Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Poster


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  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the fourth book in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy, written by Chinese author Wang Dulu (1909-1977). The other four books, written between 1938 and 1942, include: (1) Crane Frightens Kunlun/He Jing Kunlun, (2) Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin/Baojian Jinchai, (3) Sword's Force, Pearl's Shine/Jianqi Zhuguang, and (5) Iron Knight, Silver Vase/Tieji Yinping. As of 2007, no official English language translations of his novels exist. However, there is a manhua (comic book) series created by Andy Seto. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was followed by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016). Edit

  • "Crouching tiger, hidden dragon" is a Chinese idiom that describes a situation where a great deal of outstanding ability or exceptional talent is concealed in the seemingly ordinary appearance of those who possess such quality or refers directly to those who choose not to reveal their true capabilities. Examples of the idiom's common usage in modern Chinese may include: "This place is [full of] crouching tiger(s) [and] hidden dragon(s)" and "Through the years I never realized that he was [such a] crouching tiger / hidden dragon." Edit

  • The "wu" in "wuxia" refers to "martial arts" or "combat". The "xia" refers to a person whose sense of righteousness is so profound that it empowers them to sacrifice themselves and even break the law to help people. The closest equivalents in English would be the hero, knight, warrior, or vigilante in superhero comics. See here for more information about wuxia and the xia. Edit

  • In terms of wuxia masterpieces, Bao biao (1969) "Have Sword, Will Travel" and Xia nü (1971) "A Touch of Zen" are seen as the influential epic grandmasters of the genre. More recent movies similar to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon include Ying xiong (2002) "Hero", Shi mian mai fu (2004) "House of Flying Daggers", and Huo Yuan Jia (2006) "Fearless". Some wuxia elements can be seen in non-explicitly martial arts films that feature justice seekers who acquire extraordinary fighting skills and often operate outside the state law. Examples may include works from a wide variety of genres such as western, Japanese jidaigeki (period drama), and superhero. Akira Kurosawa's Shichinin no samurai (1954) "Seven Samurai" and Yôjinbô (1961) are good examples. The latter has a scene similar to the one where the thugs harass Jen in the restaurant, with the thugs bragging about their abilities and criminal records. It's a scene that was also done as an homage in Star Wars (1977)-the cantina scene. Edit



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