On this common function sequence on one of the best of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, we study the legacy of basic movies, re-evaluate the profession of its biggest stars, and revisit a number of the lesser-known facets of the beloved style.
This week Roger Garcia, a former director of the Hong Kong Worldwide Movie Competition, Hollywood producer, and advisor, adviser and jury member of varied worldwide movie festivals for a number of a long time, picks his 5 favorite martial arts films.
THE DEAF MUTE HEROINE (DIR. WU MA, 1971)
“The interval piece The Deaf Mute Heroine, directed by the good Hong Kong filmmaker Wu Ma, options Helen Ma within the title function as a retired bounty hunter. When her husband is killed by a previous nemesis in a revenge assault, she units out to avenge his loss of life.
An intriguing mixture of [French filmmaker Francois] Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black and the [Japanese] Zatoichi blind swordsman sequence, the movie contains a feminine protagonist who’s as robust and sensible as any male. Unable to listen to, she makes use of silver wrist bands as rear-view mirrors in fight to dispatch her attackers with skilful effectivity.
Helen Ma later appeared in King Hu’s The Destiny of Lee Khan (1973).”
EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN (DIR. LAU KAR-LEUNG, 1977)
“Lau Kar-leung is the best of the martial arts movie administrators. Steeped within the preventing traditions of southern China, he started his profession along with his father within the basic Wong Fei-hung sequence of the 1940s and 1950s.
Executioners from Shaolin options the 2 key themes of his oeuvre – the transmission and transformation of abilities from grasp to disciple, and the struggles which happen between the exponents of various martial arts types.
Hung, an professional in Tiger kung fu, marries Ying Chun, who’s expert within the Crane type. He tries to defeat the Manchurian-backed Pai Mei, however is defeated by his opponent’s superior fight abilities.
It’s left to Hung’s son Wen-Ding to mix the types of his mother and father to defeat Pai Mei in one of many style’s most climactic combat scenes.”
SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW (DIR. YUEN WOO-PING, 1977)
“This early Jackie Chan film reveals how his refreshing and real preventing and comedy abilities revived the style after the trough of movies that includes Bruce Lee lookalikes which adopted the grasp’s loss of life.
In Yuen Woo-ping’s directorial debut, Chan groups up with an previous Snake grasp (performed by Yuen Woo-ping’s father, one other alumnus of the Wong Fei-hung sequence) who’s being hunted by an Eagle Claw professional.
A memorable cameo options Roy Horan as a gweilo murderer disguised as a priest (his real-life daughter Celina Jade would later discover stardom in Chinese language motion movies).”
PEDICAB DRIVER (DIR. SAMMO HUNG, 1989)
“No record will be full with out no less than one Sammo Hung movie. Right here, Hung and his pal Max Mok play pedicab drivers in 1930s Macau who free the ladies they love from the management of evil bosses.
A excessive level is Hung preventing off a horde of goons in a Chinese language restaurant filled with tables – Hung, regardless of his measurement, smashes down gangsters as he pirouettes and weaves his method throughout the tabletops.
A full 20 years later, Hung returned to table-top kung fu in Ip Man 2 (2010), updating the scene and even bettering it.”
THE GRANDMASTER (DIR. WONG KAR-WAI, 2013)
“Hong Kong’s best-known auteur takes on the Ip Man story on this story of the wing chun grasp’s rise to prominence and his transfer to Hong Kong. A combat between Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Zhang Ziyi in a tightly confined area is one in every of Yuen Woo-ping’s finest items of combat choreography.
The movie took years to make, partly as a result of Wong wished Leung to study martial arts. It pays off, as a result of Wong realised that martial arts is a language and you must obtain fluency to be genuine. Leung handed the language check.”
This text was first printed in South China Morning Post.