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during shaw brothers in hong kong dominated the Chinese wuxia (martial arts/swordsmanship) genre, most of the films were shot inside of its gigantic studio with all the phony or fake props and scenes. it did not like what the Japanese samurai films that mainly used open-air natural surroundings to make their films more realistic, the studio arrangements were just when they were necessary. shaw brothers' studio just rigidly used the studio to shoot almost all of their films in this genre with fake silk flowers, dead trees, fake houses facades and etc. to do the shooting in order to avoid any unpredictable weather conditions in the south east asia. but this never changed shooting format also inevitably reduced those films' value so low that most of such films simply looked so unreal and so pretentious. during that era, most of the screenplays were adapted from the popular Chinese wuxia (martial arts) novels written by some of the popular writers from taiwan while china at that time was in the turmoil cultural revolution. but the adapted scripts were just way too pretentious with stupid dialog that never felt natural but strongly staged like Shakespearean dramas. one the famous directors in this genre was chu yuen, who used most of the novels written by gu long, a wuxia writer who was so famous in writing the most pretentious dialog and scenarios just like the staged plays. chu shot all such films in the studio with artificial lighting and fake props. all the fighting scenes either with fists or swords or any kind of weapons were heavily rehearsed and synchronized with man made sound effects. since they were shot in the studio, the lighting arranged from different angles also inevitably cast lot of different shadows on the fake ground or floors, actors usually would have so many shadows in different shades following them around. the synchronized fighting scenes with awkward sound effects, including the moronic ho hung from the never perfected dubbed voice-over to match their fake fightings simply further reduced their real values in movie making.
you have to watch the Japanese samurai movies to compare with the Chinese wuxia movies to know what were not correctly done by shaw brothers and their directors. because every scene, every spoken word of the dialog, even the moon in the night sky, just looked so fake. you have to force yourself to watch these movies as watching plays performed on the stage just like watch Chinese bejing operas.
this film was a horrible viewing experience, so pretentious and so fake in every way you could imagine.
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