Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio

On Diabolique: My three-part article, “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio,” examines A Chinese Ghost Story, one of the iconic films of the Hong Kong New Wave; including a look at the original story by Ming Dynasty-era writer Pu Songling and the Shaw Brothers’ Enchanting Shadow, an early adaptation of the same ghostly tale.

There is little in the short story “The Magic Sword,” part of the compiled writing of Chinese author Pu Songling known as Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (聊齋誌異), that sets it apart from any other story in the collection. From this rather humble story has grown practically an entire film genre, the leading light of which is Ching Siu-tung’s 1987 masterpiece of the Hong Kong New Wave, Chinese Ghost Story (倩女幽魂).