The great thing about "A Touch of Zen" is just how different it feels from other King Hu films. It is always interesting to watch a filmmaker's movies in the order they made them. There is definitely a sense of progression in his movies as this is his most beautiful movie so far. The usual tropes are present, elegant fighting scenes coupled with Chinese history, but the star here is the visuals.
The most important part of a movie is its story but sometimes a look of a film can draw a viewer in and keep them interested. "The Revenant" starring Leonardo DiCaprio lends a lot of its credence to just how beautiful it looks. Emmanuel Lubezki, the movie's cinematographer has shot several beautiful movies such as "Children of Men," "Birdman," "Gravity," and "The Tree of Life." Some films known for their great stories plus having a great look.
It is also interesting to note that the cinematographer for "A Touch of Zen" also shot "Dragon Inn." Two very different looks but nonetheless an excellent job on both movies. I am excited to watch more King Hu movies and see his progression. This is a great lesson on how important the job of a cinematographer is.