RED CLIFF: RE-IMAGINING AN EPIC John Millbank – TAASA Review September 2009


This article was originally found in the September 2009 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 24).

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I n late July 2009 director John Woo’s martial epic film Red Cliff reached Australian cinemas in the abridged version distributed outside Asia.

TAASA Review readers might ask themselves how closely the film reflects its original source, the classic Chinese novel San guo yan yi, known in English as Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

How does a director of Hollywood action movies approach a classic Ming text? Three Kingdoms is set in the China of 165280 AD, its subject the downfall of the Han dynasty and the fragmentation of the country into three warring kingdoms...