” ‘New Wave’ wirework shows us things we know to be untrue… But wires also feature in Jackie Chan’s more ‘realistic’ fights, enhancing moves which at least seem possible… One might argue that this is much more of a ‘Wicked Lie’ than Jet Li’s gravity-defying shadow kick, but, significantly, that is not an argument that is ever offered.” Leon Hunt, Kung Fu Cult Masters, p. 45
What did you do today? I spent the afternoon in the State Library of Victoria reading Hong Kong Cinema – The Extra Dimension by Stephen Teo and The Asian Influe...Read more
A common aesthetic device used in kung fu movies of the 70s and 80s was to show the opening credits of the film against footage of the main stars performing displays of martial arts in front of a plain (often boldly coloured) backdrop.* This was often used in films that had, as part of their narrative themes, an especial focus on the history, development or efficacy of a certain school or style of martial arts: it was a useful way of cluing the audience into the visual signature and movement dynamics of a particular st...Read more
As discussed in a previous blog I find that some of the Japanese action movies from the 60s and 70s offer a fascinating if distasteful viewing experience. A bizarre mixture of martial arts and exploitation, they are able to cover the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime. I guess I am thinking of films like the Lone Wolf and Cub series* (which I actually love even though I have to forgive them for rape s...Read more
I find the Hanzo the Razor films to be fairly objectionable. A grouchy jowly dude with a big dick tortures people and we are expected to find this amusing and horny.
Katsu Shintaro as HanzoI can’t. Women are shown being tortured and raped, initially screaming with pai...Read more
Reblogged from Darebin Overseas Students Association:To celebrate National Volunteer Week (14-20 May) the Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Service (DIVRS) invites you to have Morning Tea with City of Darebin Mayor, Cr. Steve Tsitas.
Share a cuppa, some treats and a chat with people who volunteer,...Read more
I recently rewatched a Japanese film, Ginji the Slasher,which is a film I like very much. It made me think about what constitutes a martial arts film, as opposed to a film that belongs to another genre and which just has a bit of martial arts in it. It tells the story of Ginji, both as a young man (played by Riki Takeuchi) who is a member of a kamikaze unit during the end of World War 2, and also as an old man (played by Natsuyagi Isao) who has been newly released from prison after serving a lengthy sentence for mass murder. The story is a...Read more
In this excerpt from my transcrīption of the commentary to The Replacement Killers, director Antoine Fuqua talks about Chow Yun Fat’s attitude to his work.
You don’t always need 100 million dollars to make something exciting. You just need to be clever and you need to give the filmmakers a little more room sometimes to do it and I think that some of the crew and even some of the actors could learn from Chow Yun Fat and people like that. This is a guy that never complained on the set. He never complained about being in his trai...Read more
“Jet Li’s ‘aura’ is quieter, but no less compelling – in Once Upon A Time in China‘s ladder fight, he dominates a fight scene in which he actually took little combative part. The camera gives as much as it takes away – Li positively glows in close-up. Chinese martial arts, health and performance traditions all embrace the concept of qi, a term which carries multiple meanings, including air, spirit, energy and breath. Jo Riley explains that in jingju(Chinese opera), it also means ‘presence’ – faqiis to radiate presence. A performing bo...Read more
I am quite addicted to martial arts movies, which is odd when you consider that I hate violence. But when I declaim my love for these films my offline friends s