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King Hu

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Chinese name  胡金銓 (traditional)
Name  King Hu
Chinese name  胡金铨 (simplified)
Role  Film director

Pinyin  Hu Jinquan (Mandarin)
Ancestry  Handan
Years active  1956–1993
Ex-spouse  Chung Ling
King Hu King Hu Director Films as Director Other Films

Jyutping  Wu4 Gam1-cyun4 (Cantonese)
Born  29 April 1932Beijing, China (1932-04-29)
Occupation  Film director, screenwriter, set designer
Died  January 14, 1997, Taipei, Taiwan
Movies  A Touch of Zen, Dragon Inn, Come Drink with Me, Raining in the Mountain, The Swordsman
Similar People  Feng Hsu, Chun Shih, Li Han‑hsiang, Cheng Pei‑pei, Ching Siu‑tung

Dragon inn de king hu bande annonce

Hu Jinquan (29 April 1932 – 14 January 1997), better known as King Hu, was a Chinese film director based in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He is best known for directing various wuxia films in the 1960s and 1970s, which brought Chinese cinema (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) to new technical and artistic heights. His films Come Drink with Me (1966), Dragon Gate Inn (1967), and A Touch of Zen (1969–1971) inaugurated a new generation of wuxia films in the late 1960s. Apart from being a film director, Hu was also a screenwriter and set designer.


King Hu wwwhkfilmdirectorscomfilesphoto1414386183173jpg

A tribute to king hu

Early life

Hu was born in Beijing to a well-established family originating from Handan, Hebei. His grandfather was the governor of Henan in the late Qing Dynasty. He emigrated to Hong Kong in 1949.


After moving to Hong Kong, Hu worked in a variety of occupations, such as advertising consultant, artistic designer and producer for a number of media companies, as well as a part-time English tutor. In 1958, he joined the Shaw Brothers Studio as a set decorator, actor, scriptwriter and assistant director. Under the influence of Taiwanese director Li Han-Hsiang, Hu embarked on a directorial career, helping him on the phenomenally successful The Love Eterne (1963). Hu's first film as a full-fledged director was Sons of the Good Earth (1965), a film set in the Second Sino-Japanese War, but he is better remembered for his next film, Come Drink with Me (1966). Come Drink with Me was his first success and remains a classic of the wuxia genre, catapulting the then 20-year-old starlet Cheng Pei-pei to fame. Blending Japanese samurai film traditions with Western editing techniques and Chinese aesthetic philosophy borrowed from Chinese music and operatics, Hu began the trend of a new school of wuxia films and his perpetual use of a heroine as the central protagonist.

Leaving the Shaw Brothers Studio in 1966, Hu travelled to Taiwan, where he made another wuxia movie, Dragon Gate Inn. Dragon Gate Inn broke box office records and became a phenomenal hit and cult classic, especially in Southeast Asia. This tense tale of highly skilled martial artists hidden in an inn was said to be the inspiration for Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers (2004). In 2003, the award-winning Malaysian-born Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang made Goodbye, Dragon Inn, a tribute to Hu, in which all the action takes place during a closing cinema's last show of Dragon Gate Inn.

Chief among the films which exemplify Hu's blend of Chan (Zen) Buddhism and unique Chinese aesthetics is A Touch of Zen, which won the Grand Prix de la Commission Superieur Technique in 1975 Cannes Film Festival, and which many regard as his masterpiece. Other films include Raining in the Mountain and Legend of the Mountain (both dating from 1979, and shot in Korea), which were loosely based on stories from Pu Songling's Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. After releasing A Touch of Zen, Hu started his own production company and shot The Fate of Lee Khan (1973) and The Valiant Ones (1975) back to back on tight finances. The action choreography in both these films was the work of Sammo Hung.

Though critically hailed, Hu's later films were less commercially successful than his first two films. Late in his life, he made a brief return from semi-retirement in The Swordsman (1990) and Painted Skin (1993), but neither achieved the renown of those two, financially successful wuxia films. Hu spent the last decade of his life in Los Angeles. He died in Taipei of complications from angioplasty.

Selected filmography

  • Come Drink with Me (大醉俠, 1966)
  • Dragon Gate Inn (龍門客棧, 1967)
  • A Touch of Zen (俠女, 1971)
  • The Fate of Lee Khan (迎春閣之風波, 1973)
  • The Valiant Ones (忠烈圖, 1975)
  • Raining in the Mountain (空山靈雨, 1979)
  • Legend of the Mountain (山中傳奇, 1979)
  • The Swordsman (笑傲江湖 in part, 1990)
  • Painted Skin (畫皮之陰陽法王, 1993)
  • References

    King Hu Wikipedia