An Overview of King Hu

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When taking ACM 382, I knew nothing about King Hu. As our instructor gave us more information, I thought that this class would be a good introduction to King Hu’s films and his style of filmmaking.  I did not realize that King Hu had a big influence on other films as well, like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, or House of Flying Daggers.  I also learned to appreciate how King Hu’s films impacted the martial arts scene.

My three favorite films from King Hu were Dragon Inn, Touch of Zen and The Fate of Lee Khan.  The reason why I liked Dragon Inn was because of the martial arts.  For Touch of Zen it was very entertaining to watch.   Finally, for The Fate of Lee Khan, it was suspenseful.

There were three King Hu films that I was not a fan of.  These films were The Valiant One, Painted Skin, and Sons of the Good EarthThe Valiant One was very boring and the action scenes were sloppy.  Painted Skin had an interesting concept, but it was not executed right.  For Sons of the Good Earth, it was just an average film, nothing neither good nor bad.

After watching all of King Hu’s films, I could see how his style of fighting influenced the martial arts films.  The most common style of fighting in King Hu’s films was the ballet dancing.  Instead of using hands and kicking to demonstrate the fighting, King Hu used ballet dancing which made the fight scene very smooth and beautiful.  King Hu also had a lot of bamboo fighting scenes in his movies, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers displayed.  The bamboo fighting scenes were classic in King Hu’s films and the filmmakers of those two films paid tribute to his style in their films.

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It was also interesting of how the Chinese filmmakers respected and recognized King Hu and his work.  His career went downhill later on his life which was sad because he was very successful filmmaker.  King Hu died from taking a surgery.  It was unfortunate to lose a great filmmaker/producer in a way that could have been prevented if King Hu did not take the surgery.  But I am glad to know his work and what he did to the martial art films.

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