R for violence.
1 hr. 54 min.
written by: Zhang Yimou, Wu Nan & Bian Zhihong (screenplay) and Cao Yu II (from the play "Thunderstorm")
produced by: Bill Kong & Zhang Weiping
directed by: Zhang Yimou
My interest in ancient samurai, ninjas and Eastern folklore came from reading comic books as a kid. I was pretty floored when I read about how tied into Japan and the way of the samurai Logan aka Wolverine was in Uncanny X-Men. Then I came across Frank Miller's cover to First Comics' Lone Wolf & Cub #1, a lone samurai protecting his cub, or baby. so anytime anything samurai or something similar popped up in the comics I was reading, I was pretty excited. So, this review comes with a lil bias due to my affinity for especially historical epics, all things Eastern, samurai, feudal times, and any kind of Dynasty....no, not the Carrington/Colby kind.
- The film boasts the largest set ever built for a movie in China, surpassing Chen Kaige's "The Promise".
- It took over 20 days to shoot the battle scene.
- The empress's Phoenix Crown weighed 12 pounds.
- More than 1000 real soldiers were used in the final battle.
- Curse of the Golden Flow also known literally as When Golden Armor Covers the Entire City.
- It was chosen as China's entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for the year 2006; it was not nominated in that category though it did receive a Costume Design nomination.
- The title of the movie is taken from the last line of a Tang dynasty poem attributed to the rebel leader Huang Chao, "On the Chrysanthemum, after failing the Imperial Examination" or simply "Chrysanthemum":
When autumn comes on Double Ninth Festival,/ my flower [the chrysanthemum] will bloom and all others perish./ When the sky-reaching fragrance [of the chrysanthemum] permeates Chang'an,/ the whole city will be clothed in golden armour.
- Due to the film's high profile while it was still in production, its title, became a colorful metaphor for the spring 2006 sandstorms in Beijing and the term "golden armor" has since become a metaphor for sandstorms among the locals.
- The use of nail extensions by the Empress was not popular during the Tang Dynasty, but only after the Ming Dynasty several centuries later.
- Plate armor,worn by Prince Jai and Emperor Ping in the movie, was unpopular throughout Chinese history, as it restricted movement, and was thus unlikely to have been used. Scale and lamellar were preferred over plate for this reason.
- The dresses the Empress and her servants wore were given an unrealistic cleavage. In fact, camisoles were part of the wardrobe of upper class women in China in times gone by.
- Besides starring in the film, Jay Chou has also recorded a song to accompany the film, titled "Chrysanthemum Terrace", released on his 2006 album Still Fantasy.