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…

A short gushy blog about a Wang Lung Wei tribute clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0NrQBwdIMk I first saw this tribute clip a few years ago when its maker Angel Vargas, aka The Flashpoint75 aka That Puerto Rican, posted it to the Heroic Sisterhood Facebook page. At the time, Angel was active on Facebook and was good enough to post many of his clips to our page (many can be…

Great Quote No. 13

" 'New Wave' wirework shows us things we know to be untrue... But wires also feature in Jackie Chan's more 'realistic' fights, enhancing moves which at least seem possible... One might argue that this is much more of a 'Wicked Lie' than Jet Li's gravity-defying shadow kick, but, significantly, that is not an argument that…

geungsi, mama hung, shopping

I have been having good luck with my shopping lately. I was poking about in a DVD shop in Melbourne’s Chinatown recently when I found, on sale and literally gathering dust on a bottom shelf, a boxed set of Vampire themed kung fu movies: Mr Vampire 1-4, The Dead and the Deadly, Vampire versus Vampire,…

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…

Dr Wai in the Scripture with no Words

Dr Wai in the Scripture with no Words is a flawed film but it certainly has its entertaining moments. It could be seen as a Chinese version (or even spoof) of an Indiana Jones type story. I think the Indiana Jones movies are far more disciplined and better crafted but I do prefer Dr Wai…

Great Quote: Dr Wai and the Scripture without Words

A “... theme began to emerge in Li's modern-day films as they become more self-conscious; that of the hero as a fiction or illusion. Major has referred to a 'creeping identity crisis' in Li's later Hong Kong films (2000: 165), filled with secret identities and multiple personalities, even amnesia; Black Mask, the 'King of Adventurers',…

The Scavenger Aesthetic at work in Black Mask

“An emphasis on striking moments leads naturally to a scavenger aesthetic.” David Bordwell, commenting on Hong Kong films in Planet Hong Kong, p. 11 I found myself thinking of Bordwell’s quote when I watched Black Mask. I feel that this “scavenger aesthetic” is manifested and actually put to good use by this film’s constant referencing…