A figure strides through a forest of green, stalks of bright and beautiful bamboo rise triumphantly to the heavens; whorls of white and blue masked by the leaves of their slim branches.
Her clothing is a stark contrast to the world around her: dark where her surroundings are lit by dazzling fingers of sunlight, inky blue when all about her is grinning in green. She cannot see this, though. She doesn't notice the difference, doesn't conceive the clash. She doesn't see anything at all, really.
She hears, though. The whisper of birds flitting through the foliage, the gentle rasp of leaves as the wind stirs and slides.
And the panting breath of her attackers.
An ambush from above, men sliding down the poles of bamboo like acrobats in the circus. They carry knives and blades, hew limbs from the plants and sharpen them, hurling hollow spears at the young woman.
The lengths hum as flutes do, pieces of Pan's flute cast free of their bindings. She hears them, and she dances away, unscathed.
I won't continue, but rather force you to imagine what happens next. That, or you can search out "the House of Flying Daggers," a film of landscapes, soundscapes, and colourscapes. It is brilliant. It is dazzling.
It is inspiring.
In short, the film embodies the highlight in the genre of film; the visual. It conveys so much with so little, awes the eyes in the mere saturation of the screen. I could care less for the story, as the imagery is enough to engage me. The dialogue flies past forgotten, my one sense greedy to be pleased.
The eyes, after all, are the senses gluttons.
I like to think I write the same way, with emphasis on description and place, with words that bring life to the world and not just the characters. When my picture is vivid, when my vision is realised, then I can say I have done well.
And so I pass my metaphorical torch to three others, all whom I believe share the same love of descriptive prose. Or poetry, even.
Here's to the background, to the setting.
Dialogue be damned.