Tuesday, April 18, 2023

King of Wuxia (2022) Old School Kung Fu Fest 2023

This film is everything you ever wanted to know about King Hu whose films codified the martial arts as we know them, as told by the people who knew and loved him.

And when I say this is everything about Hu, I’m not kidding, this really is EVERYTHING. This is an almost four hour  documentary on the man and his movies. It truly seems to cover everything you would want to know about the man and his films. It’s a film that reveals not only his work but his influence on the cinema as well since we get a sense of how what he did affected everyone and everything that came after him.

For those who don’t know, King Hu was a director who took martial arts films and raised the bar to unheard of levels. His epic film A TOUCH OF ZEN literally rewrote the genre’s rules. Everyone tried to copy it. He then refined what he was doing with his other films and everyone

The film is a towering achievement that I am still processing. There is just so much to take in that I wasn’t far into the film before I realized that I was going to have to see the film again just because I wasn’t catching everything, partly because there is so much information here, but also because the film was opening so many doors to things I never knew before.

What I should also mention that this may be the most beautiful cinematic biography I’ve ever seen. All hail director Lin Jing-jie who has made a film that looks like a work of art. His sequences seamlessly blend with the film clips making this not just an informative film but a visual delight. Going through this films four hours was delightful just because I liked the act of watching the film.

This is a truly great film about a truly great director and it is a must see. 

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