On Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon:
“One of the few critics to break ranks was Amy Taubin in the Village Voice,who, unlike her contemporaries, came to the film well versed in Hong Kong cinema, and she found the movie wanting.
‘A rare blend of low and high art, Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Timeradicalises the genre’s visual and narrative disjunction to the point of abstraction. Studiously middle-brow, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragontakes the opposite tack. Rather than leaping about in time, the story meanders along a linear route...Read more
The final fight scene of My Father is a Hero is an absolute corker. It is set in the metal encased confines of a cargo ship that is hosting an illicit antiques auction, and this means that the frenetic action bounces about in a relatively small space, which adds to the impression of contained energy that pervades the fight. The fight is bound by a time, as well as a space, limit too, as a bomb (hidden beforehand by the film’s villains) is ticking away. Director and choreographer, Corey Yuen Kuei ...Read more
“This convention (cross dressing performers) can be traced back to ‘Come Drink with Me’, and it reflects a Peking Opera sensibility, wherein men played female roles and the audience was expected to accept their impersonation without question” David West, p 118, ‘Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film’
I am still plugging away at my blog about the choreography in Corey Yuen’s ‘My Father is a Hero’. Hope to post something soon.
“The visual device of the hero stabbed in the gut who binds up his wound to fight on recurs throughout Chang’s work.” David West, p 106, ‘Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film’
The Chang referred to here is, of course, Chang Cheh.
I have a couple of spare hours this morning which I plan to devote to working on my blog about the choreography in Corey Yuen’s ‘My Father is a Hero’
Quote from seminal director King Hu:
“I’ve always taken the action part of my films as dancing rather than fighting. Because I’m very interested in the Peking Opera, and particularly its movements and action effects, although I think it’s difficult to express them adequately on stage, where the physical limitations are too great. A lot of people in Hong Kong have misunderstood me, and have remarked that my action scenes are sometimes ‘authentic’ and sometimes not. In point of fact, they’re always keyed to the notion of dance”. (Cha...Read more
Last year I read a very interesting book written by John Mercer and Martin Shingler called Melodrama.This book is a survey of the way the term ‘melodrama’ had been used to describe certain American films during the history of cinema. I read it because I was interested to see if there was any co-relation between western melodramas and kung fu movies, especially in the areas of narrative structure, character types, performance styles and other theatrical or film making techniques.
Nothing I read in M elodramasugges...Read more
The relationships discussed in the first part of this blog so far are between male characters, and this film would be in danger of being an overwhelmingly masculine film if it were not for the impact of 2 important female characters: Li Xia (played by Bonnie Fu Yuk Jing), mother and wife to Ku (played by Xie Mao) and Kung (played by Jet Li) respectively; and Inspector Fong Yat Wa, the Hong Kong cop played by Anita Mui Yim Fong.
Fu does not have many scenes as her character dies early in the movie...Read more
My previous blog on My Father is a Hero was just a collection of random thoughts, but it also contained links to websites with a plot synopsis and cast and crew lists.
An important theme that runs through My Father is a Hero is the importance of keeping faith, whether that be to other people, your job or the promises you make. Several of the key characters in this film are confronted with the challenge of keeping the faith in trying circumstances, and it is this that drives the narrative.
I am about to start posting a series of blogs about My Father is a Hero (Hong Kong, 1995). A plot synopsis can be found here: http://www.fandango.com/myfatherisahero_v163135/plotsummary
And a full cast and crew list can be found here: http://www.hkmdb.com/db/movies/view.mhtml?id=7971&display_set=eng
In this blog I h...Read more
Some time last year I came across a blog on WordPress that was dedicated to the films of Jackie Chan. The writer of the blog, Rita Mae, was an ardent fan who wrote extensively on Jackie’s films. Her blogs are well written and celebratory in tone. Sadly, Rita passed away following a prolonged struggle with illness. Her sister Maria was good enough to leave a comment on my blog to let me know of Rita’s passing, and she has decided to leave Rita’s blogs up as a tribute to her sister. If you are a fan of Jackie’s movies then you might...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