Kung-fu movies came to the West via the grunting charisma of Bruce Lee. But his were standard revenge thrillers, showcases for the acrobatics of machismo. For a marriage of martial and cinematic art, King Hu was the man. And A Touch of Zen, the first Chinese action movie to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, is his masterpiece. In this three-hr. epic, a modest scholar (Shih Jun) hooks up with a resolute girl (Hsu Feng) to challenge a vicious warlord. Influenced, like so many major Hong Kong action directors of the period, by the samurai epics of Akira Kurosawa and other Japanese directors, Hu brought a unique buoyancy to the action genre. His performers literally bounced (on unseen trampolines) through forests and over hills, and — because Hu’s camera has a muscular grace as well — the viewer soars with them. Leading the acrobatic procession is Hsu Feng. Just 18 when the film was made, she remains the screen’s gravest, most ravishing woman warrior.