Haswhen I’m going to be honest this time : I honestly slept through the projection. I will not be able to decently not, in this criticism, speak of a scenario or background (although I have seen of the intimate and melancholy). I will propose a new view, more “awake” as soon as I saw the film again…
OK – I saw the film again, and I’m past the side of a lot of things.
New critical scheduled for 29 may 2015
What I have also retained, that is to have taken a slap in the aesthetic, having “assisted” to a unique film.
Novice of the cinema of Hou Hsiao Hsien, I can’t compare it to other of his works. By contrast, vis-à-vis other Wu xia pian… Simple : I had never seen nor even imagined it.
There is a scene (incredible beauty) in THE ASSASSIN… Which finally sums up the perception that I had of the film, and so we can apply the structure to many of the other scenes.
In the foreground, of the green, the edge of a forest. The last plan, this imposing mountain rocky. In the upper center-right, a path to earth which allows a caravan of horses, from the summit of the mountain, towards a cave. It is located at the bottom, to the left; a needle eye compared to the vastness of the mountain. Then, in the rest of the image, sky, white. We will follow the movement of this caravan, the top of the cliff, to the cave. The evocative power of this image is already huge.
The”action” by, the immensity of the scenery, appears to be filmed in slow motion then it is nothing. The camera is placed at a distance allowing for the contemplation, and encouraging them to look for the detail in the plan. If the aesthetics of the image is that of a simple digital camera, it is this quasi-staticité of the movement associated with the beauty of this natural setting that makes this moment of hypnotic. Here it is. In a simple plan, one is captivated.
The same goes for the interior scenes, or those that occur in environments that are more “confined”. Aesthetic decor, distance, camera movement clinical. Top.
Warriors flying, choreography licked, melodramas exacerbated… All this turns into THE ASSASSIN, into something unheard of; The (rare) action scenes took on a particularly violent and gross, by their brevity. Here or usually, the movement accompanied by the choreography, and, and the dynamism is a vital component of the story and the action, Hou Hsiao-Hsien chooses to almost-freeze of the camera and provides an impetus for ultra-realistic unimaginable when dealing with this genre. A feeling reinforced by this digital image to the time-cold, dirty, and beautiful – in place of the usual heat ultra-saturated iconic of the Wu Xia Pian.
They place the spectator in a position remote and anti-immersive… Very interesting and stimulating.
“The Assassin, it is primarily a staging powerful, much more evocative than any scenario or dialogue.”
There is also with this movie, the consistency of the bottom of the Cannes film festival 2015.
As in the other 3 films of the official selection, we assist with THE ASSASSIN, to a bias on the part of the mise-en-scene so powerful and original that it modifies our perception of the kind; the duty of memory for The Son of Saul, the polar landscape-for Sicario, the reconstitution of academic and historical to Carol… And the Wu xia pian for THE ASSASSIN.
Our prognosis : the radical nature/quality of the film makes it a competitor to be more than solid for the Palme d’or. Otherwise, a clear price of the mise-en-scene.
• Original title : Nie yin niang
• Realization : Hou Hsiao-Hsien
• Scenario : Hou Hsiao-Hsien
• Main actors : Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Yun Zhou
• Country of origin : Taiwan
• Released : January 6, 2016
• Duration : 1h45min
• Distributor : Ad Vitam
• Synopsis : China, ninth century. Nie Yinniang returns to his family after long years of exile. His education was entrusted to a nun, who was initiated into the biggest secret in the martial arts. A true soldier, his mission is to eliminate the tyrants. On his return, his mother gives him a piece of jade, a symbol of keeping the peace between the imperial court and the province of Weibo, but also of his abortive marriage with his cousin Tian Ji’year. Weakened by rebellions, the Emperor attempted to regain control by organizing themselves into military regions, but the governors are trying now to evade his authority. Became governor of the province of Weibo, Tian Ji’year decides to challenge him openly. While Nie Yinniang has for mission to kill her cousin, she reveals to him her identity in him, abandoning the piece of jade. She will have to choose : sacrifice the man she loves, or break for ever with “the order of Assassins.”