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A Touch of Zen

A Touch of Zen (Xia nu)
Directed by King Hu. With Hsu Feng, Roy Chiao, Bai Ying
Taiwan 1971, 35mm, color, 186 min. Mandarin with English subtitles

Exquisitely balancing the competing demands of the martial arts film and the careful depiction of human drama, Hu’s masterpiece is at once epic and intimate, fantastic and realist, action-packed and thought-provoking. With a Chinese title that translates to “Swordswoman,” it also provides one of the best examples of Hu’s many woman warriors, played by the celebrated Hsu Feng, now an important producer. Hsu plays a fugitive hunted for her family’s crusade against corruption at the emperor’s court. Around her the film arrays a host of characters who become involved in her struggle, building to a metaphysical conflict between worldliness and virtue. A Touch of Zen served as the model for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a debt Ang Lee acknowledges by including an homage to the film’s famous fight in a bamboo grove. New print from The Film Center of National Central University, Taiwan and The Center for East Asian Studies at UW-Madison

 

Meetup Notes:

  • Tickets are available in person 45 minutes before showtime at the HFA, not in advance!
  • We'll meet at Grafton Street Pub & Grill, 1230 Mass Ave.,at 5pm for a pre-movie snack and discussion then head over to the HFA around 6.15pm to get our tickets.
  • Let's gather in the lobby afterwards to go for a post-movie discussion if people want to.
  • Please be on the lookout for email updates about this meetup!  And finally....
  • The HFA is offering members of the Boston International Arthouse Movie Meetup Group a 20% membership discount so that you can join for $44 (individual) and get fantastic ticket prices and booking privileges.  Details here.

See You At The Movies!

 

 


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  • Janet

    The Meetup group called Boston Cultural Nomads is going to another of King Hu's movies, Raining in the Mountain, at the Harvard Film Archive this Friday, March 22 at 9.

    March 19, 2013

  • Caroline

    Nancy, what bad luck with the keys. We missed you at the movie but it was good seeing you at dinner beforehand. I'm glad you found your keys and got home ok. See you next time!

    March 18, 2013

  • Betsey G.

    I have located some of King Hu's films in te Minuteman Library System under the search: Author/Hu Jinquan.

    March 17, 2013

  • John

    Chinatown Tour http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2013/01/asian-dining-restaurant-guide-boston-chinatown/

    Notes on the ending from Noel Botera: You might call the ending more than a little strange, a climax that
    sheds all trappings of the "wuxia pian" genre and, like Stanley
    Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (only on a far smaller budget),
    makes a wild stab at transcendence. I think it succeeds more than
    fails, myself; you end up walking out of the theater in a
    contemplative, Zenlike mood--not quite fully understanding what you
    saw, yet understanding that even this may not matter, after all...

    March 17, 2013

    • Betsey G.

      "even this may not matter, after all..." !!!!!!!!

      March 17, 2013

  • Janet

    John, thanks for the helpful afterword and thanks to Caroline for organizing.

    March 17, 2013

  • Shirley

    Great movie. Now realize that the director had a background in Chinese opera. Makes sense. Thanks to Caroline for organizing.

    March 17, 2013

  • Seth

    I realllllllly wanted to attend, but have another (social) obligation. I hope to join you another time.

    March 14, 2013

  • Shirley

    Meet you for a snack at Grafton Street first

    March 14, 2013

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