A Touch of Zen

Director: King Hu
Year Released: 1971
Rating: 3.5

"Lonely nut" and all-around Momma's Boy Ku gets curious and wanders around an abandoned fort where he meets its mysterious female inhabitant who is being hunted down by a corrupt government official and a horde of swordsmen. Leisurely paced but never dull (and, once it gets rolling, actually quite exciting), this detailed wuxia film is generally regarded as one of the best in the genre, incorporating drama and action with a spiritual matters - the Monks that figure prominently in the plot seem to have the power of the Divine on their side. The storytelling is a bit choppy, but the ideas are simple enough for most people to figure out (Chinese women can leap and fly, losing your virginity can make you a military genius, once you become Enlightened you bleed gold). [DVD Note: The Tai Seng version of this looks sub-par and the night scenes - there are several - are tough to make out, though based some amount of research a lot of people who know about these visual things feel the Tai Seng version is the best one on the market.]