Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dirty Ho


(Lan tou He / Chia-Liang Liu / 1976)

Dirty Ho traffics in the tightest fight sequences around, all of which are set in intimate environs or crowded public spaces. Similar to Hitchcock, the human relationships and political intrigue develop within these public spheres, surrounded by the unknowing public, which makes the combat ever more intimate through its deft concealment. And whenever our heroes can find brief repose in private, it is quickly invaded by their ceaseless pursuers.

A sobering look at class politics emerges, never fully rearing its obscene head until the final frame, when a handful of unnerving remarks about royalty and slaves is suddenly made manifest, stopping the narrative in its tracks and thrusting a time bomb of class anxieties into the viewers lap to deal with.

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