Our hero could behold the approach of this galley from above thestarboard bulwarks, and it appeared to him impossible for them to hopeto escape either it or the man-of-war. But still Captain Morganmaintained the same composure that he had exhibited all the while,only now and then delivering an order to the man at the wheel, who,putting the helm over, threw the bows of the galleon around more tothe larboard, as though to escape the bow of the galley and get intothe open water beyond. This course brought the pirates ever closer andcloser to the man-of-war, which now began to add its thunder to thedin of the battle, and with so much more effect that at everydischarge you might hear the crashing and crackling of splinteredwood, and now and then the outcry or groaning of some man who washurt. Indeed, had it been daylight, they must at this juncture allhave perished, though, as was said, what with the night and theconfusion and the hurry, they escaped entire destruction, though moreby a miracle than through any policy upon their own part.
Candles of clarified wax sparkled like stars in chandeliers ofcrystal. These in turn, catching the illumination, glittered inprismatic fragments with all the varied colors of the rainbow, so thata mellow yet brilliant radiance filled the entire apartment. Polishedmirrors of a spotless clearness, framed in golden frames and builtinto the walls, reflected the waxed floors, the rich Oriental carpets,and the sumptuous paintings that hung against the ivory-tintedpaneling, so that in appearance the beauties of the apartment werecontinued in bewildering vistas upon every side toward which thebeholder directed his gaze.
Getting into the human equation and away from acrobatic flying daggers, director Yimou Zhang spins solid gold in his latest film, RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES.Set against the stunningly picturesque Yunnan Province in southwestern China, Gou-ichi Takata (Ken Takakura) leaves his beloved Japanese fishing village to travel thousands of miles and finish video recording a famous Chinese folk opera for his dying son.Mr. Takata and his son have become distant since the death of Mr. Takata's wife, not speaking to one another for years. When word comes to him that his son, Ken-ichi, is in the hospital, Mr. Takata races to the city only to be rebuffed by his son's bitterness. Mr. Takata never sees his Ken-ichi, but his son's wife, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), tells Mr. Takata an interesting story about his love of Chinese folk dancing. She hands him an unfinished tape of Ken-ichi's work and, after watching it, Mr. Takata decides to finish the recording. "Not being good with people," Mr. Takata immediately encounters problems when he enters China. But he learns quickly, and finds humility within himself in order to finish the tape.Mr. Takata knew that his son wanted to film one particular opera (also called Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles) sung by one particular Chinese man named Li. But Li is in prison after stabbing a man. Getting permission to film Li performing the folk dance from the government higher-ups becomes one of Mr. Takata's earliest obstacles. Then, after gaining access, Mr. Li has a meltdown, thinking about his own distant son. Emotional beyond repair, Mr. Li is unable to dance for Mr. Takata. So Mr. Takata leaves to come back another day ...but an idea is sparked in his head.Mr. Takata goes to "The Stone Village" to see if he can convince Mr. Li's five-year-old son to come back with him to the prison so that he can visit. What follows is one of the most emotionally impacting moments in Chinese film history. Unable to be close to his own son, Mr. Takata transfers much of his emotional heft onto young Yang Yang (Mr. Li's son), and audiences will no doubt spill plenty of tears as this happens.The beauty of the surrounding countryside in the Yunnan Province is an awesome spectacle to behold; a backdrop that towers in all its majesty.Ken Takakura deserves Oscar mention for his quiet yet powerful (and heartbreaking) role as the conflicted and determined Mr. Takata.All of the other actors are not actors, though. They are ordinary people picked by the director for their appearances and mannerisms; excellently done by the way. There's little doubt most will know that none of them have acting experience unless DVD watchers click on the extra features.A brilliantly done foreign film that proves director Yimou Zhang isn't just an action freak. 2b1af7f3a8