Zu:Warriors from the Magic Mountain
Dir: Tsui Hark Scr: Szeto Cheuk-hon
Orig Story: Huan Zhu Lou Zhu’s Zu Warriors from the
Cast: Adam Cheng, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Brigitte Lin
1983 / Colour / DCP / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 94min
Tsui Hark’s first directorial debut for Golden Harvest was adapted from Huan Zhu Lou Zhu’s novel by the same name. Tsui built an imaginary heaven on Hammer Hill and recruited the special effects expert(s) for Star Wars Series (1977-83) to bring to life a fantasy world that combined a Chinese martial arts novel with Western cinema. The most experimental aspects of the film were the visual effects, the use of models, the wire-work and the artistic backdrops. Exotic scenes were meticulously built in the studio and the swords elegantly created by special optical effects. Thanks to exquisite wire-work and editing, the scene of fairies in flight was the best ever made in Hong Kong. Tsui presented Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism as three figures who constantly mocked each other, as a metaphor for the lack of solidarity in Chinese society. Though overly conceptual, it was a clear expression of Tsui’s sentiments for his country.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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