Classic wuxia (武俠) films are coming to New York City! From December 31 to Janurary 13, Metrograph will be presenting a variety of Taiwan films in theater, including Goodbye, Dragon Inn(不散) by Tsai Ming-liang(蔡明亮), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍) by Ang Lee (李安), Executioners from Shaolin(洪熙官) by Lau Kar Leung(劉家良), as well as Dragon Inn (龍門客棧), Raining in the Mountain (空山靈雨), and A Touch of Zen (俠女), all of which were directed by King Hu (胡金銓).
Dragon Inn was a blockbuster, setting box-office records in Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines in 1967, and the film proved to have a broad and lasting impact. A Touch of Zen took the Technical Grand Prize award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975, propelling Hu onto the world stage, and its bamboo forest duel became a classic scene and an indelible contribution to cinema.
All four of King Hu’s digitally restored films have also received additional global recognition in recent years. Dragon Inn and A Touch of Zen were selected for Cannes Classics. Moreover, Raining in the Mountain was selected for the first edition of Classici fuori Mostra, organized by the Venice Biennale in 2018.
Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the first Chinese-language film to win the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, receiving four awards in total at the 2001 Oscars. “Twenty years later, the exhilarating grace of Ang Lee’s martial-arts masterwork is just as breathtaking,” as Jake Coyle, a film writer and critic for the Associated Press, wrote last year for the 20th anniversary of the film’s original release.
Hu’s style influenced decades of subsequent Asian cinema, including Tsui Hark’s New Dragon Gate Inn, Tsai Ming-liang’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn, and Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
In its press release, Metrograph described these films by stating that “Heroes and quite a few heroines are found routinely defying the laws of gravity and all physical probability in the heat of righteous, bloodstained combat,” referring to them as “A hot shot of pure adrenaline and fluttering cinematic euphoria, and the only real superhero movies that have ever been made.”
All six films are available on the big screen at Metrograph from 31 December to Janurary 13. For more information, please visit https://nyc.metrograph.com/