The Eunuch of the Emperor has ordered the commander of his army condemned to death for betrayal and insurrection. The commander's family was was murdered to cut off his bloodline, but his ... See full summary »
Lee Khan, a high official under Mongolian Emperor Yuan of the Yuan dynasty (year 1366) procures the battle map of the Chinese rebel Chu Yuan-Chang's army. Rebel spies, aided by treachery within Khan's ranks, strive to corner him in an inn.
A warrior named Da Hufa goes to save his prince from a dystopian village. He finds the dystopian village ruled by a fake God and his guards. In order to save the prince, Da hufa has to ... See full summary »
Ching Sui Tung, long time admirer of King Hu (he helped arrange Hu's
direction of the first Swordsman film), was to take the bare bones of
this film and make his legendary "Chinese Ghost Story" films. It's
about a monk on retreat to an isolated temple in order to write a
sutra, who thereby comes under the observation of two female ghosts who
may or not actually fall in love him - Hu maintains a careful ambiguity
on this and other issues, clearly conveying to the audience the very
confusion of the scholar himself, who never quite gets a handle on what
he's accidentally walked into here.
But in the last analysis, this is neither ghost story nor romance, but
a determined effort on Hu's part to make a visually beautiful set-piece
of open, well-lit Chinese landscape, and high-contrast, sharply defined
interiors. In short, it is an attempt to make a beautiful work of art.
Because Hu's principle interest is just this visual beauty, the pacing
of the film gets a little slow at times, and Hu shows no interest in
"cutting to the chase" story-telling. Consequently, I think he has
succeeded in this artistic perfectionism, but at a price, which is that
the film is not going to appeal to a wide audience. But given some
patience, it offers real rewards to the senses.
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