spoke with action sequences could have made the story go faster. And the cgi's and visuals were poorly executed. The people I spoke with at the festival said their was sensory overload. And that Zhang Yimou was either trying too hard or put way too much into the film. Two of my friends said that the palace seemed like the Las Vegas strip with lights.

    I really got upset because the story made Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat's acting look flat. Some said that the story didn't maximize their talent. To me the story wasn't befitting of actors like Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat. Everyone I talked with thought that this would be better than THE BANQUET simply because of Zhang Yimou, Gong Li, and Chow Yun-Fat. But a lot of people seemed to think that THE BANQUET was more focused and more effective and utilized the talents of it's stars. Some seemed to think that the story of Curse of The Golden Flower was more like a soap opera than a cinematic drama.

    Some friends in the Academy seemed to think it was a huge let down. A lot of people including me thought that with the budget that this film had and the people in it that this would really live up to the Hype.

    For me the best scenes are the ones you'll find in the trailers. But for what it's worth it's best to see this movie on the big screen. I personally couldn't sit to watch this film more than once. It drags much more than THE BANQUET and it has less action to excite as the movie progresses. Big let down for me I was expecting this one to blow THE BANQUET out of the ocean.

    But on a postive note Gong Li looked awesome and so did Chow Yun Fat and Zhang Yimou. I'll post some reviews in the next two posts.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower
    Bottom Line: A disappointing misfire from a great director.
    By Kirk Honeycutt

    Nov 13, 2006

    AFI Fest

    In "Hero" (2003), "House of Flying Daggers" (2004) and now "Curse of the Golden Flower," director Zhang Yimou has transformed Hong Kong martial arts/fantasy movies into grand, international spectacles. Some critics have worried about his obsession with visual dazzle and digitized effects, but the stories and fights in the first two films more than measured up to the sumptuous design. "Curse," though, feels disappointingly inert.

    With a great cast headed by Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li -- thus reuniting Zhang with his one-time muse and lover -- and Asian pop star Jay Chou as well as palace interiors that would not be out of place on the Las Vegas Strip, "Curse" does dazzle the eye, but its story plays like a bad soap opera. This emperor's family is so treacherous as to make Hamlet seem like a fairly well-adjusted member of an easygoing household.

    As the Chinese entry for the foreign-language Oscar and with a strong push from Sony Pictures Classics for this big-budgeted epic by one of the world's best directors, "Curse" should open well when it gets released nationally in January after a Dec. 22 limited release. But the boxoffice might not equal that of Zhang's previous action films because, frankly, there isn't all that much action.
    Zhang makes the chrysanthemum the film's visual leitmotif. The story takes place during a Chong Yang Festival in 928 A.D. Still celebrated today, the holiday is closely associated with that flower, so Zhang fills the screen with flowers and costumes in opulent gold. In a statement, he quotes an old Chinese saying, "Gold and jade on the outside, rot and decay on the inside," to explain his determination to smother his characters and sets with gold. Meanwhile, in the lengthy corridors and vast halls of the palace, light shines through colorful art glass in walls, windows, pillars and props, thus establishing a Vegas look.

    In his story, he finds plenty of rot and decay. It starts with the Emperor (Chow), who decides to add poison to the multiple daily doses of herbal medicine he has prescribed for the Empress (Gong). One would like a clearer understanding for this act. True, the Empress has conducted an illicit affair with her stepson, Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye). But this has been going on for three years so why does Emperor take action only now?

    Oddly enough, the Emperor is about to promote Prince Jai (Chou), their son together, just returned with great success in battle, as his heir apparent, passing over the Crown Prince, a palace-dwelling wastrel. Nevertheless, the poisoning turns wife against husband, brother against brother, army against the palace guard. The nefarious family stratagems and schemes lay bare dark secrets dating back to the Emperor's first wife and ensnare the imperial doctor (Ni Dahong), his daughter (Li Man) and a wife (Chen Jin) long kept in hiding. If only the royals had an imperial family therapist.

    Zhang devotes considerable screen time to the details of the palace's daily rituals as if scrutiny of these formalized routines involving maids, courtiers and eunuchs will reveal something about the malevolent rot beneath the surface. This greatly adds to the running time but not to insight into character motivation.

    Corseted with stiff gold costumes, Chow and Gong still mange to convey a marriage of convenience fallen into ruin, the formalities unable to disguise the couple's deep contempt for one another. Jay Chow shows fire as the middle son, who is truly caught in the middle between father and mother. Liu tries to pull together the pieces of an erratically written character, while Chen makes up for her late appearance in the film with strong scenes and athletic fights.

    Despite Zhang's collaboration with action director Ching Siu-Tokng, the film's few fights are cluttered and undistinguished, in direct contrast to the clarity of the terrific stunt work in the director's previous action films. Zhang over-relies on CGI, but the level of success in no way matches the battles of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the high bar to which any film attempting vast battles must now aspire. In the hand-to-hand combat, the action is often jarring and even confusing.

    Alas, in "Curse," the costumes and sets have all the good lines.

  • AFI
    Curse of the Golden Flower
    Man Cheng Jin Dai Huang Jin Jia (China)

    "Curse of the Golden Flower," Zhang Yimou's strangest and most troubled film, abounds in hysterical, mannered **** Dynasty-era palace intrigue and dehumanized CGI battle sequences. Zhang captured a rich wife's sequestered life poetically in "Raise the Red Lantern," but a similar sense of isolation in "Curse" turns almost suffocating, as royals tear themselves apart with much actorish emoting along the way. Despite superstars Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li leading the lavish enterprise, pic is unlikely to approach international B.O. numbers of Zhang's far more vigorous period epics, "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers."

    The quasi-Shakespearean familial war at the film's center links "Curse" to Feng Xiaogang's equally spectacular but more effective "Hamlet" re-do, "The Banquet." Latter's fine balance between court drama and martial arts fight sequences is precisely what's missing in Zhang's adaptation (with co-writers Wu Nan and Bian Zhihong) of Cao Yu's 1930s play, "Thunder Storm," in which an ultimately miscast Chow struggles against his nature and Gong is frequently reduced to long stretches of sweaty palpitations.

    In 928 A.D., during the conflict-heavy later phase of the **** period (long a favorite of dramatists and filmmakers), the Emperor (Chow) marches home with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou) just before the start of the annual Chong Yang festival. Opening sequence is composed of an utterly confusing montage that only settles down when Jai returns to palace to reunite with his mother, the Empress (Gong), whom he hasn't seen since he left for the battlefield three years earlier.

    The Emperor and Empress' marriage is in the freezer: He is the oppressor, she, the nervous victim. Complicating matters, the Empress is having an affair with Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), the Emperor's first son from his previous marriage.

    However, Wan wants to run away with Chan (Li Man), the daughter of the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong), who's under orders from the Emperor to give the Empress medicine containing a Persian fungus that will render her insane. Thus relations in this royal family are not merely dysfunctional, but homicidal.

    The Emperor's third and youngest son, Prince Yu (Qin Junjie), tries to be ingratiating to both parents.

    When the Empress finds Wan with Chan, Wanpleads for and gets leniency, evidence that the Empress has a humanity that seems to be utterly absent in the Emperor.

    Pic develops some fun intrigue when a disguised woman reveals to the Empress who's poisoning her and with what. The plot thickens when it turns out the woman is the Imperial Doctor's wife and Chan's mother, as well as the Emperor's ex-wife and Wan's mother.

    Ominous meanings emerge in rather murky terms, and the constant barrage of ploys, counter-ploys and revelations are as weighty and elaborate as the lavish, glistening interior decor of the palace (by production designer Huo Tingxiao). Indeed, the webs upon webs of intrigue tilt over the edge of drama into comedy, with viewers' attention waning as they ponder how makeup artists Man Yun Ling and Liu Jianping managed to make Gong's lipstick glow, or how long it took hair artists Tam Ying Kwan, Chau Siu Mui and Emily Lin to style the cast's locks.

    While the palace drama is framed by Zhang in a distressingly constant stream of medium and tight widescreen close-ups, the eventual battle scenes are imagined in God-like master shots involving seemingly millions of soldiers. Complaints directed at recent epics like "Troy" for reducing battleground troops to digitized army ants applies here in spades, resulting in turning what should be a moving and suspenseful war between imperial factions into a kind of video game.

    The only truly arresting action involves the Emperor's personal guard of black-hooded soldiers who magically drop by ropes from the sky, yet even this element feels arbitrary.

    Zhang's players unfortunately emote to the rafters, leading to third act demos of "acting" that put none of his talented stars or support in a good light. Chow, perhaps the ultimate figure of gun-toting HK action, is made to look older and gray here and appears unsuited to the throne. Gong projects fear, but her limited range in the role of Empress and her theatrical excesses look odd on the bigscreen.

    As the sons, Jay, Liu and Qin all have moments of great energy, but like nearly everyone else (including the impressive Chen and Li), they're allowed to overdo it to pic's detriment.

    Lenser Zhao Xiaoding (also on Zhang's "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" and "Flying Daggers") opts for a riotous use of colors, but -- like the rest of the project -- it's simply too much. Once out of the palace quarters, pic's reliance on CGI and computerized visuals has diminishing returns. Shigeru Umebayashi's thudding score is heavy with Carl Orff-like bombast.

  • JENSIE_GJENSIE_G PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Showing February 7 in Manila.

    Costume exhibit at SM Mall of Asia.

    Can't believe it wasn't nominated for Best Foreign Language film sa Oscars this year.

    2nd time in a row Gong Li gets snubbed sa Oscars.
  • JENSIE_G wrote: »
    Showing February 7 in Manila.

    Costume exhibit at SM Mall of Asia.

    Can't believe it wasn't nominated for Best Foreign Language film sa Oscars this year.

    2nd time in a row Gong Li gets snubbed sa Oscars.

    The film sucked that's why it wasn't nominated. It didn't even make the short list. And Gong Li's acting was over done and a huge distraction. She deserved her snub. And this film deserved not to be nominated. Zhang Yimou had better quit trying to be Ang Lee. He'll never equall CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON. He ought to stick to non martial arts films from now on. He's trying too hard. And it's depressing.
  • i found it melodramatic and overdone, but it's a visual feast. it pales in comparison to "crouching tiger hidden dragon," but still think it was better than "the banquet."
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