Saturday, June 25, 2016

Come Drink With Me

1966, Hong Kong, directed by King Hu

The first of King Hu's wuxia films, in which he developed the template on which he'd expand (in every sense: Come Drink With Me is a good deal shorter than Hu's subsequent career highlights, especially the epic A Touch of Zen). Given that Hu had little enough experience behind the camera, never mind in this specific genre, it's a strikingly confident film, making exceptional use of both exterior and, especially, interior spaces: one sequence set in an inn is a masterpiece of staging, the frame alive with action at various depths (it's also an especially satisfying sequence as Golden Swallow, memorably played by Cheng Pei-pei, showcases her abilities).

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States