Films from the early 1960s can seem light-years removed from ones made later in the decade, the ones by Chang Cheh and King Hu and Bruce Lee that were more realistic and cinematic than anything Yu So-chau or Tso Tat-wah ever starred in. But the seeds of cinematic development were being sown in the earlier films, and that period of learning, testing, experimenting, and improving by earlier generations of Hong Kong stunt performers and choreographers will be the primary subject of this blog. The early actors and actresses, their roles, the choreography, the influence of Peking and Cantonese opera, the expression of martial arts traditions, and the martial lineages in the world of filmmaking are my areas of interest. It can be argued that Hong Kong action cinema developed so rapidly and successfully precisely because these elements combined to give the local film community a kind of critical mass, a head start versus the rest of the world in devising a visual language of bodies in motion, as stylized as dance but instantly comprehensible, a metaphor of power in all forms.Postings on the blog include:
Mr. Han, Man: The Awesome Villainy of Shek Kin, Part 1
The Early Choreography of Lau Kar-leung and Tong Kai: Jade in the Red Dust
Kung Fu Princess Connie Chan Po-chu
An Appreciation of the Screen Fighting of Yu So-chau
To up the excitement here at the KFF HQ is the announcement posted over at Kung Fu Cinema of a number of old school wuxia titles coming down the pipe!