New restorations of movies from early and late in the career of King Hu reconfirm his influential position in Chinese cinema as a master of martial arts and swordplay films: action and poetry blend seamlessly in Come Drink With Me (1966), The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) and Raining in the Mountain (1979).
Genre, of course, is not limited to the fantastic — science fiction, fantasy, horror. Contemporary and historical dramas can also fall within genre boundaries. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve) Denis Villeneuve’s thriller was much-praised by critics and audiences alike, and yet it struck me as a genre movie desperate to convince its viewers that it was actually […] Read More
Continuing my survey of one month’s movie viewing: Red Dawn (Dan Bradley, 2012): As dumb as John Milius’ original about small town American kids fighting against vicious invaders. Milius had Nicaragua(!) taking over the States; here it’s North Korea backed by, for some reason, the Russians (aware of how much U.S. debt is held by […] Read More
In film, the big difference between pastiche and homage is the underlying attitude towards an original source. Pastiche – often a lazy assemblage of genre elements – is aimed at mocking something the filmmaker feels superior to (like the recent Disco Exorcist). Homage, on the other hand, arises from admiration for the source, respect and […] Read More
Sometime during the Ming Dynasty, two wandering soldiers arrive in the southern city of Guancheng. Armed with unusually long swords, they fight their way past the four martial arts schools which reign in the city. One of the pair is captured, while the other escapes and goes into hiding. He is Liang Henlu (Song Yang), […] Read More