best wuxia movies

It’s as close as wuxia has yet come to a Sam Peckinpah film. Comedian Stephen Chow stars, and it’s the best of a series of action comedies he made throughout the first half of the 1990s. The finale erupts in a magical spectacle, equal parts The Wizard of Oz and Kurosawa’s Sanjuro. But by the decade’s midpoint, wuxia was making a comeback, led by a series of films directed by Chor Yuen and adapted by screenwriter Ni Kuang from stories by Taiwanese novelist Gu Long. Killer Clans is a typically complex tale of intrigue and in-fighting among sword-wielding gangsters, an almost-noir mystery plastered over a meditation on loyalty and sacrifice. 17. Sanitised codswallop. Wuxia novels these days have been really popular, especially thanks to the translators who have made it easier to get access to these novels. Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (Tsui Hark, 1983). The sequel is not as successful, and Chor’s later films would become increasingly imprisoned in their own ostentatious ornateness, with movies like the two-part Alexander Fu Sheng-starring Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre seeming to take place in a world entirely of their own, existing only in the minds of fantasy novelists, places only realizable on studio sound stages. Featuring some of Yuen Woo-Ping’s most sublime martial arts choreography, it went on to win four of its ten Academy Award nominations and remains the “Titanic” of wuxia movies! With Zhang’s Curse of the Golden Flower and Feng Xiaogang’s The Banquet, the art house wuxia becomes increasingly baroque and soulless. Other than those, I will include and put Legend of Condor Heroes 1982 on top of the list of wuxia dramas. A dazzlingly impressionistic ode to wuxia, it’s the most elliptical and narratively challenging of Wong’s films. Then hold tight, readers – here (in descending order and with trailers where available) are KFK’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Martial Arts Movies for 2019! Ching’s rapid montages will by the end of the 80s dominate the wuxia form, leading to dizzying phantasmagoric works and exerting a pernicious influence on the Hollywood action film. ( Log Out /  This wuxia movie list can be sorted by cast, year, director, and more. They follow the eponymous detective as he investigates seemingly supernatural mysteries during the Tang Dynasty rule of Empress Wu (Carina Lau). 16. The Miracle Fighters (Yuen Woo-ping, 1982). 29. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok, 2013). Following the phenomenal success of first Jimmy Wang Yu’s 1970 film The Chinese Boxer and then the quartet of Bruce Lee smash hits, the wuxia genre was displaced by the kung fu film for the first half of the 1970s. Tsui imported Hollywood technicians to develop the effects for the film, and it set a new standard for Chinese cinema. Before he became the dove-bothering godfather of the new wave of Hong Kong action cinema in the 80s and 90s with the likes of A Better Tomorrow (1986) and The Killer (1989), Woo earned his stripes on the roster of Golden Harvest as one of the studio’s go-to guys, directing over a dozen features for the studio in its heyday. The first half plays out in what would become one of the genre’s most iconic locations (an inn), as she meets an array of increasingly powerful villains. Watch the series that are available, including Legend of the Condor Heroes (2017) a great adaptation of the 1958 novel written by Jin Yong. #myfavoritenovel. Cheng Pei-pei plays a highly-skilled warrior investigating the capture of her brother. The choreography is as beautifully synchronized as it is grueling to witness. Director King Hu. In what remains to this day the highest-grossing foreign language film in US box office history, Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee fashioned a conscious homage to the films of King Hu with a first-rate cast (Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen and Come Drink with Me‘s Cheng Pei-Pei), career-best choreography from Yuen Woo-ping (who had the year before become internationally-famous for his work on The Matrix), and all the lush locations and state-of-the-art effects possible in a Hollywood-China co-production. contemporary events. Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-leung collaborated on a cycle of Shaolin films, with Lau eventually becoming a director in his own right. The stunt crew is a who’s who of future directors and stars: Lau Kar-leung, Lau Kar-wing, Yuen Woo-ping, David Chiang, Hsu Hsia, Wu Ma, Mars and Lo Wei. ©2020 British Film Institute. Top Actors Add New Person. After a string of darkly subversive films which generated more controversy than box office, Tsui Hark went mainstream, first with a gangster spoof for the Cinema City studio, then with this special effects extravaganza. Sammo Hung primarily worked in the kung fu genre, showing off his surprising athleticism and that of his co-stars, most famously Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao. 10. Crippled Avengers (Chang Cheh, 1978). While he was as it long before the American upstart came on the scene, Tsui Hark definitely shares something with Tarantino in his contemporary retooling of genre cinema to his own singular specifications. Factions gather and are eventually unmasked, though the ultimate outcome of the story is left unresolved: the mystery of the butterflies solved, our narrator simply wanders away before the final battle finishes, leaving the martial-magical world to implode under its own contradictions. Set in 1917, Takeshi Kaneshiro plays an ultra-rationalist detective who suspects that a local papermaker (Donnie Yen) who defeated a gang of thugs in self-defense may have unsuspected martial arts skills. The kung fu film is newer and focuses primarily on hand-to-hand combat, it’s steeped in traditional fighting forms and there’s a general emphasis on the physical skill of the performer: special effects are generally disdained. Red Cliff is actually mocked in China. Lau’s best work is probably the unrelated A Chinese Odyssey 2002, where, freed from Chow, he gives Tony Leung and Faye Wong one of the decade’s best romances. Strictly speaking, wuxia should probably be confined to stories of code-following traveling knights-errant, but genres are a fluid and conventional thing, especially in Hong Kong, where films regularly mash together comedy, action, romance, melodrama and horror elements into a single impure whole, and as such, stark lines are difficult to draw. What Are Wuxia and Xianxia? Jet Li’s happy-go-lucky heroes are nowhere to be found in this mad world. The two Detective Dee movies (the other is Young Detective Dee and the Rise of the Sea Dragon) have a better reputation than Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (Tsui’s second stab at remaking Hu’s Dragon Gate Inn), though I like that one more than most critics. Jimmy Wang Yu plays the eponymous swordsman, a terrific fighter who suffers his grievous injury at the petulant hands of his master’s daughter. The 10 Most Surprisingly Good Movies of 2017. Calendar; Best Wuxia or Xianxia drama. Best examples would be Ashes of Time by Wong Kar Wai and Hero by Zhang Yimou, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee.. Then in next tier we get the big sprawling epic like Red Cliff by John Woo or popcorn ones like Iron Monkey by Yuen Woo Ping. Gangsters, superheroes, schoolkids, lovers, slaves, peasants, techies, Tenenbaums and freefalling astronauts – they’re all here in our countdown of cinema’s best movies since 2000 Hand-picked. Here are 10 of its jaw-dropping milestones. Top Movies Most Popular Movies Newest Upcoming Reviews Recommendations. His violent period piece Last Hurrah for Chivalry represents one of his better earlier efforts, offering more in its rehearsals for the thematic and aesthetic tics that would come to define his mature style than it does in its by-numbers narrative. The action was choreographed by Sammo Hung, but Wong and his cinematographer Christopher Doyle filter and smear it, slowing it down to flashes of color and light, movement for its own sake. For Hong Kong gangster movies, please check out my other list, The Best HK Gangster Movies.For other Chinese-language movie genres, please throw an eye here, The Best Chinese-Language Movies. Wuxia is a chinese genre of literature concerning fantasy swordplay, chivalry, and romance popularized by authors such as Jin Yong and Gu Long. Like the Tai Chi Zero films and Monster Hunt, it presents a new kind of masculine hero, generally incompetent without the help of a strong female companion (played in this case by Shu Qi). Chang brings a morbid psychology to the genre, obsessed with death and honor, his films are bloody and operatic. Earning him his 2nd Oscar, back to back. Making deft use of computer effects (the replay of the opening fight sequence is particularly spectacular, as Kaneshiro sees it vastly differently than we did), the action is very well done, but the character-based exploration of the irreconcilability between the moral codes of the jianghu and the modernizing world make Chan’s film truly special. 1995- Toy Story- Arguably the best animated movie of all-time. Not a martial arts film, the homage to King Hu in the title is nonetheless deliberate: using the tradition and codes of wuxia as a commentary on the dishonor of our present time, Jia shows men and women turning to violence as the only option in the face of government and corporate corruption. More famous as an early version of his late-80s cop movies, Woo’s Last Hurrah is a conscious homage to Chang Cheh’s early 70s swordplay films, with a pair of killers for hire finding solidarity and friendship in arms as they struggle against a villainous gang leader. The missing link between wuxia and the “heroic bloodshed” cycle of the 80s and 90s cop/gangster films, Woo transmutes the nihilism of Chang’s bloody self-sacrifices into swooningly romantic redemption stories, the difference between attachment and ambition as the cause of suffering and brotherly love as the solution to suffering. There are tons of Wuxia TV series during the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. Then there is Three Gallants and Five Horsemen, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, and so many more. Offering a directing gig to King Hu, whose career had since fallen into the doldrums, Swordsman (1990) was Tsui Hark’s opportunity to both work with and pay homage to his hero. Why is this? House of Flying Daggers is a pure romantic melodrama, largely nonsensical in plot, the sins of which are forgiven for the sake of the sheer gorgeousness of Zhang’s images, and that of his cast (Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau). With the first Swordsman film, Tsui Hark attempted to bring King Hu back into the Hong Kong mainstream. Like The Eagle Shooting Heroes, it’s a parody of a traditional story, in this case it tells a version  of the Monkey King legend from Journey to the West. Packed past the point of coherence with motifs from Chinese mythology, a rapid-fire narrative follows Yuen Biao as a human soldier caught up in a battle among the gods. It’s a riotously camp extravaganza like little else, and if you make it as far as the scene in the cave with the gorilla, the dinosaur and the parrot, you’ll know that resistance is ultimately futile. Before cinema, there was wuxia. Like his other films, a dense mise-en-scène envelops his hero (this one marked especially by tangles of spiderwebs); no one at Shaw Brothers made films as ravishingly gorgeous as Chor Yuen. Zhang Yimou’s melancholic paen to wuxia and fabric conditioner is nothing if not immaculately crafted. A kind of a prequel to Journey to the West, it chronicles the early stages in the career of the man who would become the monk Tripitaka, and how he gathered his demon/disciples before embarking on their quest to India in search of Buddhist scriptures. A historical epic set in the late Tang Dynasty, the Emperor invites a Northern barbarian chief to help put down a domestic insurrection. The tension is better explored in his kung fu films (Pedicab Driver and Eastern Condors, for example), but this one’s final image is one of Hung’s most strikingly brutal. Stephen Chow had crossover hits in the US in the early 2000s with Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, the former badly mangled (as usual) by Miramax, but those films are cartoonish farces, utilizing digital effects to warp the already plastic universes in which Chow performs. Hu’s reconceptualisation of martial arts cinema challenges and subverts convention, as much through his orchestration of movement and mise-en-scène as through his aesthetic and philosophical enquiries. A quartet of loosely connected stories set in the late Tang Dynasty, the inspired... 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