Before taking this class, I knew absolutely nothing about King Hu. I’ve never even heard of him before, nor have I ever really watched any Chinese films. It was actually really cool to be able to watch his films and see what types of motifs occur in his films. One thing that I learned about him is that he loves to work with the same people. In almost all of his films, he has the same main character roles. That might explain why I felt like I was always getting confused with which film was which.
The three films that I enjoyed the most by King Hu were Fate of Lee Khan, The Swordsman, and Painted Skin. I really like Fate of Lee Khan he used women as “heroes” and I thought that was pretty cool. I like the cinematographic elements that Hu chose to use in The Swordsman. Lastly, I liked Painted Skin because I loved seeing the transformation he made from when he first started making films.
There weren’t specific movies that I disliked of King Hu. The more King Hu films that I watch, the more I begin to realize how they’re all basically the same. One thing that I didn’t like at all about his earlier films is that they all didn’t seem to have a real plot. It was like the action was driving the plot and not the storyline driving the post, so to me, it seemed kind of pointless to watch. However, I will say that the action scenes were pretty good for the time being.
King Hu seemed to be a very influential part of martial arts and wu-xia film. It appears as though he was the father of martial arts/wu-xia films. Many filmmakers were inspired by his martial arts skills displayed in his films. Some of his peers that were greatly influenced by him and his work include Shaw Shaw Brothers, Tsui Hark, Raymond Lee, Ang Lee, and many more. One thing that King Hu introduced to everyone is the idea of shooting the actors out of trampolines, which allowed them to pop in and out the way they did during the fighting scenes. There were even some editing techniques that he used to achieve certain things, like playing things backwards or speeding them up. Overall, he actually had a far greater impact on the world than I thought he would.