From the Ashes

Obviously I don't know how esoteric your foreign film taste is, but if you have a high tolerance for foreignness, I highly recommend "From The Ashes," a restoration of a Chinese film that had been partially lost. The "Redux" folks (including cellist Yo Yo Ma) have done a remarkable job of restoring a film that was heavily damaged in China's more recent political upheavals. If you want to be "in the know," watch the extras, okay? (They have English captions.)

Tony Leung is the marvelous heartthrob (...sigh...) from "In the Mood," even though he has a fairly minor role in this one: watch for the fellow who is losing his sight.

The script shows us a highly evolved society, and is written by someone who had great insight into human mental processes and behavior.

The cinematographer is the fellow who later shot the wonderful "Rabbit-Proof Fence" which I have highly recommended in the past...

I tend to fast forward through the martial arts stuff ...unless you really get off on Asian slo-mo blood-letting. The voice-over is actually quite wry but the stylized photography shows us why it won so many awards. It's amazing what a brilliant artist can do with a bird cage!

The restoration is seamless and you will be treated to a film that is the Oriental equivalent of our Occidental classic, "Lord of the Rings."