Thursday, June 14, 2012

Heaven and Hell (Shaolin Hellgate)


 (Di san lei da dou / Cheh Chang / 1980)

Cheh Chang's style is a seven degrees of separation (of sorts) as his films (at least the few I've seen) begin embedded deep in one realm and swiftly find their way into others by constantly following any and all action. Chang's skill in this regard is comparable to Bunuel's, particularly in The Phantom of Liberty. Heaven and Hell leans heavily on it's audience's familiarity with characters and places (which are unfamiliar to this viewer) but the film's momentum and rapid shifts between astral planes, historical realms, and contemporary urban musical sequences makes this lack of familiarity a non-issue. While some of the particulars of the fight sequences are flimsy, it's the sweeping movement from one character to another, from one set piece to another, that makes Heaven and Hell a phantasmagoric spectacle.

No comments:

Post a Comment