Hot on the heels of Melbourne Cinémathèque’s screening of King Hu’s classic A Touch of Zen comes three screenings of films by the great director in Canberra, at the National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema.
The films on display are:
- Dragon Gate Inn on Sat 8 March: the original film, remade by Tsui Hark twice and one of the classics of Chinese action cinema.
- A Touch of Zen on Sun 9 March: unarguably King Hu’s most revered film, running the gamut from quiet little mystery film through action film to philosophical work.
- The Valiant Ones on Sat 15 March: a smaller action film, and a very early piece of action choreography from Sammo Hung.
See the NFSA site for the films for all the details.
I can’t stress enough that these films are really, really hard to see, in any format: fairly terrible DVDs exist for A Touch of Zen (none looking any better than this print, which I think is the same one that screened in Melbourne). The other two are basically unavailable, with all the DVD releases that I know of long out of print; Dragon Gate Inn is something I’ve only ever seen on VHS!
The print of The Valiant Ones is a restored one c/o the Hong Kong Film archive, which looked wonderful when I saw it at a screening almost a decade ago.
Thoroughly worth a trip if you love Chinese cinema and can make it to Canberra for a weekend or two!