A Touch of Zen (King Hu) ***1/2 - When a high ranking public official was tortured to death unjustly for a crime he didn't commit, an evil eunuch puts out a death warrant on the rest of his family and they go on the run. This is a pretty good older entry in the wuxia genre of martial arts films. It's over three hours long and the action and plot takes a long while to unfold but when it does, it both figuratively and literally kicks ass. It may not be as slick as today's wuxia films but it still manages to wow.
Mysteries of Lisbon (Raoul Ruiz) ***1/2
- This is my first Raoul Ruiz film and I believe this is one of, if not THE last
film of his and I have to say it is perfectly crafted swan song. After a boy is
conked on the head, his mother, a countess visits him and soon a tale unfolds
with all sorts of different characters and storylines going off on various
directions. This film reminds me a bit of The
Saragossa Manuscript in its numerous flashbacks and tangential plot
lines. Its 4.5 hour running time and the various directions make this film a
little tough to sit through occasionally but it's such an impeccably crafted,
beautiful film that it's definitely well worth it. The twist/ambiguous ending
may piss a few people off.
P.S. I got 18 out of 24 correct.