Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Chinese Ghost Story III


Sien lui yau wan III: Do do do; Fantasy, China, 1992; D: Ching Siu Tung, S: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Jacky Cheung, Joey Wang, Nina Li Chi, La Siu-Ming

100 years after the events of Ling Choi Sin. An old monk and his assistant Fang witness how warrior Yin kills robbers who have robbed him. The monk and Fang spend the night in a mysterious forest temple. There ghost-woman Lotus tries to seduce Fang to put him under control of the Tree Demon, but truly falls in love with him. This causes her problems since her evil sister could betray her. The demon captures the monk since Fang broke a golden statue, so he seeks the help from Yin. Together, they free the monk and even Lotus. They destroy the demon and after the dawn keep Lotus' ashes.

After the confusing 2nd film, Ching Siu-Tung, the director of the complete "A Chinese Ghost Story" Hong Kong movie series, managed to again lift up the ambitions in the 3rd part of this fantasy folklore story from the Qing Dynasty. Especially successful are the moving camera and it's angles, which are at times a real joy: spooky fogy nights shot in blue cinematography; a wonderful panorama shot of the clouds under the Sun as well as it's ray coming through the trees, while some camera movements are very extensive (it approaches the face of the old man from afar and then turns it's view towards the sky). The ending is, just like in the previous two installments, proportionately clumsy, whereas the whole story just dropped the plot from the original and just made a recap of it with new characters, yet a huge plus is the fact it was all again turned towards romance: ghost-woman Lotus seduces Fang, the assistant of the monk, by putting her own clothes on fire - to have an excuse to take them off! And when she even takes her bra off he falls unconscious. It's also impressive how she tries to tie him up with her hair, while Joey Wang is again excellent.

Grade:++

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