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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

I love it, I just love it. I really do.

Not since I came out of The Dark Knight have I been so enthusiastic about a film. Whereas the new Batman film brings a new intellectualism to action thrillers, Ashes of Time brings art.

Of course, whether or not this movie is an action movie is arguable – it has about as much action in it as There Will Be Blood has blood (not much). The action, however, is unbelievable. Panoramic action scenes evolve (or implode) into intimate interspersed movements like silk shading or impressionistic paintings sewn together in a flip book. It’s very untraditional; difficult to tell the specifics of the action itself. But it’s beautiful. The last time I found action so beautiful was in Oldboy.

This movie isn’t really an action flick – it’s a brooding thought piece on memory, mistakes, and looking toward the future. Ouyang Feng, a mercenary, finds himself wandering the desert in escape of the heartbreak brought by the woman he loved, played by the spectacular Maggie Cheung. Though the dialogue falters at times, and the story is a little more than difficult to follow, the shear artistry of the movie is enough to leave you in awe.

Never has the beauty of a yellow desert, ripple in water, or a wicker birdcage been more apparent. This is a predominantly visual film, with colors like an exaggerated painting flowing from scene to scene. The camera work is well thought out with recurring motifs, and capitalizes the interactions between characters. Director Wong Kar Wai said that he approached this film with the idea that each shot be like an individual thoughtful photograph.

Martin Scorsese said that the best films in the world are coming out from China right now (this film is from Hong Kong, so it’s close enough). Wong Kar Wai constructed a beautiful painting of a film. Watching Ashes of Time Redux (this film is a director’s cut of the 1994 original) it is apparent how far American cinema has to go to catch up with the rest of the world.