South Korea / Hong Kong / China, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Regional Focus)
Director: Tsui Hark
Hong Kong's grand master of the martial arts film/definer of the wuxia genre, Tsui Hark, returns to prestige filmmaking with Seven Swords. Gritty and epic in every conceivable way, this film pays obvious nods to Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai with its group of 17th century swordslingers banding together to defend a village against a murderous posse of bandits. It is also based on the much-read novel, Seven Swordsmen from Mount Tian, by Liang Yu-sheng.
Hark departs from his signature style, replacing the supernatural ballet of battle with grunting realism. While very R-rated with its fair share of decapitations and other disfigurations, Seven Swords is more physical than violent - tactile, dirty and cold, where the mud and grime triumphs over fancy wirework. Fans will not be disappointed with Hark who continues to surprise with his clever genre bending.
Tsui Hark is a guest of the festival and will introduce the session on Monday 7 Augus, 9.05pm at Forum Theatre.
D/S/P Tsui Hark P Lee Joo-Ick, Nansun Shi, Ma Zhong-Jun S Chi-Sing Cheung, Tin Nam Chun, Yusheng Liang WS Roadshow Films L Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2005/153mins