The Valiant Ones
Dir / Scr: King Hu
Cast: Hsu Feng, Bai Ying, Roy Chiao, Wu Jiaxiang
1975 / Colour / 35mm / Mandarin / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 107min
After the success of A Touch of Zen (1971), King Hu returned to Hong Kong to work on two wuxia films: The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) and The Valiant Ones (1975), which took on totally different approaches. The former centres around the studio setting of an inn, while latter tries out another aesthetic treatment by using mostly location shooting around deserted islands or the countryside. The plot is simple: central Government sends a bunch of officials to clean up invading Japanese pirates, prompting a series of tactics, conspiracies and strategic workings to surface. Besides a tragic plot that gradually reveals treachery, cunning traps and tricky scheming, the film is a must-see if you are keen on martial arts choreography that creatively deploy editing skills like jump cuts, rhythmic portrayal of action and unusual camera perspectives. This is a film that carries not only the signature of King Hu, but also his belief that the righteous fighters will leave their marks in history.
This screening is showing a brand new copy that just went through wet-gate printing this year. Special thanks to Mr Raymond Chow who has sponsored the printing process of this film.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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