Last week saw the release of Gimme the Loot, the SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner by Adam Leon, which sees two graffiti artists seek revenge after their replica of the…
Tai Chi 0 tells the story of Yang, a young man with special martial arts skills. Unfortunately, he was coerced into using those skills to fight a war at a young age. Now a young adult, his doctor tells him that continuing to use his special skills will kill him, unless he learns the ancient art of tai chi and learns to do “inner kung fu”. There’s just one problem: they only teach it in one place, the Chen Village, and they don’t teach it to outsiders. Undeterred, Yang travels to Chen Village in hopes of convincing them to train him. When the village is threatened by a huge steam-powered machine, Yang jumps in to assist in the fight, bringing his special skills with him.
Tai Chi 0 is a spectacular treat, mixing kung fu, steampunk, Japanese animation and video games, romance, betrayal and politics mixed with the telling of the history of tai chi. It should go without saying that the action sequences are spectacular, but digital animation used in the fight highlights movement and teaches you about the art form without you even knowing it.
Director Stephen Fung is extremely adept at mixing old and new. Every detail of the film has been evaluated for its purpose, from the cast (the lead is played by a gold medal winning martial artist, while the town elder is played by a legendary kung fu film star) to the production design (there is a large machine that looks suspiciously Miyazaki-like) to the music (lots of heavy metal, mixed with traditional music). In creating this film he wanted to jar his audience out of their expectations for the normal historical epic. In doing so he has created a world so immersive you’ll want to stay there forever.
Is Tai Chi 0 Essential TIFF Viewing?
For fans of the martial arts genre, you will be pleasantly surprised by Tai Chi 0. It’s a great film that is tons of fun to watch, and you just might learn something along the way. Definitely essential TIFF viewing.
Tai Chi 0 Screening Times
- Tuesday, September 11 at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 at 1:00 PM, and
- Saturday, September 15 at Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 3 at 6:30 PM
More About This Movie
Tai Chi 0 Trailer
Tai Chi 0 Production Gallery
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