Monday, February 08, 2010

What is the future of kung fu films? Nat Post asks.

A great write up, part of a series, at The National Post on the future of kung fu movies. Melissa Leong asks:

Our culture of celebrity means that star power drives action films today. No one cares if Ben Affleck wields a cane with all the dexterity and attitude of a grandmother. CGI will fix that.

The real stuff is no longer practical. Why spend months choreographing an action sequence, risking injury to the actors, when tighter editing, short cuts and computers will produce the same result?

I think she answers her own question in the piece, which is the same as my answer. The reason skill is better than CGI is because it looks so, so much better. All the jump cuts and edits in the world will not make an untrained actor look as good as trained actors going at it at their own speed. Thoughts?

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Watching Kung Fu With Quentin Tarantino AND David Carradine.

First of all, I gotta give credit to this find to Dot Bruce. I met Dot through her work on David Carradine wikis and as a participant on our Kung Fu Facebook fan page and she is VERY knowledgeable about the work of Carradine, including Kung Fu - I just added her as one of the page's admins for this very reason (and with her permission).

But dude. Check THIS out. Aintitcool piece from 2001 about watching kung fu movies at Quentin Tarantino's house with QT, David and a bunch of other guests. This is worth a read, man, I am freaking out at how cool this was.


Quentin informed us that each episode this night would be an example from each season and that we should notice that in Season One, Caine was half White – half Asian and that other than a bald cap and sparse hair there was really no make up involved. In Season Two Carradine grew his hair really long, "Caine had gone native, almost a native American Indian type of thing. He also started mixing Confucianism with American Indian Great Spirit showing a comparative feeling for Shaolin and Indian. Then in the 3rd Season it was like Carradine said, now it is going to just be me. And Kwai Chang Caine became David Carradine! And it works real well!"


"I have to tell this. There have been a couple of times… A few confrontations where people just were attacking me because well, I’m Caine and they want to see if they can… You know take me. I was shooting this Roger Corman picture, this big swordfight scene… The picture was called THE WARRIOR & THE SORCERESS although there was no Sorceress in the film, anyway… There’s this scene between two warring swordfighting groups on another planet. Basically it was all stolen from YOJIMBO, the film was YOJIMBO on another planet… that was the story. Well we’re on the middle of the set in-between shots when this stuntman comes over and does this real formal challenge to me. To challenge me to a fight. I was like, you don’t want to fight me, but he did. He threw a punch and I… well come here Quentin…" Quentin nearly pissed himself to be put into a combat position with Carradine on stage…. "I just did this" He show how he pivoted away, put his leg out and pulled on the guys shoulder to throw him to the ground. "Then I showered him with kisses all over his head and shoulders!" The audience begins laughing… "But then the guy says to me, ‘Hey you tore my T-Shirt’ and I was, I mean this guy just threw a punch at me, and he’s… he should have more than a torn short. So I say to him, ‘Well it’s probably worth $100 bucks now’ and a while later he came up to see if I’d autograph his shirt!" Quentin, the audience… everyone begins laughing.

It just keeps going.

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