Friday, October 28, 2016

Raining in the Mountain

Raining in the Mountain is probably one of my favorite King Hu films so far.  I think more for the underlying message that the movie conveys.  I think stories about the unlikely underdog becoming an empowered individual that is able to overcome their own bad situation is truly inspirational.  So seeing the convicted criminal being able to overcome his past and change his ways was something I liked.  It was also nice how he wasn't even trying to obtain the position of abbot; because he was a selfless individual he was more likely to carry on the teachings of the previous abbot.  I also liked that the two parties who were in pursuit of the scroll received copies of it while the original one was burnt.  I felt that that gave it a more spiritual/religious meaning behind the movie.  That there is something more beyond the materialistic world; it almost felt as if that was an allegory for enlightenment.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Valiant Ones

In the movie The Valiant Ones I am beginning to notice the way King Hu displays death or injuries in his films.  Like for example, when the character Wu Re-shi was violently hit in the head with the blade during the last fight.  That sequence was actually slightly humorous because she was accidently hit, only because someone moved away at the last minute.  Or even the dramatic ending to the fight where Hakatatsu is decapitated and everyone ends up dying.  All these sequences deal with a serious topic, death, but King Hu adds a twist to it.  He does glorify and exaggerates the sequences where characters die, but at the same time the deaths are slightly humorous.  It makes it easier for the audience to watch as characters die and doesn't allow you to get fully absorbed by their passing.  I kind of like his sight twist on how he displays death.  For me, it's a different kind of experience when I'm watching characters get hurt or die.  It sort of reminds me that this is fiction and it keeps me more uplifted.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fate of Lee Khan

I really liked how in this King Hu film he highlighted the role of female fighters. In some of his other films he did include females who were capable of fighting; like Golden Swallow from "Come Drink With Me" and Yang Hui-zhen from "A Touch of Zen".  Even though in the previous films he did include female characters there usually was only one or two of them fighting.  This film had more than two skilled female fighters.  Since it included a larger amount of females in power I thought that helped to highlight the females as the main presence.  In the other films, it seemed as though the female fighters were more of a side-kick; they were a minority in comparison to male fighters.  This film helps to level out the ground between male and female fighters.  Bringing females on to an equal standing in comparison to male fighters.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Touch of Zen pt.II

I enjoyed watching part II of A Touch of Zen, the whole plot to deceive the army that the house was haunted was comical.  Based off of the previous content of the beginning when Sheng-tsai believed the house was haunted, I thought it helped advance the plot with a comical touch.  Another thing that I noticed, but I'm not sure if it was intentional, was when the army encountered the "ghosts" they experienced the "three monkeys of their divine pantheon" or also known as "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil".  The army first heard the chime of the bells as the wind began to blow.  Next, the army saw multiple flames.  And then next they began speaking to each other about all the bad deeds they've committed so their souls are tainted.  I'm not entirely sure if this was intentional, or if it had any sort of connection to the three monkeys.