The New One-Armed Swordsman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The New One-Armed Swordsman 

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This month the Gene Siskel Film Center presents a retrospective tribute to Shaw Brothers Ltd., the studio that defined Hong Kong action cinema, and this gory 1971 epic, showing in a handsome new print, is one of the benchmarks. The studio had enjoyed great success in the 60s with wuxia--martial arts adventures based on ancient folktales--especially King Hu's brilliant Come Drink With Me. Following Hu's departure from the studio, Zhang Che became one of its star directors, and his masterful The New One-Armed Swordsman helped pioneer a new genre--kung fu--by combining a traditional revenge tale with unbelievable athleticism, kinetic bloodletting, and intense, homoerotic bonding. The charismatic David Chiang and Ti Lung star. In Mandarin with subtitles. 94 min. Sat 2/11, 8 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.

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