Before this class I knew absolutely nothing about King Hu. I didn’t know who he was, what he did, and how he has impacted filmmaking. Now I know a lot about King Hu. I know that he was born in Beijing, and faced a few obstacles in Hong Kong before discovering his place in the film industry. I learned that even though he had become quite an influential filmmaker, especially for Chinese-language wuxia films, he started from not knowing anything about film and had to make sacrifices in order to become what he never knew he could be.
King Hu has definitely become an inspiration for me.
My first favorite film by King Hu was Come Drink with Me.
This was an exciting film because of all the elements that introduced me to the wuxia genre and Cheng Pei-Pei!
My second favorite film was A Touch of Zen part 2.
This film demonstrated the distance King Hu would go in order to create his perfect scene.
My third favorite film was Raining in the Mountain.
This storyline was engaging, flowed well, and seemed the least experimental. It was a new kind of film for King Hu’s style.
My three least favorite films were Sons of Good Earth, Fate of Lee Khan, and Painted Skin. Sons of Good Earth was too difficult for a first film, and was also about a very sensitive time. It’s too sad. Fate of Lee Khan was a good film but too edgy for me. I’m not into the sudden death scenes. Painted Skin was okay but the film as a whole had quite a sad vibe. I felt a loss of enthusiasm from King Hu.
King Hu’s role in history of martial arts cinema is huge. He has impacted martial arts films that I’ve seen and I didn’t even know it until I learned about him. King Hu definitely deserves more recognition than he has received thus far. When you first watch King Hu’s early films like Come Drink with Me, you almost just want to laugh because of some of the awkward flying and over dramatized action scenes. But when you see films like Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , which was made years later and turned out so well, you understand that King Hu was the original mastermind behind those ideas. Filmmakers that followed just took King Hu’s ideas and expanded them with the newer technology that King Hu never had during his time in filmmaking. I also hope that newer filmmakers, like Quentin Tarantino, do remake a lot of King Hu’s films because they have a lot of potential in this day in age to become what King Hu had worked so hard to create.
Not only were King Hu’s films influential to films that followed, but King Hu himself is an inspiration alone. For people who know about King Hu’s life and his accomplishments, they also know that things weren’t always easy for him but he persisted. King Hu had a very creative mind and the passion for creating and experimenting with new elements showed greatly in his films. That is why even though you shouldn’t take some of his early films too seriously, it still shows the amount of hard work and courage it took in order to try something that no one else has ever done before.