Oct. 17th, 2010

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[personal profile] trixtah
While a good chunk of the plot revolves around the two romances, this is a mega-pass. Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) and Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang) are central characters, and spend a lot of time talking about the Green Destiny sword (no wonder, since Jen steals it and Shu Lien wants to get it back) martial arts, honour, training, weapons, ethics, etc etc. Jade Fox (Pei-pei Cheng) as the antagonist is almost as important, and talks to both the other female characters about most of the same topics.

In fact, the movie barely passes the reverse-Bechdel test. Li Mu Bai (Yun-fat Chow) talks to Sir Te about his intended retirement and bestowal of the sword, and to Governor Lu and Master Bo when the sword is stolen, but otherwise all the action and dialogue centres around the women.
trixtah: (Default)
[personal profile] trixtah
While I'm on a Michelle Yeoh kick, this is one of the better movies she's been in, which could best be described as a slapstick martial arts rom-com. Yeoh plays Yim Wing Chun, who made the school of Wing Chun kung fu famous.

The movie is played for laughs, with lots of slapstick and sexual humour - I'm sure if you know Chinese, there would be a lot more innuendo going on than what can be picked up via subtitles. Wing Chun runs a tofu shop with her aunt, Abacus Fong (King-Tan Yuen), and also dresses as a man and helps protect the town from bandits. Bandits abduct a young widow, Charmy (Catherine Hung Yang), who Wing Chun rescues. Charmy goes to work in the tofu shop, and Wing Chun's boyfriend Leung Pok To (Donnie Yen) suddenly returns from his martial arts studies, and much mistaken identity, bandit-fighting and marriage result.

So, Wing Chun and her aunt talk about marriage (and yes, about men too),  Wing Chun's habit of dressing like a man, business and the bandits. Naturally, Wing Chun talks about Charmy's rescue and they all discuss romance, bandits and so on. Before Wing Chun does her final boss fight with the bandit chief, she visits her sifu, Buddhist nun Ng Mui (Pei-pei Cheng, who returns as the baddie Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger), and Mui advises her on the best way to defeat the bandit chief.

The tofu shop fight scene is worth the price of admission alone, and despite the more dodgy humour, there is quite a bit of implied commentary about survival in a male-dominated world.


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The Bechdel-Wallace Test

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