June 6, 2006

Ziyi Zhang And Her Seven Samurai


Ah, it's a different cinema world than 2002. Those were the days when Cinecultist heard reports about Zhang Yimou, a Chinese director known for his sweeping and artsy historical epics, and his new martial arts action film, Hero. Apparently it was the biggest thing since the dumpling in China and Miramax had bought the rights, yet they had no concrete plans to release it. Even after the popularity of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for that studio, it was not until Quentin Tarantino had a hit on his hands for the po-mo hodge podge Kill Bill that those Weinstein brothers seemed to think that the American public was hungry for all things Asian. We could've told Bob and Harvey that Hero would be a hit, but they don't listen.

Though now it seems that they're whistling a new tune and this one is accompanied by an erhu. According to Variety today, the Weinstein Company is in final talks with adorable actress Ziyi Zhang for a three picture deal including a live action version of the folk legend, Mulan and a remake of Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. This is both exciting but a touch perplexing. Mulan for Ziyi we get -- as long as we don't loose the talking dragon character called Mushu -- but Samurai? It's been a few years since we watched this movie but we don't recall there being any big women parts in the film. Aren't samurai almost always men? And that production still pictured above looks like all dudes to you too, right?

Anyhow, we have faith in the pocket sized Ziyi, especially after her more complex turn in 2046, even if we don't trust those Weinstein's further than we can throw them, and we're cautiously intrigued by the idea of a new DVD label from the company called Dragon Dynasty which they announced at Cannes.

Posted by karen at June 6, 2006 10:16 AM