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Hong Kong Cinema  Kung Fu
 

Hong Kong Cinema Kung Fu

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Useful for teaching IB Film

Useful for teaching IB Film

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    Hong Kong Cinema  Kung Fu Hong Kong Cinema Kung Fu Presentation Transcript

    • Hong Kong Cinema Kung Fu
    • Wong Fei Hung • Started in 1949 and established the archetype of the Kung Fu hero, fighting for ‘justice and the needy.’ • Based on real-life hero who died in 1924. Over 70 Wong Fei Hung films were made, mainly as they were box office gold! • Once Upon A Time in China with Jet Li is a reconstruction of this tale.
    • Kung Fu/Wuxia • Lau Kei Lung (Choreographer) 60s, real life martial artist used to help choreograph fight scenes. His real life kung fu training helped make his work particularly authentic.
    • Sir Run Run Shaw • Shaws studio (Influence of Run Run Shaw) • Director making 5 films per year E.g. Chor Yuen (editing in the camera) Shoot a shot, then another within same choreographed scene rather than multi camera shots. This was based on economic constraints. Filmmakers didn’t have time to get multi angled shots (E.g. C/U, M/S & L/S for every shot in film)
    • 70s- Conventions • Challenge of the Masters (1967) • Heroes II (1974) • Recycled ideas (rivalry between two martial arts schools- one doesn’t play by the rules. • The hero is humiliated by not defending himself, taken in by a Sifu (kung fu master) and undergoes training. Must be subservient to Sifu
    • Conventions Cont... • Tortuous exercises • Plot requires motive and this is always revenge • Master is killed by other school using secret weapon • Hero returns for revenge but remembers warning of Sifu such as ‘forgive and guard against arrogance.’
    • Ethics & Training • The martial arts ethic is therefore crucial • Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984) In showdown with enemy (the de fanging technique used so no harm comes to enemy...demonstrates that every effort is made not to harm opponent) • 36th Timber of Shaolin: All about the training techniques. (Takes 5 years)
    • Fighting Styles • Drunken Master (Jackie Chan) • Real Kung Fu styles include Dragon style & Butterfly palm • The pitting of one style versus another was a theme of many kung fu films • The Five Venoms (1977) Villains use Different styles based on poisonous creatures (Choreographer Long Ping)
    • Importance of Shaolin Monastery • Return of the 36th Chamber- A monk working on the roof observing monks develops his own style (scaffolding kung fu) • Note that the setting of the Shaolin Monastery is crucial
    • Bruce Lee • No parrying, simply hitting the target. Jeet Kun Do (Lee’s unique style based on simplicity, speed and hitting people very hard) one strike and you are down! • Nationalism- Fist of Fury (Japanese/foreign villains) yet ironically hugely popular with foreign audiences • Died in 1973 aged 33 and subsequently has maintained legendary status
    • The Bruce Lee Impact • The Boxer from Shantung- The same dramatic realism used by Bruce Lee Fu Sheng • Chen Guantai (actor) made name using Lee’s style, as many others did too • Actors regularly got hurt within this new style • Disciples of Shaolin (1975) Swaggering W/C hero respectful only of his own fighting talents (Alexander Fu Sheng- heartthrob of this era)
    • Who will be the ‘new’ Bruce Lee? • Chen Quin Tai- Co starred with Fu Sheng and a second rising star of this period based on the archetype created by Bruce Lee • Alexander Fu Sheng, like Lee, died young in 1983
    • Comedy... • Spiritual Boxer (1975) Creating the new Bruce Lee was impossible so instead, directors looked for new hybrid Kung Fu formulas. • Amiable rogue attempting to defend the downtrodden. (Wong Yu- star of Spiritual Boxer)
    • Dirty Ho (1979) • Considered to be a Kung Fu masterpiece • Juggling/combat and comedy fused together in unique manner, thereby challenging conventions
    • ‘The 2nd Bruce Lee:’ Jackie Chan • Set himself up as antithetical of Lee (clown, hurts his hand all the time, kicks low, not high & is very human) • Construction of the anti-hero • Painted Faces (1988) Chan was schooled in Beijing opera hall. This is depicted in Painted Faces. • Chan used these skills to create a new style of Kung Fu
    • Stephen Chow • The influence of Chan is definitely evident in the slapstick style adopted by local auteur, Stephen Chow • Kung Fu Hustle in particular is very much a parody and celebration of Hong Kong kung fu tradition
    • Modern day Action Films • Hugely influentail on 5th Generation Chinese directors such as Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of the Flying Dragon) • Ang Lee- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon