I went out to a midnight double-bill at the Oriental Plaza cinema with my girlfriend last night: The Curse of the Golden Flower (满城尽带黄金甲 – I assume the title is a classical reference that I’m not getting. Joel?) – Zhang Yimou’s latest indulgence – and Wounded City (伤城 – the official English name for the movie is Confession of Pain, but balls to that), a crime flick from Lau Wai-keung, the guy who made Infernal Affairs.

I was pretty excited to see Curse of the Golden Flower, because it features two of my favorite actors – Gong Li’s breasts – along with Chow Yun-fat, Jay Chou, and Gong Li herself in supporting roles.
The movie itself, I’m sorry to say, was a disappointment: a royal family lives in a bejewelled palace, decked out in gold and silver and all fineries imaginable, and yet — wait for it! — underneath all of that, they’re really rotten to the core. Chow Yun-fat is clumsily dubbed into Mandarin to hide the fact that he can’t actually speak the language, Jay Chou is incapable of breaking his facial muscles free of the “sullen bad boy” expression they’ve settled into, and the computer graphics used for the wide shots of battle scenes are reminiscent of Tron, the same graphics people use in video games like Overwatch, people play using Overwatch Boost from sites online. Not only that, but newcomers Li Man’s breasts make the mistake of attempting to upstage Gong Li’s breasts, overreaching, constricting, and lifting in a truly tortured performance.
Not everything about the movie is bad. Some of the fight scenes are fantastic – particularly those involving the assassins dispatched by Chow Yun-fat’s evil emperor, and the penultimate scene. There are a few nice visual touches hidden in the movie’s overwhelming unsubtlety, like the incrementally skewed camera angles that parallel Gong Li’s breasts’ descent into madness. And of course Gong Li’s breasts, though they were clearly phoning this one in, are, like DeNiro or Anthony Hopkins, always guaranteed to turn in a reliable performance. Actors of their stature are rare, particularly in Chinese cinema, and it’s high time that —

— OK, I’m bored with that. Anyway, they are pretty fantastic boobs, the kind that follow you around the room no matter where you go, the kind that require no Photoshopping, the kind that bards used to write epic poems about.

“Winter Wonderland” came on the radio in the cab on the way home, and inspiration struck:

On the screen, they’re hypnotic
Firm and round, quite erotic.
They’re there on her chest,
They’re simply the best,
How I love to look at Gong Li’s boobs.

So I go to the movies
Just to gaze at her boobies,
And live in the hope
I might get a grope,
How I love to look at Gong Li’s boobs.

Comments (20)

  1. zhwj wrote::

    No help from me – half the time I call the movie “Curse of the Golden Armor”.

    I do think this is pretty cool, and I have it translated for Danwei, but then I saw this (which is in response to this), so I don’t really want to publish anything without getting it cleared. But the author deletes my 留言 and won’t answer my email.

    More Chinese celebrity filk is exactly what the world needs right now, I say.

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 12:59 am #
  2. zhwj wrote::

    Oh, and Merry Christmas.

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 1:03 am #
  3. Soong Li wrote::




    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 3:00 am #
  4. Brendan wrote::

    Wow. That’s a pretty cool little poem.

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 3:30 am #
  5. Soong Li wrote::

    By the way, this is about the poet – Huang Chao.

    The story is not a bad combination between this poem and Cao Yu’s Thunder Storm.

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 4:34 am #
  6. Ben Seeberger wrote::

    Man, that was funny. I can’t wait to see the movie! Merry Christmas, Brendan, too. I hope Beijing is treating you fell. I still need to get down there to visit…

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 8:02 am #
  7. maxiewawa wrote::

    Three cheers for tits of all shapes and sizes!
    Hip hip…
    Hip hip…
    Hip hip…

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 10:00 am #
  8. laolao wrote::

    Hip hop Hooray!


    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 11:16 am #
  9. But what about Wounded City?!! And has anybody seen Jia Zhangke’s 三峡好人?

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 1:04 pm #
  10. Watching movies with Jay in them frightens me in ways that only Jay Zhou can. Tell me he doesn’t sing…

    Oh, and Merry Christmas Brendan.

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 2:55 pm #
  11. Hang wrote::

    It seems Gong Li and Li Man’s boobs are much bigger than the film itself.

    I guess I’ll buy a pirated DVD of the film. :)

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 5:27 pm #
  12. Derek Wong wrote::

    Ahh brendan, what a funny and delightful post. Have a great new year and say hello to beijing for me!

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 10:30 pm #
  13. Happy Christmas, all. I’m back in Philadelphia at the moment as a surprise to the folks — will write it up soon.

    Dave: I generally enjoyed Wounded City, though I thought it was a bit implausibly convoluted, and I had problems with the Taiwanese actors’ accents. Certainly worth a look, but it’s no Infernal Affairs.

    Monday, December 25, 2006 at 10:38 pm #
  14. Man, that is too funny!

    Happy holidays Brendan. And the sneaky operation back to the US is pretty cool too :)

    Wednesday, December 27, 2006 at 12:46 am #
  15. christopher wrote::

    Nice post! WRITE A BOOK! Or just get your blog published! No one’s funnier about or more abreast of Chinese culture than you are right now. Call HarpersCollins. Do it! Now.

    Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 4:31 pm #
  16. Zoe wrote::

    Curse of the Golden Flower is a pretty good movie if one enjoys seeing those “白花花的” breasts, however I have to say this movie sucks. Its conflict is affected and not convinsing and reasonable. All the charactors act “用力过猛”. By nothing new and creative, Zhang, again, uses his fame attracting enough attention and audiences thus collecting more money into his pocket. Let’s just wait to see what he would bring us at 2008 Olympics.

    Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 5:54 pm #
  17. Ya. I watched Miami Vice recently, and Gong Li’s boobs definitely stole the show.

    They’re fake, right?

    Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 10:15 am #
  18. Prince Roy wrote::

    well at least you’re off that Zhang Manyu fixation. She’s old enough to be your mom, fer cryin’ out loud. But then again, so is Gong Li.

    Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 4:56 pm #
  19. On the other hand, we can be fairly sure, thanks to differences of ethnicity, that they are not my mother, thus avoiding any creepy Oedipal overtones.

    Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 12:28 am #
  20. battlepanda wrote::

    What is it about all those historical epics that are absolutely shit coming out of China from perfectly talented directors? I really don’t understand, but I’m not watching another film by Zhang Yimou until the insanity passes. Those films bash you over the head with their chineseness and their epicness and their clever use of color. But there’s nothing to them — just one bloated, stolid, complacency-sodden cliche-ridden star-studded jerk-fests after another.

    Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 2:23 am #