Irish Film Institute -MADE IN TAIWAN: A TOUCH OF ZEN


Director: KING HU

180 mins, 1971, Taiwan, Digital, Subtitled

This film screened on Sunday 14th May 2017.

Ku, a calligrapher and scholar in a remote village, crosses the path of the fugitive noblewoman Yang. The beginning of a romance follows, leading Ku on an adventure filled with intrigue, spying, spirituality and aerial fights in the legendary and breathtaking A Touch of Zen.

Moving to Taiwan after splitting with the Shaw Brothers who dominated the Hong Kong film industry, King Hu’s A Touch of Zen is a pure delight of imagination, with elaborate costumes, innovative editing, and choreographed combats. Drawing on Chinese opera, mystic Buddhist symbolism and tales from fantasy literature; he creates astonishing visuals and splendid panoramic landscapes of bamboo forests, rocks, and temples. This three-hour wuxia opus has come to influence directors such as Tsui Hark, John Woo, and Ang Lee amongst others.

Screened with the support of Taiwan Film Institute.

The screening will be introduced by Prof. Chris Berry, King’s College London.

This film is screening as part of the Made in Taiwan season of Chinese Language films, running from May 11th to 14th. More info here.

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