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King Hu's A Touch of Zen$
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Stephen Teo

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098152

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098152.001.0001

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The Battle of the Haunted Mansion

The Battle of the Haunted Mansion

(p.76) (p.77) 5 The Battle of the Haunted Mansion
King Hu's A Touch of Zen

Stephen Teo

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter describes a key battle scene during which the heroes employ stratagems, bluff and dummies: a theme that reinforces the male hero's attachment to illusionary endeavors and the female hero's quest for karmic destiny. “The Battle of the Haunted Mansion” is one of Hu's longest battle sequences and its length is shaped by the labyrinthine quality of the action involving both live actors and a mechanized component. The sequence contains examples of the hesitation effect in which the protagonists are invariably caught between the reality and the illusion of the enemy. Yang Huizhen had fulfilled her central mission as the xia nü, by taking revenge on the man who had killed her father.

Keywords:   karmic destiny, battle scene, illusion, haunted mansion, hesitation effect, Yang Huizhen, xia nü

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