What film score could possibly outshine John Williams’ work with The Patriot or Hans Zimmer’s score for Gladiator? Why, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon of course!
Set in the Qing Dynasty (the equivalent of 1779 by the Western calendar), the story follows the lives of several characters as they intertwine around a fantastic sword called Green Destiny. This is a wuxia film, a genre that tells stories of martial artists in ancient China.
As Tan Dun says in his acceptance speech, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helped to bridge the gap between East and West, as it is still considered one of the most popular (and successful) foreign films to ever be released in the United States.
The score for this film is very beautiful and features many solo passages performed by
Yo-Yo Ma, a Chinese-American cellist and former child prodigy (he’s been playing the cello since he was four). I should also mention the entire score for the two hour film was produced in two weeks flat (most scores take four to six weeks, give or take).
I admit it has been a long time since I saw this film, but I remember it left a deep impression on me and I’m sure it is one of the first foreign films I ever saw. If you haven’t seen it, please give it a try (the music alone is worth the price of a DVD).
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For more Oscar winning composers, see also: