Saturday, November 13, 2004

Hero (movie review)

Now this was an interesting film, beautifully choreographed in gorgeous settings. If a westerner made this film, she might be accused of over-simplifying in broad brush strokes. But the calligraphy is very Chinese, which speaks to the authenticity of the model.

As a user of the Fuller Projection, I'm of course plunged into the analogy 'Our Land' = 'Spaceship Earth.' We're faced with the same problem of too many warring states, each pushing an agenda, none feeling responsible for the whole. But of course I'm not interested in addressing this problem through the agencies of a warlord or tyrant, ala the King of Qin in the film.

For me, the answer lies in generalized principles, which key players in the movie access through calligraphy, to the point of bending natural law (or participating in its extension). The martial arts derive from these first principles.

A foe from Zhao, in a position to stop the king, comes to share this vision of 'Our Land' through his study of the living word. So ultimately, the creation of China (a concept) is owing to a shared vision, a communicated realization, not the private megalomania of one particular cult around some super-idol personality.

The final sacrifice in the film is by the king's co-equal (he too comes to comprehend the big picture) -- the network, in death as well as life, is peer-to-peer (democratic).

Fuller's vision of a bloodless transition to a more supranational psyche, wherein pre-existing nation-states become the provinces, is likewise democratic, a result of massively parallel networking, by humans and their machines combined.

There's no emperor per se (or posit God if you want a monotheistic model), only a shared science shining up through the calligraphy, informing the arts (including the martial ones).

Hero is also good at implying that the martial arts have a big pscyhological component (Fuller's "psychoguerilla warfare" -- cite Critical Path). One sees this in the black and white takes near the beginning: the battle rages, but the principals are really just standing still, with their eyes closed, meditating.