Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) A film retrospective featuring “Wuxia” films by award-winning directors Ang Lee (李安) and Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) opened at a public film institute on Friday, giving an exhibition to much older films films from this unique subcategory of martial arts films.
As part of the ‘Wuxia Genre in Taiwan’ retrospective, the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI) will screen ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ a sword-fighting film by Lee that won the Oscar for Best Picture abroad in 2001.
“The Assassin (聶隱娘),” a visual splendor that won Hou the Best Director award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, will also be screened.
The selection of films to be shown aims to show how Wuxia films, which first became popular in Taiwan after the release of “Dragon Inn” in 1967, have evolved over time.
In addition to “Dragon Inn,” four other films directed by King Hu (胡金銓), a late Chinese director and actor who was based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, will also be screened during the retrospective which runs until April 24. including “Raining in the Mountain” and “The Valiant Ones” digitally restored.
Hu was born in Beijing in 1932 and died in Taipei in 1997 at the age of 64. He is best known for the martial arts films he made in the 1960s and 1970s, which incorporated traditional Peking opera, creating his own unique style.
Hu’s works have also taken the film industries of Hong Kong and Taiwan to new technical and aesthetic heights, and have long had an impact on the works of contemporary martial arts filmmakers such as Ang Lee.
According to TFAI, Wuxia films are unique in Chinese-language cinema, and Wuxia stories in Taiwan often incorporate Chinese history and Taiwanese folklore.
Most of the 29 films selected for the retrospective were shot in Taiwan or with a Taiwanese crew, and all but two will screen at TFAI in New Taipei’s Xinzhuang district with English subtitles.
In addition to the retrospective, an exhibition will be held to explore how Wuxia films became so popular that they led to the rise of Wuxia TV dramas and radio dramas in Taiwan over the next two decades, according to TFAI. .
The exhibition will include the display of footage and objects using technology to provide visitors with an interactive experience in hopes of attracting younger generations to Wuxia films, according to the institute, which opened its new base. early January.
Wuxia’s film stories are often combined with reality and fantasy, drawing audiences into the world of imagination, said TFAI director Wang Chun-chi (王君琦), who is also co-curator of the film. event, during a press conference on Friday. .
“Through the retrospective and the exhibition, we want to discuss with the public the spirit and values of Wuxia films in different periods in Taiwan,” Wang said.
As highly successful commercial productions, Wuxia films also allow audiences to get a glimpse of the development of Taiwan’s film and television industries, Wang added.