House of Flying Daggers—First session questions and scene summaries
Questions for this day
None. Just watch and get the story straight in your mind.
However, do compare in your mind a bit the beating scene of Chunhyang with the scene where Mei is in prison and Leo is describing how they torture prisoners.
Scene summaries — DVD menu scenes 1-7 (0:00:00-0:25:43, elapsed time 0:26)
Note: All scene summaries for all movies were made by me, usually fairly quickly while viewing the film in real time and typing as it happens. There are bound to be errors. Extra credit anytime between now and the end of the last day of RRR week, for correct or completing scenes. However, please do not submit to make scene summaries more detailed and longer. I have tried to keep them brief, not always successfully, so they can be useful, not burdensome. Extra credit if I accept your submission. It is unlikely, by the way, that I will answer your email but your submission will not go unnoticed or uncredited if I accept it. Please be specific about the location of text in question and please include accurate text I can cut-and-paste as it. Subject line keyword: scenesum.
*Thanks to Pierce for his extensive editing of the Flying Dagger scenes. All the scenes for this movie have benefited from his work.
Scene 1 (Jin and Leo must discover and kill the new Flying Daggers leader)
Tang China 859 A.D., the Tang Dynasty is in decline; the Emperor and government are both inefficient. Jin and Leo, deputies of the government, are ordered to discover and kill the new leader of the House of Flying Daggers, an illegal organization that is popular because it steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
Since the government thinks the new leader might be a new dancer at the Peony Pavilion, Leo send Jin undercover to investigate.
At the Peony Pavilion, Jin asks for the new girl, who, he is told, is beautiful, but blind.
Scene 2 (Mei is introduced)
As the new girl arrives, gorgeously dressed, Jin asks the girl how she became blind, to which the girl responds saying she was born that way. Jin then asks her why she works here, and she questions him on why shouldn't she work here.
Jin asks her why her name (Xiao Mei, Little Girl) is so plain when everyone else in the pavilion has the name of a flower. Mei states she does not want to compete with ordinary girls. Unlike the other girls, she doesn't take the name of a flower since she believes that real flowers grow in the wilderness. Jin then partially disrobes Mei with his sword. There is considerable chemistry between them.
Scene 3 (Mei dances)
Mei does a ribbon dance, singing about a "rare beauty from the north" who brings down governments. (Note: This might be meant as an allusion to the story of the Tang dynasty beauty Yang Guifei who lived about 100 years prior to the setting of this tale.)
Jin assaults Mei after the dance and his (partner) Leo appears on the scene with the provincial soldiers. In both this scene, Jin and Leo pretend not to know one another. Leo arrests Jin for disruptive behavior and Mei for being dressed indecently, thus allowing them to capture Mei.
Leo, to secretly test Mei's skills, says the he will let her go if she can perform well in the echo game.
Scene 4 (echo game at Leo's command)
Mei proves her skill by standing in the middle of a circle of drums that Leo hits with beans. Whichever drum the bean hits (making a sound she can hear), Mei must strike the same drum. During the game, the blind Mei preforms flawlessly.
Scene 5 (attempted assassination of Leo by Mei)
At the end of the echo game, Mei makes a surprise attempt to kill Leo.
They start dueling in the echo game hall, then move to a pool area with glass beads. Leo tricks Mei with the glass beads and dunks her into a pool of water to capture her. (Note: There are pictures of famous beauties on the walls of the room.)
Scene 6 (interrogation of Mei)
Now in prison, an assistant brings Leo the daggers that were found in Mei's room.
Mei is then questioned by Leo who the new leader of the House of Flying Daggers is.
With Jin looking on (eating), Leo shows Mei a torture device that will break bones. He rather lovingly or erotically says that this is where her head will go, this is where her back will go; this is where her legs will go. After this demonstration, Leo gives Mei one day to think.
Jin tells Leo that he thinks Mei might be the lost blind daughter of the old leader of Daggers; the leader they killed.
Jin and Leo decide to find out if Mei is the new leader, for a larger reward. Jin will do the tricking, because Leo knows that he likes to flirt with girls and gain their trust in that way.
Scene 7 (the "freeing" of Mei)
Jin, dressed in disguise, forces his way into that part of the prison where Mei is held and frees her.
In the forest, escaping by horse, Mei asks why.
Jin answers that she is exceptionally beautiful and so he would do anything for her, and that he hates the government and respects the Flying Daggers.
(at "Much obliged" this scene/segment ends)