Wire fu in Romeo Must Die

“If the film (Romeo Must Die) cannot integrate Jet Li into his own film, it stumbles even more over its incorporation of 'Hong Kong action'. Romeo Must Die is, visually, a post-Matrix film, but it does not have its predecessor's fantasy remit to explain why fighters float in mid-air... the CGI-enhanced wirework looks as though…

Wong Jing – you nasty little man…

Or 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…

Wong Jing’s High Risk

“They are the ideal example of script-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…

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`ne and 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 melodrama and…

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…

The melodrama in My Father is a Hero

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…