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Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Film Techniques

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 2069 words Published: 12th Jul 2017

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In this essay, I would like to talk about a film which is called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is a ancient Chinese martial art film, it is according to Chinese novelist Wang Du Lu’s novels written by “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” as the basis for further adaptation of films. After the release, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon create the highest box office of foreign language film in U.S. history .The local incomes was 1.28 billion U.S. dollars, and become the world’s largest Chinese-language films movie incomes. This film shines on the international market, and also covers 40 international awards in one fell swoop. In addition, in view under the influence of exceptional film, so that some company intends to follow the movie again to re-set off a wave of martial arts films.

As regards to the film, it has a great success, not only because the script and good performers, and also because of the director in the framing, composition and other photography operation, succeeded in bringing to record the role of the “real” moment to the audience. Because of these Factors, this film can be a huge success.

As far as to the film genre, it is a Chinese martial art (Kong Fu) film; it has a bit different with the normal martial art film. In the natural martial art film, it is a type of entertainment, a film which the circumstance includes a series of action scene most: fighting, special effects, car chases, explosions. The story is usually the side of justice against the evil side; the solution is often resort to violence. Action film masters always a physical strong male hero, generally obvious that he represents the moral standards, the ethical guidelines of Western culture in general and consistent with view of the world. It always uses some external factors and props, to create tension in some of the scenes the audience, most of the plot revolves around violence. In the film, action itself only a few describe role, but primarily in order to attract viewers. Violence, which are often particularly exaggerated, and therefore there is no relationship between the real phenomenon. (Wheeler W, 2000, p.82)

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However, in the Chinese martial art film, especially since by Bruce Lee’s films started the emphasis of human power and human-looking action movie. One of the features including the slow motion effects, strange sound, and has led to the formation of sub-genres: Kong Fu movies. It advocated every movement should have a beauty of physical, and good at use some small action to show that how good of the “Kung Fu”, such as using a very small action to break the table, walking on the wall with using a dodge. In addition, in every Chinese martial art film, it emphasizes on “justice” and the evil can not win the righteousness, and also it would show the traditional Chinese etiquette — diplomacy before the use of force. (David W, 2006, p.226)

With respects to the special features of the Chinese martial art film. Martial art in the West and the East direction, but it has a “fast” and “slow” polarization difference. Western films dealing with the fight scenes, deliberately slow down the action so lush clearly show the Chinese martial arts films are used to using a lot of quick shots, the process of manufacturing the tense atmosphere of martial arts. This is a very interesting phenomenon, the formation of the main differences between Eastern and Western audiences viewing experience to accumulate. So in shooting to this film, the director focused more on how to make martial arts become even more beautiful, so in the camera movement and the focus would always change, let the audience also can feel the emotion from the performer s movement. (David W, 2006, p.137)

For the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it’s talking about a sword bring out exact revenge against, which also interspersed with the presence of chivalry, in addition highlights the profound Chinese martial arts are also show feelings of love between the protagonists. In the story, Limu Bai (the main character) prominent position on the arena, because he wanted to retired, and entrusted to his love Sword — “Qingming Jian ” for Yu Xiulian, and told her transferred it to the Royal Highness custody. However, at the midnight, one girl call Jen sneaked into the imperial palace steal the “Qingming Jian ” to her master, after that, The characters began to develop a complex relationship because of the sword.

As regards to the technique of the camera movement in this film, most of the audience would like to concentrate on the action of the characters in the Chinese Kong Fu film, as result of this, most of the senses in the film are shooting the fighting in the film. In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , it has a scene which has two girls order to the sword and fight with each other. In this scene, the location is in the courtyard of the house, which means it is like a chamber of secret. It is represent both of them must has one will be die, as the coliseum in Rome in ancient time, and also it has a lot of weapon on the wall, when they are fighting, Yu always change different kind of weapon to confront Jel, it is because she is using the reason of their struggle —- “Qingming Jian “. (Malkiewicz, Mullen, 2001, p.55)

Moreover, in during shooting their fight, the lighting was using the low key lighting, this is in order to bring weapons spark generated when the collision so that the audience will be more tension into the plot. Furthermore, for the camera movement, firstly it is a long shot to show the location and they are going to fight, and then it use a lot of close up, over shoulder and extreme close up to illustrate how they fight with using different Kong Fu and weapons, during they are fighting, it also has some bird s eye view shot to show how intense of their fight, because it also show the ground fault of the weapons and the struggle traces. In the one particular shot of this scene which is show her shaking hand, and pan to her face and her body, although her whole body is shaking and got hurt in the fight, but she still want to against to Yu. In this scene, it is totally talking about how the thief fight with the protector, however, the thief also has her own belief —comply with all order from her master. It s show how chaos of the society in that time, for the most of the people they believe stronger can do whatever they want. This is the reason why Jen very eager the “Qingming Jian ” and stole it. (Malkiewicz, Mullen, 2001, p.219)

However, in this film, it also has a very justice side, such as Jen tried to grab Li s sward in the palace, but he caught her attack and taught her the truth of life rather than hurt her. Finally, when Jen deflower captured, He told her: virtue can actually win over a person, rather than by sharp weapons or high-strength Kong Fu. In this scene, the director side of the Li’s kindness and noble character with a special composition to show up, for example, it use a lot of two shot and over shoulder to show the audience that Li want to guide her back to be good rather than hurt Jen, even though in one scene, Li trough the “Qingming Jian ” into the waterfall from the top of hill, but Jen still jump down and tried to get it back; in this scene, it use a long shot and till down to show the audience the Jen jump down to the waterfall without any hesitation, and also from Li facial expression, it s completely show to the audience that how Jen desire of the power and bring out how Li lamenting her, forming an enormous comparison. (David W, 2006, p.97)

As far as to the reason why the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” can get a great success rather than other film, it s because the director — Ang Lee Tried to attract the whole world audience , as people know, Chinese martial arts is undoubtedly elements of the definition of foreigners, so you want to grasp this point Lee, Feiyanzoubi , superficial, roof chase, throwing knives hidden weapon, fighting on the tree ….. a series of Chinese products duel, foreign How can people do not seem strange? How can audience not surprise?

The way in the shooting, the director Ang Lee has done all the details in every possible way. in the light text effect, he spent most of the low key lighting to keep the mystery of kung fu; the lens shooting, he spent a lot of The third-person perspective and two shot make the audience appreciate the traditional Chinese martial arts, and he can also take care while a lot of details, such as eye contact play against the two sides, the audience can understand the meaning of what they want to say without the dialogue. And in all of the shooting locations, those are based on the original to choose the location. For the storyline, it s also different from the general martial arts is an endless stream of good and evil struggle, Li and blue-eyed about the conflict of good and evil really chivalrous, but this conflict has been simplified, it is no longer the whole story centres, on the contrary, Li, Yu and Jen into the conflict between a very important clue, and this trail Behind the concept is actually the collision of two lakes: Lee swallowed things, experience the vicissitudes of life, like Qi Jian can not, and Jen is newly hatched into the society, the martial arts as an escape, pleasure allies and enemies of the solution, Li: “abide by the rules”, is a wisdom, rather than a trite. More in order to insinuate the director of youth in our society should think twice before doing things. (Clifford W, 2009, p. 84)

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In conclusion, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is the second after Bruce Lee; it is a great classic of traditional Chinese martial arts film, which not only martial arts into a kind of popular culture, this is catching on people heart. On the other hand, they too successful, who later left to insurmountable heights. Most of the classic martial arts to the protagonist as a narrative perspective, such as the works of Bruce Lee. However, in “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, ” the protagonist is not clear, there is no obvious emotional tendencies, the director always stand in a more neutral point of view to describe this story , makes the film seem relatively calm, even if the final outcome of the tragedy, there is no excessive emotional catharsis.

So, the director — Ang Lee’s martial arts perspective, not chivalry, but in the political arena, his intention is want arena as a special form of society to describe, display, and analysis the narrative perspective of a neutral has become a necessity. As a film, Ang Lee must be discarded offshoot of distal, straght the point; therefore, it is no longer a knight who owed focus, they shuttled between the secular arena and the sorrows and joys, gains and losses, and what they are thinking about is the key pointo of this film. Moreover, the director also not always looking at the development of conflict, he often intentionally or unintentionally, the main line of the story with the then secular society, people practices cross the shuttle, so as to find countless ties between them provide a Imagination. (Clifford W, 2009, p. 98)

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is not like a general Chinese Kung Fu film, its advantages in its overall production well structured film, paper and wind distribution of the average, the plot to promote smooth, entertaining; costumes and sets are elegant, rich taste of China. in addition it also use a very great cinematography technique to support the director s idea, which is instead the deep meaning of human thinking in the society at that time, this is Ang Lee’s unique talent and style.


E David West, 2006, Chasing dragons: an introduction to the martial arts film, LB.Tauris & Co Ltd, New York.

E Wheeler W. Dixon, 2000, Film genre 2000: new critical essays, State of New York Press, Albany

E J. Kris Malkiewicz, M. David Mullen, 2001, Cinematography: a guide for filmmakers and film teachers, Fireside Rockefeller Center, New York.

E Clifford W. Mills, Ang Lee, 2009, Infobase, New York


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