Come Drink with Me (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Come Drink with Me 1966

Dai Zui Xia

Directed by King Hu

Hong Kong In Mandarin with English subtitles
91 minutes CinemaScope

Director

Screenplay

King Hu
,
Er Yang

Photography

He Lanshan

Editor

Jiang Xinglong

Music

Zhou Lanping

With

Zheng Peipei
,
Yue Hua
,
Chen Honglie
,
Li Yunzhong

Festivals

New York, Vancouver 2002; Rotterdam, Berlin 2003

Elsewhere

Come Drink With Me has a very special place in the history of the wuxia pian (the ‘martial chivalry’ genre). It’s credited with launching a ‘new wave’ in the genre, assimilating ideas from western thrillers and Japanese samurai movies while respecting Chinese traditions. Its flair and innovative style paved the way for everything from Bruce Lee’s kung fu to Tsui Hark’s digital action – which is why Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon pays homage to it, not least by casting Zheng Peipei. But it was also the great King Hu’s first film in the genre, and many of his specialties get a first airing here: the plot which suddenly expands to a larger frame of reference; the use of a traditional inn as an arena for personal clashes which flare into anti-gravity conflict; skillfully coded messages (here, in a song); and a heroine in male drag. Thirty-seven years on, it stands up very well as one of Hu’s most entertaining movies… Yue Hua plays the original drunken hero, and still very likely the best.” — Tony Rayns