A Touch of Zen

When watching this movie, I can’t help but imagine what King Hu was thinking about through all these scenes. Where his ideas come from. The sets and locations were what really astounded me. The actors are more like props than people. I focused way more on how big the locations were and how much bigger that made the movie feel. The action set pieces seem to last forever as well. With “Zen,” Hu doubled on violence that could also boast extreme visual beauty. I researched that Hu had a favorite trick when editing action sequences in these locations. He liked to cut from people about to kick butt to a sudden insert shot of them flying through the air, then a cut to them landing. I read that David Bordwell calls it the “glimpse”. The quick, disconnected editing stresses that gives us a crazy rush. I keep getting amazed of how much detail he went into making these movies. Ever since I started learning about him, I haven’t been able to compare any other director as motivated as him so far



Dragon Inn

Dragon Inn was a great film and had very good plot points. One aspect of the film that I really enjoyed was the sound design for the movie. Yes, even though it sounds really cheesy when you watch it now, Back then I believe it carried the movie far. There were so many intense sequences that if you didn’t have good sound effects, I think the intensity would of dropped immensely. Everything from the sword sounds when they clashed together in the heat of battle, or the sound of arrows flying through the air seeking their victim. King Hu also used sound as a Motif in the film. Towards the end when the final fight took place, they used a certain sound to alert the audiences that the asthma was effecting the king. Another thing I notices was the way these sounds sounded. There was definitely a fantasy spin on it. I have watched other movies during this time period and the sounds are more realistic. So either it was bad judgment on the sound guys or they really wanted to make everything sound a bit different from reality.

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Come Drink With Me

This movie was very entertaining! This was the film that started it all for future martial arts movies. Even though that this style of fighting is technically called wu xia, for some reason it got lost in translation over the years. King Hu was the visionary director who introduced this new style of movie making to the world, and Come Drink With Me is the movie where he first did it. The plot is layered and  full of intriguing politics and power plays. There’s always more going on than meets the eye. It manages this without being at all difficult to follow. This is saying a lot knowing that at least for me I had to read the subtitles.

The one thing that I enjoyed the most about this film was the style of editing. As I started to read a little more about King Wu, I have been learning that he had big visions of how he saw things done and he didn’t let any set back keep him doing so. The style of this film called for a lot of innovations for that time. A lot of what was done in that film had never been done before. Hu’s approach to choreographing and filming the sword fights raised the bar of Hong Kong martial arts movies. When Chang Hsuan was cornered in the courtyard, the way the cuts were quick and sped up made what might of looked ungraceful in real life completely fluid and effortless. Of course there were many issues with some of the editing but i am ignoring silly mistakes because of how hard and intricate it was back then. I am just focusing on the general direction he went with what he had to make his vision come true. Over all, I enjoyed this movie and recommend for others to see it. hqdefault.jpg

Sons of Good Earth (Reaction)

I was surprised on how much I enjoyed the movie Sons of Good Earth, which was created and directed by King Hu. The story and the character development was presented in a clear way but yet not so obvious. It kept me interested just enough to want to figure out the theme of the story and discover the true intentions of these characters. The main thing that stuck out to me during the screening of this film was the set design. If you are familiar with film and what goes on behind the scenes, its not hard to spot when a certain location is fabricated. But even though I knew the set was fake, the amount of work that went into the detail was astonishing. After watching this film, I decided to read a little bit more about King Hu and how he got started. Surprisingly, I found out that he started as a set designer. This made so much more sense knowing that he probably not only had a lot of say in directing the actors but he had an eye for every little detail in the background. This gave me a new found respect for him knowing that he appreciated and worked hard for not only the big, but the small things as well. One example of the set was the the main couples house interior. That location was dressed up in a way that really told you a lot about the characters with having to actually say it and save dialog space. Thats how directors can tell more with less words. Its also less boring that way when watching the movie.