A Touch of Zen (5/29)

After a long run at Shaw Brothers studio on the mainland, King Hu left for Taiwan and crafted the masterpiece Dragon Inn, which led to the opportunity to tackle his most ambitious project by far: A Touch of Zen — a tale of a young artist who falls for a roving warrior committed to avenging the death of her father at the hands of the Imperial agents of the Ming dynasty.

An oddity in the Wuxia canon, and considered to be the film that legitimized beloved martial arts-driven Chinese genre films as “art”, King Hu packs in visual experimentation — with balletic and quixotic battles sequences, transcendental nature scenes, and detective stories giving way to supernatural indulgence, pacifist monks ultimately kicking ass when it’s time to throw down, and loving homage to the westerns of Anthony Mann — in this astonishing 14th Century epic, finally given its due with a stunning 4K restoration.

Dir. King Hu, 1971, DCP Restoration, 200 min.

Watch the trailer!