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Bride with White Hair
Jiang-Hu: Between Love and Glory

Hong Kong 1993
produced by
Ronny Yu for Mandarin Films
directed by Ronny Yu
starring Brigitte Lin (= Lin Ching Hsia), Leslie Cheung, Lam Kit Ying, Francis Ng, Elaine Lui, Law Lok Lam, Fong Pao, Cheng King-Kei, Eddy Ko
screenplay by Ronny Yu, David Wu, based on a novel by Liang Yusheng

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On Mount Shin Fung, a lone swordsman, Yi-Hang (Leslie Chaung) guards a magic Rose that blossoms only every 20 years, but once blossomed it can grant immortality. The soldiers of the ailing emperor approach, wanting the rose to heal their regent, but Yi-Hang kills them all, as for him there's a person more important than the king ...

Flashback: Master Tzu Yang (Fong Pao) trains Yi-Hang, stil a child, to become a top swordsman & ultimately the joint chief of the 8 clans of Chung Yuang. But Yi-Hang doesn't  care too much abot this, he just constantly runs into trouble, until one night, while saving a sheep, he almost falls prey to wild wolves ... when he is saved by a beautiful, almost dreamlike girl playing a flute. A moment later she is gone & he would have to accept punishment for having saved the sheep - from the butcher, as it turns out.

Years later, Yi-Hang still hasn't learned to stay out of trouble, & he has a man opposing him becoming Joint Chief of the 8 clans, Pai Yun (Law Lok Lam), who would rather see his daughter Lu-Hua (Lam Kit-Ying) in this position ... who in turn though is in love with Yi-Hang - a love that's unrequitted though, especially after Ha-Ying (Brigitte Lin), who turns out to be the fluteplaying girl of his childhood, & somehow the 2 truly fall in love ... but Lien is the chief assassin of the Evil Cult, a cult led by Siamese twins Chi Wu-Shuang (Francis Ng, ElaineLui) that has set out to destroy the 8 clans.

When Yi-Hang is chosen to lead the soldiers of the 8 clans against the Evil Cult, he refuses, instead spends hours of love with Lien, during which he promises to never distrust her & to, should her hair tunr white, bring her the magic rose on Mount Shin Fung to grant her eternal life ... Both of them decide to leae their respective clan/cult & spend a life together as recluses ... but for Lien that doesn't prove too easy since the male part of the Siamese twins is deeply in love with her, & demands to fuck her before he lets her go, but when he realizes she is in love with someone else, he decides to ultimately humiliate her, letting her leave his place only in a simple gown, walking on hot coals & being beaten with clubs by all his subordinates. She endures everything for Yi-Hang.

Yi-Hang meanwhile wants to bid farewell to his master, but finds him & his servants & guards slaughtered by none other than Lien as a witness tells him (even if it will turn out to be not true), which does damage his trust towards her a bit, & it's not made any better when she arrives at the place & is attacked by those who came with him, Lu Hua & Pai yun among them, & viciously & successfully defends herself. Ultimately he accuses her of having killed his master, even though she claims differently, & thus breaks her heart. In the ensuing fight, all of his companions die, killed by Lien pretty much in self defense, & Lien's hair turns white. Then she leaves the place, & suddenly the Siamese twins turn up, & prepare to kill him, but not without congfessing to him that they have killed the mster in Lien's guise. Ultimately though, Lien comaes back & the 2 desperately fight the twins, & defeat them when Yi-Hang cuts them apart ...

Then Lien leaves once more & Yi-Hang realizes the only way to win her back now is to bring her the magic Rose from Mount Shin Fung ...  even if it doesn#t blossom until 10 years from now.

 

A dramatic love story, disguised as a martial arts/fantasy film (or is it a matial arts film disguised as romance), with all its images consciously drenched in kitsch & not an ounce of irony - yet somehow it works just great. The inventive, well staged fight scenes take the edge of the cheesy parts of the story, while the romantic scenes, never long enough to bore, prevent the film from being just another actioner. Good central performances of course don't hurt one bit either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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