Wuxia Cinema:
The Magic of Martial Arts

Rice Cinema is pleased to host a series of screenings spotlighting Wuxia Cinema: The Magic of Martial Arts, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Asia Society Texas Center.  View the full schedule from October 14-23 below along with additional information on respective venues to attend one or all of the screenings!  

Generous support provided by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan); Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston. 

Taiwan Film & Audiovisual Institute website: TFI.org



Rice Cinema Schedule:

The Assassin (NIE YINNIANG)
(Taiwan, 2015, 115 min., Mandarin with English subtitles)
Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien 
Friday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m.
With introduction by Dr. Karen Fang, professor, University of Houston
Film trailer LINK

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s contribution to the Wuxia genre of swordplay films is both true to the genre but also clearly a film by Taiwan’s master filmmaker (City of Sadness). Shu Qi plays the title character, a stone killer forced by her mistress into a plan to kill and person from her past.  Winner of Best Director at Cannes, and Film of the Year from Sight & Sound. “A mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie that boldly merges stasis and kinesis, turns momentum into abstraction, and achieves breathtaking new heights of compositional elegance: shot for shot, it’s perhaps the most ravishingly beautiful film Ho has ever made, and certainly one of his most deeply transporting” – Justin Chang, Variety.

Prof. Karen Fang, Professor of English at the University of Houston and Chair of the UH Class Initiative in Media and the Moving Image, will introduce the film.

Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters
(Taiwan, 1968, 88 min., Taiwanese with English subtitles),
Directed by Hung-Min Chen
Saturday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Film trailer LINK
With introduction by Dr. Charles Dove, cinema director and professor, Rice University

Rice Cinema begins its double feature of Wu Xia films with this piece about a trio of sisters, orphaned and separated at an early age who grow up to be skilled fighters and to avenge the murder of their parents by bandits.  Directed by the editor of King Hu’s Dragon Inn, it provides an excellent example of the genre during its heyday: violence, balletic, and filled with enthusiasm for revenge.

A City Called Dragon
(Taiwan, 1970, 97 min., Mandarin with English subtitles)
Directed by Chung Hsun Tu
Saturday, October 15 at 9:00 p.m.
With introduction by Dr. Charles Dove, cinema director and professor, Rice University
Film trailer LINK

The second film in our double feature is a film made by Chung Hsun Tu during a break in the production of King Hu’s massive production A Touch of Zen.  Feng Hsu, who had starred in Dragon Inn and who would give a breakout performance in A Touch of Zen, here is involved in espionage and violence in the title city, a dangerous place to spend time.  Photographed by Hu’s cinematographer Ye-Shing Chou and scored by his composer Ta Chiang Wu. 

Ticket info: Free and open to the public.  
Discounted parking available at Founder's Court, $5 flat rate, credit card required.

Website: cinema.rice.edu

Additional Venues & Schedules: 

Asia Society Texas Center 
1370 Southmore Boulevard, Houston, TX 77004

Film or general website: asiasociety.org/texas
Tickets - free, must register

Centerpiece Reception with Screening of Dragon Inn  
Tuesday, October, 18, 2022 
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – reception
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – film screening, Dragon Inn (111 minutes) 

Dragon Inn (龍門客棧)
Directed by King Hu
(Taiwan, 1971, 111 min., in Mandarin with English subtitles)
Film trailer LINK

Wuxia movies were never the same after King Hu’s legendary Dragon Inn. During the Ming dynasty, the emperor’s minister of defense is framed by a powerful court eunuch and executed, and his family is pursued by secret police. In the ensuing chase, a mysterious band of strangers begins to gather at the remote Dragon Gate Inn, where paths (and swords) will cross. This thrilling landmark of film history returns to the screen in a new, beautifully restored 4K digital transfer, created from the original negative.


MFAH Films
Main address: 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77005
Film website: mfah.org/films
Tickets - free, must register

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo Hu Cang Long)
Directed by Ang Lee
(Taiwan/Hong Kong/USA/China, 2000, 120 min., in Chinese and Mandarin with English subtitles)
Friday, October 21, 7:00 p.m. (Brown)
Introduced by Dr. Karen Fang, professor, University of Houston
Film trailer LINK

 In 19th century Qing Dynasty China, a warrior (Chow Yun-Fat) gives his sword to his lover (Michelle Yeoh) to deliver to safe keeping, but it is stolen, and the chase is on to find it. The search leads to intrigue and romance with a mystery man in the frontier of the nation. Acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee drew inspiration from classic Taiwanese wuxia movies for this high-flying adventure.

A Touch of Zen (Xia nü)
Directed by King Hu
(Taiwan/Hong Kong, 1971, 180 min., in Mandarin with English subtitles, digital)
Sunday, October 23, 2:00 PM (Brown)
Film trailer LINK

In the legendary King Hu’s grandest work, Yang (Hsu Feng), a fugitive noblewoman at risk of being captured and executed, hides in a small village and then must escape into the wilderness with a shy scholar and two aides. There, the quartet face a massive group of fighters and are joined by a band of Buddhist monks surprisingly skilled in the art of battle.

Films are screened in Brown Auditorium Theater in the Caroline Wiess Law Building (5618 Main Street) or the Lynn Wyatt Theater in the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building (5500 Main Street). General admission is $9. Museum members, students with ID, and seniors (65+) receive a $2 discount. No other discounts apply. Children 5 and under are admitted free—please check suitability of films for younger viewers.Purchase tickets in advance at mfah.org/film, at membership desks in the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building or Audrey Jones Beck Building during Museum hours, or at the theater box office prior to show time. Credit cards and cash are accepted in person. 

Generous support provided by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China(Taiwan); Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston.

Taiwan Academy logo Rice cinema logo


MFAH Films logo  TFAI Logo ColorAsia Society Center Texas logo


   Ministry of Culture logo