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Michelle Yeoh: Under Eastern Eyes

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Despite bringing Michelle Yeoh long awaited recognition, the recent box-office success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is highly problematic. Although this sub-titled Mandarin speaking film has introduced Western audiences to the fact that the standard wu xia pian martial arts genre is not to be limited to Bruce Lee films and the atrociously dubbed examples shown on "Kung Fu Theater" television channels, Ang Lee's film represents a highly unsatisfactory example of this cinematic movement. Crouching Tiger is really an Eastern parallel to William Wyler's The Big Country (1958). It is a film aiming at respectability designed to attract audiences who don't like martial arts movies rather than aiming to explore the dynamic conventions within the genre.

Keywords: Ang Lee; Crouching Tigerk; Hidden Dragon; Hong Kong Cinema; Mandarin speaking; Western audiences; martial arts

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Southern Illinois University

Publication date: 2001-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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