House of Flying Daggers

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Original Title: 十面埋伏
Directed by: Zhang Yimou
Written by: Li Feng, Wang Bin, Peter Wu, Zhang Yimou
Cinematography: Zhao Xiaoding
Music by: Shigeru Umebayashi
Country: China, Hong Kong
Genres: Drama, Romance, Action, Adventure
Duration: 119 min
Release Dates: 19 May 2004 (Cannes), 16 July (China), 11 Sept. (TIFF)
Filming Dates: 11 September 2003 – December 2003
Filming Locations: China (Chongqing, Beijing), Ukraine

Synopsis:
During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called “The House of the Flying Daggers” rises and opposes the government. A police officer called Leo sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the “Flying Daggers”. Leo arrests Mei, only to have Jin breaking her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem. -IMDb

Casting

Zhang Ziyi
Xiao Mei

Takeshi Kaneshiro
Jin

Andy Lau
Leo

Dandan Song
Yee
Photos

Production stills

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Videos

Trailers

1:45 min   |   41 views
1:00 min   |   44 views
1:45 min   |   43 views
1:43 min   |   39 views

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Bonus

♦ Zhang Yimou conceived the story in the late 1990s as a companion to Hero (aka Hero).
♦ This was originally going to be Anita Mui’s final appearance in film and she had already accepted the role but, because she was battling cervical cancer, her part wasn’t going to be filmed until early 2004. After her death on 30 December 2003, director Yimou Zhang decided to alter the script rather than find a replacement. Anita’s name will still be listed in the credits.
♦ Zhang Yimou has said that he will rewrite the screenplay to remove Anita Mui’s character following the veteran star’s death. This is meant to be a sign of respect for Mui. It was earlier reported that Michelle Yeoh or Brigitte Lin would be cast instead.
♦ To prepare for her role, Ziyi lived with a blind girl for two months. The blind girl became blind at the age of 12 because of a brain tumor.
♦ Concerned that Western audiences would not be able to tell Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro’s apart in the beginning of the film as they are dressed similarly, Zhang Yimou had Kaneshiro’s character eat peanuts throughout many of the opening scenes to distinguish them.
♦ The climactic fight scene was filmed in the Ukraine. It snowed so early (October) that it caught the filmmakers by surprise, as they had already started filming. They decided to change the script and the movie so that it would appear almost as if this epic battle began during the fall and ended during winter. Zhang Yimou was very happy with how it turned out because it set the perfect tone and obviously highlighted the blood spilled on the snow.
♦ The scene in the bamboo forest is very common in Chinese martial arts movies. Zhang Yimou felt that he had to stay in that tradition and added the scene in the bamboo forest.
♦ The literal English translation of the Chinese title is “Ambushed From Ten Directions”.
♦ It is China’s official choice for the 2004 Oscar Awards, Foreign Language film category.
♦ The song that Mei sings that begins with, “A Rare Beauty in the North” is actually an ancient poem set to music. It was written by the brother of an Imperial Concubine about his sister. Meant as a cautionary tale to the Emperor about overindulgence in female beauty at the same time it acknowledged the lasting hurt of a powerful love. —IMDb
♦ Ziyi sings herself the song “A Rare Beauty in the North” in the film. She also did a live performance of the song for the premiere ceremony in Beijing.

Awards and Nominations
Ceremony Category Recipient Result
2004 Golden Rooster Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Zhang Yimou Nominated
Best Art Direction Tingxiao Huo Won
Best Sound Jing Tao Nominated
2004 European Film Awards Screen International Award Zhang Yimou Nominated
2004 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Foreign Film Won
Best Director Zhang Yimou Won
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Foreign Film Zhang Yimou Won
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Won (2nd)
Best Production Design Tingxiao Huo Won (2nd)
2004 National Board of Review Outstanding Production Design Tingxiao Huo Won
2005 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Foreign Film Won (2nd)
Best Director Zhang Yimou Won
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Won
2005 Broadcast Critics Association Best Foreign Film Nominated
2005 Online Film Critics Society Best Foreign Film Nominated
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Nominated
Best Editing Long Cheng Nominated
2005 London Film Critics Circle Best Film Nominated
Best Foreign Film Nominated
Best Director Zhang Yimou Nominated
2005 Golden Globes Best Foreign Film Nominated
2005 Cinemarati Film Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Foreign Film Won (3rd)
Best Director Zhang Yimou Nominated
Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Nominated
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Won
Best Editing Long Cheng Won (2nd)
Best Production Design Tingxiao Huo Won (2nd)
Best Original Score Shigeru Umebayashi Nominated
2005 BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Film Zhang Yimou Nominated
Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Nominated
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Nominated
Best Costume Design Emi Wada Nominated
Best Editing Long Cheng Nominated
Best Production Design Tingxiao Huo Nominated
Best Makeup/Hair Lee-na Kwan Nominated
Best Sound Jing Tao Nominated
Best Visual Effects Angie Lam Nominated
2005 Motion Picture Sound Editors Best Sound Editing Jing Tao Won
2005 Academy Awards Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Nominated
2005 Image Awards Outstanding Foreign Film Nominated
2005 Chlotrudis Awards Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Nominated
2005 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Asian Film Nominated
2005 Golden Bauhinia Awards Best Picture Nominated
2005 Directors Guild Awards Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Nominated
2005 Academy of SF, Fantasy & Horror Films Best Fantasy Film Nominated
Best Director Zhang Yimou Nominated
Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Nominated
Best Costumes Emi Wada Nominated
2005 Golden Trailer Awards Best Foreign Empire Design Won
Best Foreign Independent Grossmyth Company Won
Best Music Empire Design Nominated
2005 MTV Movie Awards Best Fight Zhang Ziyi Nominated
2005 Huabiao Film Awards Outstanding Film Nominated
Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Won
2005 World Stunt Awards Best Fight Cai Li Nominated
2005 Australian Screen Sound Guild Best Sound Design Jing Tao Won
Best Soundtrack Roger Savage Won
2005 Satellite Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
Best Cinematography Xiaoding Zhao Won
Best Art Direction Zhong Han Nominated
Best Costume Design Emi Wada Nominated
Best Film Editing Long Cheng Nominated
Best Sound Jing Tao Nominated
Best Visual Effects Andy Brown Won
2006 Hundred Flowers Awards Best Director Zhang Yimou Nomination
Best Actress Zhang Ziyi Nomination
Best Supporting Actor Andy Lau Nomination