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House of Flying Daggers - 2004 (Shi Mian Mai Fu)


This is Ziyi Zhang's biggest action role since Crouching Tiger. She rejoins great director Zhang Yimou of Hero and The Road Home to take the next step in wuxia martial arts films. A much more emotional story than Hero, culminating in a spectacular if melodramatic ending. The action sequences easily surpass those in Hero, and the cinematography is almost as beautiful.

Set in Tang Dynasty China, an outlaw gang known as the Flying Daggers has just lost its leader. The Emperor assigns a police chief, Capt. Leo (Andy Lau), to infiltrate and destroy the group. He tracks down the daughter of the group's dead leader, a beautiful but deaf dancer named Xiao Mei (Zhang Ziyi.) With the help of his lieutenant Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), Capt. Leo uses Xiao Mei to find the hideout of the Flying Daggers.

It was recently named Best Foreign Film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. It has also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Expanded release coming December 17th. For a list of theatres, see here. Wide release coming Jan 14th.



Articles

FilmThreat Review - As for the cast, "House of Flying Daggers" should confirm that Zhang Ziyi is currently the world's greatest actress. That's hardly overkill in the praise department. Her beauty is without peer and the visceral nature of her physical performance here can take the air out of anyone's lungs.

Salon Review - When Zhang Ziyi glides into her first scene in Zhang Yimou's optically and operatically intense Tang Dynasty romance "House of Flying Daggers" -- in her rustling brocade robe and breezily tinkling golden headdress, she doesn't do anything so mortal as walk -- the movie stops, momentarily, almost before it has really begun.

Interview with Director Zhang Yimou - Discussing the themes of House of Flying Daggers.

Directors Statement and Synopsis - House of Flying Daggers is a timeless, romantic love story in the form of a traditional martial arts film. The film tells of a passionate emotional journey, in which three people suffer for love – it tears them apart, yet they are willing to sacrifice everything for it.



Links

MonkeyPeaches - Production news, reviews, and more
Official Site - Theaters, showtimes, trailers, and press kit
IMDb - Cast, crew, awards, technical details and more
RottenTomatos - Collection of reviews, cast info



Video Clips

Trailers - Here are the highest quality trailers released so far.

US Trailer - 15 MB mov

UK Trailer - 29 MB asf

Japanese Trailer - 21 MB mov (titled 'Lovers')

Ziyi Action Highlight Film - Clips of her best action scenes from House of Flying Daggers. We don't always remember that our sweet little Ziyi is a great action star, but this proves it. Edited by Governor Yu.

22 MB rm

Complete First Dance Scene - As lovely as we have ever seen her. The song she sings can be downloaded as an mp3 below.

14 MB rm

 

Mei Preview - Mostly clips form her second dance scene (the "Echo Dance")

2 MB wmv



Behind the Scenes: Dance - Just a short clip.

2 MB rm

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Action - There were news reports of the injury she receives here, a quick blow to the head. Poor Ziyi! Remember what she goes through.

2 MB rm



Missing Scene #1 (US release) - This shot was edited out of the US release, probably to get a PG-13 rating. During the fight in the field of wild flowers, Jin slits the throat of a government soldier.

4 MB avi


Missing Scene #2 (US release) - This is when Jin finds Mei in the field, after she has been hit with the dagger. Jin holds her in his arms and she whispers to him "Look behind you", then Leo strikes. It's about a 30 second deletion.

8 MB avi

Teaser Trailer - The first teaser for the film, from February 2004. Like the full trailer above, this also uses the Japanese name "Lovers"

4 MB wmv


Clip from the Beijing Premiere - With co-stars Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro

11 MB wmv

From the same event, HoFD outtakes - 4 MB wmv
Ziyi singing (low quality) - 3 MB




Audio Clips

Xiao Mei's Song, 6 MB mp3 - Ziyi sings this in her first dance scene. The lyrics are:

There's a beauty from the land of the North,
She stands alone in her sole beauty
With one look she can turn over a city
With another look she can turn over a country
Even knowing about the cities and states,
[I still wish to meet her]
because true beauty is hard to find.



Pictures

There are 125 nice promotional photos that you can download in this Zip file (9 MB). See the ZiyiFilms.com ZIMS Archive for hundreds more HoFD pictures. Below is a selection of the very best.

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