The Zen Finale

Stephen Teo

in King Hu's A Touch of Zen

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9789622098152
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207110 | DOI:
The Zen Finale

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This chapter focuses on the final Zen climax and its psychic inferences. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Haunted Mansion, the film moves on to its fantastic-marvelous phase. The final section of the film goes on to show Yang Huizhen's fulfillment of her other mission — to continue the Gu family line by giving birth to Gu's baby before she can finally withdraw from the world to achieve transcendence. However, just before the film reaches its Zen finale, she is recalled into action in the final climactic battle scenes, suggesting that her xia nü role, pre-given her by the cosmic spider, is unfinished. The Zen subject is an artistic paradox that befits the Jungian idea of wholeness. The film is a carefully designed work of art. It is a sentient art object that comes from the singular mind of King Hu.

Keywords: Zen climax; psychic; transcendence; Yang Huizhen; fantastic-marvelous; wholeness; King Hu

Chapter.  4569 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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