Category Archives: performance

Donnie says: “This is action filmmaking”

Since March 2016, around the edges of my day job, I have been writing a book about Shaw Brothers studios and some of their directors, framed against the theme of innovation. As you can imagine, this has been a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Once Upon A Time In China 2, performance, quotes, shaw brothers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Disciples of Shaolin – Opening Sequence

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 … Continue reading

Posted in choreography, kung fu movies, martial arts movies, performance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Bridge Duel in Hanzo the Razor – The Snare

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. I can’t. Women are shown being tortured and raped, … Continue reading

Posted in choreography, Hanzo the Razor, Japan, martial arts movies, performance, Samurai, sex, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Chow Yun Fat on the set

In this excerpt from my transcription 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 … Continue reading

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Jet Li and Joespehine Siao in ‘Fong Sai Yuk’

The characters of Fong Sai Yuk and his mother (who also happens to be his sifu) are central to the film Fong Sai Yuk, and the teamwork of the actors who play these characters – Jet Li and Josephine Siao … Continue reading

Posted in fong sai yuk, jet li, kung fu movies, martial arts movies, performance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How do you choreograph an epiphany?

Ponder for a moment Yuen Wu Ping’s central creative problem in making a film called Tai Chi Master, which shows the discovery of this internal martial art. The protagonist of the story, Jun Bao (played by Jet Li), has to … Continue reading

Posted in choreography, jet li, kung fu movies, martial arts movies, performance, Tai Chi Master, Uncategorized, Yuen Wu Ping | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Choreography in Tai Chi Master

To state the bleeding obvious: Tai Chi Master is a martial arts film. A cursory glance at the title and plot synopsis may suggest that it is a film ostensibly about pugilism and violence. Why is it, then, that my … Continue reading

Posted in choreography, jet li, kung fu movies, martial arts movies, performance, Tai Chi Master, Yuen Wu Ping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments