A Touch of Zen / Xia Nü (1969) directed by King Hu

A Touch of Zen is one film coming to this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival I will not pass up seeing on the big screen. I already have my ticket, see:

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A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks. It is much more than that of course, as the official NZIFF write-up about the film below the HD trailer promises:

The greatest of martial arts movies returns, looking and sounding better than ever, to the giant Civic screen.

“When it comes to the wuxia film, all roads lead back to the great King Hu: supreme fantasist, Ming dynasty scholar, and incomparable artist. For years, Hu labored on his own, creating one exquisitely crafted film after another (with astonishing pre-CGI visual effects), elevating the martial-arts genre to unparalleled heights…

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Hu’s three-years-in-the-making masterpiece, A Touch of Zen, was released in truncated form in Hong Kong in 1971… A close-to-complete version was constructed by Hu and shown at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, where he won a grand prize for technical achievement (and earned an apology from his studio heads).” — New York Film Festival

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“Widely and rightly regarded as not only one of the finest martial arts films ever made, but one of the greatest works in all Chinese cinema, King Hu’s A Touch of Zen is most often lauded for its extraordinary fight sequences. Why the film is so exceptional, however, is that as great as these fight scenes are (and they are spectacular), they may not even be the best part of the movie.” — Jeremy Carr, Mubi

SOURCE CREDIT - "British Film Institute" Reproduction of this image requires the appropriate copyright clearance. In making this image available, the bfi confers no licence to use or copy the image. All copyright clearance is the responsibility of the user. In consideration for making this image available, the user hereby agrees to indemnify the bfi against any claim or liability arising from the use of this image. The information service of the bfi National Library may be able to carry out copyright ownership research on your behalf. Fax +44 (0) 20 7436 0165 for details of services and costs. British Film Institute 21 Stephen Street London W1T 1LN Tel +44 (0) 20 7255 1444 http://www.bfi.org.uk/

“King Hu’s remarkable Ming Dynasty epic deliberately makes itself impossible to define, beginning as a ghost story, then turning into a political thriller, and finally becoming a metaphysical battle as the role of the monk Hui-yuan (Chiao) comes to the fore… The visual style will set your eyes on fire.” — Tony Rayns, Time Out

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~ by Fionnlagh on July 11, 2016.

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