Man, it’s been so long since I posted anything! Anyway; for some reason youtube has been “recommending for me”, all these martial arts movie clips, and I keep seeing Zhang Ziyi films coming up.

For anyone unfamiliar with the the term, “wuxia” films are martial arts films, books, comics and games, in a medieval setting, with a fantasy element, and Zhang Ziyi is one of the current crop of film stars. She was trained as a dancer, and has a very graceful style.

The first clip is a compilation from three different movies; 1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2. House of Flying Daggers, 3. The Grandmaster, which is not really a wuxia film, since it’s set in the 1920's and ‘30's, and is about the martial arts master Ip Man, who trained Bruce Lee. Zhang plays the fictional character of Gong Er, the daughter of another martial arts master (the Grandmaster Gong Yutian) in the movie.

The rest of the clips are from the individual movies in the order listed above. They are all beautifully filmed and showcase the skill of non-Hollywood directors, Ang Lee aside (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The costumes are luscious, and the moves are like watching a dance.

In this scene from House of Flying Daggers, directed by Zhang Yimou, Zhang Ziyi’s character is pretending to be a blind dancer, and is challenged to match the sounds of the beans hitting the drums, with her outrageous sleeves. Sounds weird, but the scene explains it;

The next two scenes are from the Grandmaster, directed by Wong Kar Wai; Zhang’s character learns martial arts from her father in the first scene

And finally, the train sequence from the Grandmaster, where Gong Er fights the man who betrayed her father