De Zhang Yimou
Odeon dom 17 16:30

Tá certo que eu não vi o filme com a devida atenção (graças a Deus agora eu consigo ir ao cinema sendo que o filme pra mim é supérfluo em relação ao meu real interesse na sessão...), mas Herói, do neofascista Zhang Yimou, é bem melhor que a expectativa. Porque pelo menos Yimou teve a ombridade de admitir seu olhar de cinema: um cinema sensorial, plástico, mais atento ao deslumbramento da imagem do que qualquer desenvolvimento de personagens e história. Plasticamente deslumbrante, impecável. Como sempre, todo o lance histórico sobre a China antiga é mera cascata, descontextualizada, etc. Agora, todo esse “deslumbramento da imagem” cai no risco do cinema publicitário. E, claro, é isso o que acontece: folhas amarelas que voam, gotas d´água em câmera lenta, etc. Parece um comercial de sabonete. Ou seja, um projeto muito aquém da consistência e da ambição de um Ang Lee (O Tigre e o Dragão). Mas ainda assim Herói está longe de ser um dos piores filmes de Yimou. A dramaturgia é meio de novela, mas deu pro gasto.

Por outro lado, gostei de uma entrevista do Yimou que saiu na net. Trechos:

Xu: Would you mind summarizing your strengths and weaknesses?

Zhang: Creating a stunning visual is my strength. Narration is my weakness.
I'm not good at vividly and charmingly bringing characters to life or vividly narrating a story.

So learning how to narrate is my lifelong task. On the contrary, the visual techniques are enough. But characters are more important. I know this is my weakness. Just quote an example. When I watched 2046, I didn't understand the Cantonese and Japanese parts in the film while the subtitles were in English and French. I couldn't read and listen. But Wong Kar-wai has such a good grasp of the actors that the actors generated vivid and lively performances. I want to learn about that.

Keep on Learning

Xu: I think you are facing a dilemma with the press, critics and industry professionals commenting on the depth, narration and portrayal of your characters while the market and others outside the film industry hope you will present stunning visual feasts. So you have to strike a balance between these two ends.

Zhang: I am not striking a balance! I am not going to remedy myself by listening to opinions because many of them improvise and are subjective.
Their criticism is convoluted with a lot of different attitudes. So when you read an article that says it (a film) sucks, I may have had problems here and there. How can I continue my film-making? I only know that I will try my best despite my inadequacies to use my abilities to the full.

I have been invited to work on many projects that allow me to use my strength of visual effect. But I am well aware that that doesn't mean my weaknesses are remedied. To work and to learn is what I do in film-making. I try hard to overcome my weaknesses. Perhaps I may not be able to reach the level that I'm happy with in my lifetime. I'm still learning how to film.
This is my honest opinion. I'm not trying to be humble. I'm still learning how to tell a story, how to portray a character and how to shoot a film.

When Akira Kurosawa, one of the world's most renowned directors whom I respect, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cannes Film Festival at the age of 80, he said, "Today I still don't know how to shoot a film."
Everyone laughed and thought the old man was being funny. But I can understand him. Of course, I can't be compared with such a master as him.
But from him I learnt that no matter what, you can't think you're great.
There are always many things to learn. That's why I don't care about other people's comments. You can neither be Mr. Big nor a flower in a greenhouse; what's important is to know yourself thoroughly. You need to remain calm and understand that you are only a director. Being a director is nothing incredible; it is no different from being a carpenter. We are just lucky that our work catches people's attention.

Lately the press in China love to use the word "visual feast" to describe films which makes me think that in recent years, my films may have had some visual or sensual impact on them. Actually, I look forward to the spiritual impact that I can bring to them.


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