King Hu

A Touch of Zen

A Touch of Zen

“Visionary” barely begins to describe this masterpiece of Chinese cinema and martial arts moviemaking. A Touch of Zen (Xia nu) by King Hu depicts the journey of Yang, a fugitive noblewoman in disguise who seeks refuge in a remote, and allegedly haunted, village. The sanctuary she and her three companions find with a shy scholar is shattered when a nefarious swordsman uncovers her identity, pitting the five against legions of blade-wielding opponents. At once a wuxia film, the tale of a spiritual quest, and a study in human nature, A Touch of Zen is an unparalleled work in Hu’s formidable career and an epic of the highest order, characterized by breathtaking action choreography, stunning widescreen landscapes, and innovative editing.

Film Info

  • King Hu
  • Taiwan
  • 1971
  • 180 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.35:1
  • Mandarin
  • Spine #825

Special Features

  • 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Documentary from 2012 about director King Hu
  • New interviews with actors Hsu Feng and Shih Chun
  • New interview with filmmaker Ang Lee
  • New interview with film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar David Bordwell and notes by Hu from a 1975 Cannes Film Festival press kit
    New cover by Greg Ruth

Purchase Options

On backorder, available Nov 9, 2018

Special Features

  • 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Documentary from 2012 about director King Hu
  • New interviews with actors Hsu Feng and Shih Chun
  • New interview with filmmaker Ang Lee
  • New interview with film scholar Tony Rayns
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar David Bordwell and notes by Hu from a 1975 Cannes Film Festival press kit
    New cover by Greg Ruth
A Touch of Zen
Cast
Hsu Feng
Yang Hui-zhen
Shih Chun
Gu Sheng-zhai
Bai Ying
General Shi Wen-qiao
Xue Han
General Lu Ding-an
Zhang Bing-yu
Gu’s mother
Cao Jian
Xu Zheng-qing
Jia Lu-shi
Yang Lian
Wan Zhong-shan
Lu Qiang
Tien Peng
Ouyang Nian
Wang Rui
Men Da
Han Ying-jie
Xu Xian-chun
Miao Tian
Nie Qiu
Roy Chiao
Abbot Hui-yuan
Credits
Director
King Hu
Written by
King Hu
Based on a story from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio by
Pu Song-ling
Presented by
Sha Yung-fong
Cinematography by
Hua Hui-ying
Additional cinematography by
Zhou Ye-xing
Editor
King Hu
Set design by
Zou Zhi-liang
Set design by
King Hu
Art director
Chen Shang-lin
Music by
Wu Da-jiang
Action choreography by
Han Ying-jie
Action choreography by
Pan Yao-kun
Assistant director
Miao Tian

From The Current

The Legacy of a Martial Arts Film Master
The Legacy of a Martial Arts Film Master

A cornerstone of the martial arts film genre, King Hu’s magisterial A Touch of Zen was the first Chinese movie to receive a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Thanks to a pristine new restoration, this sprawling portrait of Ming Dynasty intrigue ca…

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A Touch of Zen: Prowling, Scheming, Flying
A Touch of Zen: Prowling, Scheming, Flying

In his staggeringly ambitious masterwork A Touch of Zen, Chinese filmmaker King Hu imbues dynamic scenes of combat with balletic grace and audacious stylistic experimentation.

By David Bordwell

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Notes on A Touch of Zen
Notes on A Touch of Zen

Two pieces, written by director King Hu, that were originally published as part of a 1975 press kit for the Cannes Film Festival.

By King Hu

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