Professor Charles French
ENG255 Literature and Film
August 4, 2010
A Sequence Analysis: “The Bamboo Forest Fighting Sequence” in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Perhaps, the powerful storyline of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was what encouraged one of the greatest cinematic martial arts directors Ang Lee, to make a film out of the Chinese novel. In this film, Lee’s primary function is not only to portray skillfully choreographed fighting scenes, but also to connect powerful sequences of events that touches upon the emotional complex human condition that is associated with both the Taoist and Buddhist belief systems. By not allowing action to be the sole guiding force of the narrative of Crouching
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The verbal interaction is replaced by the significance of color (background) and lighting in the sequence. Specific colors and lighting were used in respect to the Taoist and Buddhist principles. Green what is mostly seen in this sequence represents quite a broad view of what is flowing within and around the characters. The green symbolizes nature, eternal life, hope, and rebirth among other things. The lighting is high key; it doesn’t draw attention to anything specific, but puts everything as one, which is part of the Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. In the bamboo forest, long shots of the natural environment are used to show the connection of the environment with Taoism. You see this simplicity, balance, oneness and connection of nature in the fighting sequence. The characters do not stand out from the landscape. They intermingle against the trees blending in with the environment. The medium shots in the sequence, especially aerials, allow a sense of the larger scene, while close ups of the actors during the sequence give extremely intimate moments. The camera follows angled shots to create an interesting dynamic in the bamboo forest aerial sequence, the camera literally weaves with the movement of the characters. While dynamic angled shots and weaving camerawork help the sequence, simple framing, over the shoulder shots and medium shots help restore stability and harmony to the frame.
In the sequence, the harmonious framing of long shots