The Sword Reviews

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August 2, 2009
The first feature by Patrick Tam, well known as one of the Hong Kong New Wave directors and as the director whom Kar-Wai Wong respects the most, is this wuxia film. It is interesting to see how much Kar-Wai Wong is actually influenced by the films by Tam, especially this one. The way to use slo-mo and how to film characters with a lot of close-ups, which today are thought as something original to Wong are actually seen a lot in this film by Tam. It's very interesting to see the complicated relationships of characters gradually connect one by one. All the main six characters, especially the three beautiful female characters are well-characterized, and how they are treated in the development of the story is again so similar to Kar-Wai Wong's film, although the genre is very different. Probably Patrick Tam can be seen as someone who is between King Hu and Wong Kar-Wai - Tam succeeds and deepens the original and new aesthetic of wuxia drama which King Hu started, and then Wong extracts the essence and philosophy of it and changes into a completely different form. Action scenes, which are choreographed by Siu-Tung Ching, are really great and somehow fresh technically. It's one of the most important films in studying modern Hong Kong films after 1980.
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