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 of hard work but also highly enjoyable. It has been particularly interesting to track down…

Great Quote No. 10

“(Critic David) Bordwell... points out that the rythmic pulse of Hong Kong action requires stasis as well as movement, with 'lightning switches between quick, precise gestures and punctuating poses' ”. Leon Hunt, Kung Fu Cult Masters, p. 28 Nicely spotted David Bordwell. Unfortunately, I didn't copy down the Bordwell's book that Hunt was referencing, but it…

Nature in samurai Films

Recently I came across a book on Samurai films in my local library. Entitled ‘Stray Dogs and Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook’ and written by Patrick Galloway, it seems to be pitched at newcomers to the genre. I wonder if any of my online friends (some of whom boast considerable knowledge and deep appreciation…

Great Quote No. 9

“Why did I use kung fu to make movies – to display the art and to aestheticize fist fighting" Lau Kar-leung (Hong Kong Film Archive 1999: 89) There have been a couple of highlights during the past week - one nice long conversation with a new professional contact (a nice man) and a presentation I had to…

Great Quote No. 8

“Broadly speaking, there are two ways of looking at the West's 'Asian romance': 'a controlled setting in which to be exposed to and (perhaps) examine certain notions of linguistic, racial and cultural difference' (Fore) or 'a flirtation with the exotic rather than an attempt at any genuine intercultural understanding' (Marchetti). Then again, given kung fu's…

Great Quote No. 7

“But Julian Stringer reminds us that there are some issues of cultural power surrounding the 'camp' gaze at Hong Kong cinema, which is, after all, a 'largely white gaze at a Chinese other' (1996/97: 55)”. p. 12 “... box office figures do not tell us much about how a film was received and the conditions…

Great Quote No. 6

“At one level, the kung fu film can be seen as what Steven Shapiro and Linda Williams call a 'body genre' (although neither include it as one) alongside pornography, horror and the 'weepie' films that offer a 'display of sensations that are on the edge of respectable' (Williams 1995: 140). Kung fu is a genre…

Great Quote: Lethal Weapon

A couple of years ago, when I was preparing for my blogging project whereby I would systematically work through Jet Li’s filmography (naively assuming that it would take me a few months instead of more than 2 years), I watched all of the special features on the DVDs I could get at the time and…

Great Quote No. 5

David West writing on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 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…

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…