A Touch of Zen is one of the essential films of the Chinese-language cinema. It achieved a “double first”: it was the first Chinese-language film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1975, and the first wuxia (martial chivalry) film to do so at an international film festival. In this detailed and concentrated study, this book shows why it considers A Touch of Zento be an essential film, and why it is Hu's masterpiece and how it is quite unlike other wuxia films that came before or after. It is also historically important in the modern development of the Hong Kong cinema as well as the Taiwan cinema. The book argues that its key significance is its subversive portrait of the female hero, and a concomitant sexual ambiguity infecting both the male and female protagonists.
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