Two days of blue skies and sun on turning-yellow trees burning amid the semi-uniform green. Smell of coolness, an imagined smell of smoke, the way October has smelled for fifty years.
Chinese Ghost Story is still very much what it ever was, and more importantly what every other costume HK flick I've ever seen has been. Flying bodies, great swathes of material floating after them, grotesque fantasy beings, and sly deadpan humour. (Note that mainland wuxia has one and two as well, three rarely, and four never. IME, of course.) I'll pass over the romantic pop songs as well. Still, more enjoyable than some more recent stuff I've seen. I must track down no.2.
Moved on to the Water Margin based one. I assumed it would be more of gag same- someone on the cover case has blond hair, after all- but to date it's stuffy and slow-moving. None of the three audio options, two of which I can't even identify, seems to be the Chinese the actors are actually speaking, though the first track matches the lip movements closest. Currently this one provides me with the Rosettan pleasure of matching the Chinese subtitles to the English ones in an attempt to find meaning for unknown hanzi. No, there are /no/ limits to my reader's hegemony. I used to read the Japanese subtitles of English movies in Tokyo.
I'm also failing to get into The King's Blades. It's good and interesting, though his unannounced flashbacks and framing devices confuse me more than a little. He could at least have a black border around the flashback sections like that useful convention in manga.
But what gets me most is that Drake is so clearly straight (when I for some reason had thought him gay.) He's so completely and unquestioningly straight that he writes the ultimate male-bonding experience without a hint of slashiness. The m/m mindset would seem to be so foreign to him that he couldn't make a bunch of life-bonded men erotic even if he tried- and to date, wisely, he doesn't try. This must be what that rare beast, the hard-core heterosexual, is like: he Just. Doesn't. Get. It. One feels like applauding. The trick ought to be impossible; there ought to be a hint of consciousness to him, a suggestion of fighting the obvious implications of his settei. There isn't. The implications aren't obvious to him. It's just something his guys do: a business arrangement that can kill them or send them mad if it goes wrong, but that isn't any more erotic than a briefcase or the New Jersey Transit system.