Meredith Lewis
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Black Mask

I am about to start posting blogs about Black Mask.This film was made in Hong Kong in the 1990s, was directed by Daniel Lee, produced by Tsui Hark (who was one of the writers as well), choreographed by Yuen Wu Ping, and stars Jet Li and Karen Mok. A full cast and crew list can be found hereand a full plot synopsis can be found here, but, basically, the story ...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

Wong Jing – you nasty little man…


The Depiction of Martial Artists in High Risk.

“Cross referencing is a constant in Wong Jing’s scavenger movies. Their in-jokes are too opportunistic to count as homages.” David Bordwell , Planet Hong Kong,P. 175

In his direction of his movies, Wong Jing goes nosing and scurrying after opportunities for gag making like a hungry rat after cheese. Some of the most opportunistic cross referencing that occurs in High Riskis that involving famous martial artists Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. One of the m...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

Wong Jing’s High Risk

“They are the ideal example of scrīpt-by-brainstorming; each scene is stuffed with gimmicks. The opening is likely to be breathless. Within the first sixty seconds there will be a gag, a chase, or a suspenseful encounter.” David Bordwell, on Wong Jing’s films, Planet Hong Kong,P. 172

And Bordwell is right! The very first scene of High Risk,written, directed and produced by Wong Jing, slams open with a primary school being taken over by terrorists and a bunch of kids being blown up in a bus. The movie then whizzes through a boo...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

A brief blog about the fight with the garbage truck in My Father is a Hero

“(Geoffrey) Nowell-Smith suggests that repressed emotions erupt in moments of high tension or drama and manifest themselves as symptoms through performance, music and mise-en-sce`neand it is at such points of heightened emotion that the characteristic excesses of the melodrama manifest themselves.” (Shingler and Mercer, Melodrama,pp. 22-23)

As discussed in my blog on Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

Getting to know you: introductory fights in My Father is a Hero

Last night I watched The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.A collaboration between Shaw Brothers and Hammer studios, this production is an odd blend of eastern and western themes and talents. It stars David Chiang and Peter Cushing, and the plot revolves around Dracula taking the form of a corrupt Chinese mystic and decamping from Transylvania to China in order to lead an army of the undead and terrorise hapless peasants. Westerners were responsible for the writing and direction of the movie (Don...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

Great Quote No. 5

David West writing on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragonin Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film:

“To describe the film as transcending categorisation, as Kenneth Turan did in the LA Times,is nonsensical. It is generic in the pejorative sense… To describe the film as ‘a new Asian Western’ reflects a cultural snobbery in which Asian films can only be assigned value in relation to Hollywood archetypes. Crouching Tigeris not a Western any more than Shaneis a chambara…”

p. 197

I am in the process of...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

My Father is a Hero: prefiguring action

My previous 2 blogs have also dealt with the action in My Father is a Hero. The last blog I posted  commented on the action and its choreography in the opening scenes.

I am a hopeless structure freak. When I used to choreograph myself I always paid a lot of attention to structure in my work as I felt that appropriate structuring of material that was even detailed or challenging could help an audience find their way into a performance piece. I have noticed that Hong Kong martial arts films often structure their ...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

My Father is a Hero: The Opening Scenes

My Father is a Herobegins with its opening credits being intercut with footage showing a large squad of impressively drilled children, who include one of the main characters Siu Ku (played by Xie Mao), doing a wu shu routine. By doing this director Corey Yuen has established this film’s martial arts credentials right from the get go, and this is perhaps not such a bad idea as the first half of the film is very dominated by dialogue. The dialogue scenes focus on establishing characters  and the way they relate to each o...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

My Father is a Hero – an overview of the action

So far I have written blogs on My Father is a Herothat have focused on the theme of the movie ( here) and its melodramatic form ( here). In the next series of blogs I will be focusing on the action and how director and choreographer, Corey Yuen Kuei, and choreographe...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  1 comments  0 shares

Great Quote Number 5

“American film makers have gotten to the point where they create their fights in the editing room. Those types of sequences are just designed for a visceral, flash-cut impact, and the audience’s brains are never really engaged… Hong Kong action directors actually bring narrative arcs into the fights, and tell a little story within the fighting. (Larry Wachowski, director of  The Matrix, American Cinemtographermagazine, Probst, 1999, p 34).”

I found this quote on page 243 of David West’s Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Ma...Read more

almost 9 years ago 0 likes  2 comments  0 shares


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

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April 23, 2009