Touch of Zen Part 2

Despite it’s dreadful length, Touch of Zen was by far the best film King Hu has made (as far as we’ve seen). Still lacking in plot, the film focuses primarily on ideas and still manages to come together in the end. My personal favorite part of the second half was the emblematic resemblance of the monk. So calm and yet so strong, it shows the true potential of yin versus yang in the battle for good from the eunuchs of the company. A common style Hu used was adding light directly behind the Abbott when he began to participate in the fight against evil. Giving him a ‘godlike’ resemblance, it makes the audience feel good seeing someone fight justly and protecting the people. It’s a similar feeling modern moviegoers feel when viewing films about military heroes. Although King Hu may have been experimenting quite a bit with his style still, I do have to criticize his use of light. There was a stark contrast between the first and second halves of the film. Understanding that the film took several years to film, perhaps he tweaked some of his ideas around lighting during that time. In the first half, he used quite a bit of lower lighting scenes that left mystery and thrill but may have been a little too much. While the second half was more of the lighter scenes revolving around light, or the monk. Just emphasizing the yin versus yang effect.


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