Friday, September 30, 2016

A Touch of Zen pt.I

I think after watching a couple of King Hu's films I noticed he uses humorous aspects in his movies.  I really enjoy these kinds of aspects added into his films, it helps to make the film easier to watch and keeps me engaged.  In the first part of A Touch of Zen, I really liked the way he portrayed the relationship between Sheng-tsai and his mother.  It was very humorous and you could really relate to the characters.  As I was watching the beginning, I thought that the spider webs that Sheng-tsai encounters while searching the outside of the house was foreshadowed his the scene when he stumbled across the trap.  Spider's use their webs to ensnare their prey, so I thought that when Sheng-tsai came across the trap within the house it kind of showed how he was almost ensnared by the setup. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dragon Gate Inn

In Come Drink With Me, I really liked the playful representations the characters skills.  Like when the bowl of stew was thrown across the inn and landed perfectly in front of the soldier.  And during one of the skirmishes where Hsiao catches the arrow and then reshoots it through the glass pot.  Or in the scene where Yu Chien's daughter demands the wine from the other soldier.  She is able to catch the sword easily when he tries to stab her.  Although the scene is dealing with a serious situation where Yu Chien's daughter is being threatened to be killed, it's played off as almost comical.  I thought those little touches of playful skill demonstrations made the fight sequences more interesting and made the characters more fun to watch. Although what they were fighting for was a serious kind of conflict, I think adding a touch of those kinds of interesting sequences helped to develop the scenes even more.  It keeps the audience interested and entertained without taking away from the plot. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Come Drink with Me

In the movie Come Drink with Me the protagonist, Golden Swallow, is a female.  She is introduced to us as being someone of excellent skills and is even able to defeat some of the male characters.  Her empowerment is pretty groundbreaking for a film especially one released in 1966.  Golden Swallow's empowerment is shown, but only to a certain degree.  There are moments where she is still treated as a 'damsel in distress' by Fan Da-Pei.  For example, when she first infiltrates the bandits hideout, Fan Da-Pei is secretly in the shadows giving her assistance as she fights the bandits.  On top of that, Golden Swallow would have never known the whereabouts of the bandits if it wasn't for Fan Da-Pei tipping her off.  Another example would be when Golden Swallow is shot with one of the poison darts from the bandits.  Fan Da-Pei nurses her back to help and even protects her while she is still ill.  Throughout the film we do see Golden Swallow as an empowered female, but at the same time we also see Fan Da-Pei taking care of her.
Another thing that I thought was interesting was how the character Jade Faced Tiger was presented.  He was always clothed in white and even his face was stark white.  White is usually the color that represents purity and in a sense the good side.  When I think about color symbolism I automatically think of Yin and Yang.  If you think in terms of Yin and Yang, the color black represents Yin which is the dark side and white represents Yang which is the light side.  I think it was ironic that Jade Faced Tiger was the complete opposite of how he was shown.  And I wonder if the choice of his character design was purposely put there to show that sort of irony.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sons of Good Earth

I enjoyed watching the film Sons of Good Earth directed by King Hu.  Even though it touched base on a serious situation China was facing at the time, there were still moments of humor included into the film.  I found that it helped make the mood a little bit light-hearted and the content was easier to digest for the viewers.  The duality of some of the Chinese people who worked under the Japanese but still tried to help their fellow Chinese was very inspiring.  It helped recognize the courage of the those few that were probably never celebrated after the occupation.
I did think that the fight choreography could've used more work but the story and characters helped make the film successful.  Especially since this is one of King Hu's earlier films and he is still getting to know the cinematics it didn't bother me as much that the martial arts portion lacked an intense sequence.Image result for sons of good earth king huImage result for sons of good earth king hu