A collection of 4 posts
Legend of the Mountain (King Hu, 1979)
It starts with a Wagnerian incantation: elemental imagery calling forth the natural world, music rising with the sun, the mountain, the clouds and the river, always the river, rushing, falling, churning. A Touch of Zen begins much the same way, but this world is depopulated, not even a spider mars
Painted Skin (King Hu, 1993)
King Hu’s final film, it is, like his greatest work (A Touch of Zen) and his first film as an assistant director (The Enchanting Shadow), an adaptation of a story from the 18th Century collection of folk and supernatural tales Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling.
The Happy Ghost Series (Clifton Ko & Johnnie To, 1984-1986)
After the failure of his debut film, The Enigmatic Case, Johnnie To went back to television for several years (where he directed, among other things, an acclaimed adaptation of Louis Cha’s Legend of the Condor Heroes), not returning to film until 1986, when Raymond Wong hired him to direct