These gorgeous posters—a Movie Poster of the Week exclusive premiere—for King Hu’s A Touch of Zen (1971) and Dragon Inn (1967) were drawn by comic book artist Greg Ruth. Hu’s wuxia masterpieces have been digitally restored and will soon be re-released by Janus Films, with A Touch of Zen opening at Film Forum next Friday and Dragon Inn opening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on May 6.
Ruth is a prolific and talented graphic artist, best known for his books Freaks of the Heartland and The Lost Boy, who has most recently collaborated with Ethan Hawke on Indeh, a graphic novel about the Apache wars. He has made a few movie poster screen prints in the past—for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Godfather II and is in the middle of Visible/Invisible, a series of limited-edition, large format silkscreen posters for some of Hitchcock‘s best known films.
His posters for Hu’s films, drawn in pencil, and both centered on Hu muse Hsu Feng, have an exquisite balance of light and shade and a thrilling sense of action. I also love the lettering which has a hint of Pablo Ferro’s stacked Dr. Strangelove titles.
A work in progress sketch posted on Ruth’s Facebook:
You can see more of Greg Ruth’s work here.
Many thanks to Ben Crossley-Marra of Janus Films.