News Links - 12/23/08

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News Links - 12/23/08

Postby dleedlee » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:47 pm

Storm Warriors posters
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http://news.xinhuanet.com/ent/2008-12/2 ... 545338.htm

John Woo to Present Oriental Titanic in "1949
Song Hye-Kyo
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http://english.cri.cn/6666/2008/12/23/1221s435823.htm

How They Emasculated "Ip Man"
Edits for the sake of national unity
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200812c.brief.htm#001

Yip Man's sons in disupte
Younger son Yip Siu-Wah wants half profit but YIp Chun claims he was paid consulting fee not royalties
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http://ent.sina.com.cn/m/c/2008-12-23/07572308491.shtml

Wu Jing: I respect all forms of martial art
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20081223/t ... bb342.html

If You Are the One tops Chinese box office
First weekend gross of If You Are the One was almost double of that of Forever Enthralled
http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyA ... &Category=
Funny business
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/showbiz/20 ... 331819.htm

Taiwan smash hit “Cape No.7â€
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Postby Gaijin84 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:51 pm

Gong Li's Japanese geisha photo shoot raises the ire of netizens
http://asianfanatics.net/forum/Gong-Li- ... 11343.html


Yippee!! More angry Chinese netlizens! :roll:
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:17 pm

The legacy of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon
http://www.sevenglobal.org/index.php/fi ... hooey.html



Great piece on the "killing" of traditional, performance style martial arts combat film--and the profitable film-fueled mystique that surrounded the arts themselves--that Bruce Lee may have unwittingly instigated. The last few paragraphs, in my view, help to explain why Donnie Yen and Co., though they go unmentioned, have nearly single-handedly brought the Hong Kong martial arts movie kicking and screaming--violently and more realistically--into the 21st century. Say what you will about them, and they're not without flaws, but SPL and especially FLASH POINT are key films of this movement, with their focus on present and future possibilities, and not stuck reliving the past as a few "netizens" :lol: have strangely concluded.
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Postby Gaijin84 » Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:56 pm

Quote:
The legacy of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon
http://www.sevenglobal.org/index.php/fi ... hooey.html



Great piece on the "killing" of traditional, performance style martial arts combat film--and the profitable film-fueled mystique that surrounded the arts themselves--that Bruce Lee may have unwittingly instigated. The last few paragraphs, in my view, help to explain why Donnie Yen and Co., though they go unmentioned, have nearly single-handedly brought the Hong Kong martial arts movie kicking and screaming--violently and more realistically--into the 21st century. Say what you will about them, and they're not without flaws, but SPL and especially FLASH POINT are key films of this movement, with their focus on present and future possibilities, and not stuck reliving the past as a few "netizens" Laughing have strangely concluded.


Definitely a very good article. Although you can certainly find a couple slip ups (I don't think Michelle Yeoh had any training in Peking Opera, it was all ballet in England), overall the article is dead on.
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Postby dleedlee » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:35 pm

Gaijin84 wrote:
Gong Li's Japanese geisha photo shoot raises the ire of netizens
http://asianfanatics.net/forum/Gong-Li- ... 11343.html


Yippee!! More angry Chinese netlizens! :roll:



More on 'Treason Gate, Pt 2'
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http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200812c.brief.htm#007
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:44 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
The legacy of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon
http://www.sevenglobal.org/index.php/fi ... hooey.html



Great piece on the "killing" of traditional, performance style martial arts combat film--and the profitable film-fueled mystique that surrounded the arts themselves--that Bruce Lee may have unwittingly instigated. The last few paragraphs, in my view, help to explain why Donnie Yen and Co., though they go unmentioned, have nearly single-handedly brought the Hong Kong martial arts movie kicking and screaming--violently and more realistically--into the 21st century. Say what you will about them, and they're not without flaws, but SPL and especially FLASH POINT are key films of this movement, with their focus on present and future possibilities, and not stuck reliving the past as a few "netizens" :lol: have strangely concluded.


I'm not sure Donnie Yen has gone completely unmentioned :D (at least not from me and you).

A couple of notes/comments on the article:

I do not think that ENTER THE DRAGON is the most influential movie of all time (I think his argument is a bit ad absurdum; it certainly was not more influential than BREATHLESS; I'm not going to get into Griffith but I will state that INTOLERANCE is much better and was more popular in Europe and Russia than BIRTH OF A NATION), it certainly wasn't overly popular in Hong Kong (where FIST OF FURY and WAY OF THE DRAGON were more successful and FIST OF FURY is still mentioned by many critics -- number 16 in the HKFA top 103 list) and its biggest influence was here in the states.

Jet Li learned most of his arts from Beijing's Amateur Sports School (Wu Bin) not Beijing Opera (though he did study it) I believe.

I hate the term "wire-fu" :D.

I do not agree with: "This really demonstrates the ignorance of Western audiences or, rather, mainstream Western critics, regarding the development of Chinese cinema in the preceding decades."

Western critics were missing several pieces of the puzzle (the Wuxia film and other actioneers), they had been lauding Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-Wai, John Woo, Zhang Yimou and some even Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang. They have been dismissive of action content and comedy from HK (and certain auteurs like Ann Hui) ignoring Chang Cheh (even Woo was not content on praising him until later) while some were loving King Hu (but not all knew of him).

On a side note: readers of Black Belt (I was during the early 90s) saw a huge change in the way they did articles etc... because of the UFC. They helped push the "death touch" type of mentality and slowly changed because of this (Bill Wallace anti-UFC articles are great though I have to transcribe some of those sometime).

He mentioned NEVER BACK DOWN (wrote Don’t Back Down. still haven't seen it), but failed to mention REDBELT (have seen it).
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:54 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:I do not think that ENTER THE DRAGON is the most influential movie of all time (I think his argument is a bit ad absurdum; it certainly was not more influential than BREATHLESS; I'm not going to get into Griffith but I will state that INTOLERANCE is much better and was more popular in Europe and Russia than BIRTH OF A NATION), it certainly wasn't overly popular in Hong Kong (where FIST OF FURY and WAY OF THE DRAGON were more successful and FIST OF FURY is still mentioned by many critics -- number 16 in the HKFA top 103 list) and its biggest influence was here in the states.


I have to agree with you on the point about ENTER not being the most influential movie of all time. I cringe when critics/scholars undertake such a task because there are, frankly, too many definably influential movies out there to pick any one as being the most influential of them all. They all exerted an influence on what came after--either in cinema or in pop culture--and did so in their own way, and it can generally be agreed upon that they did so, but to find the one film that tops every other film ever made is a lofty goal, and the body of the article doesn't really reinforce the attribution so much as go into well-reasoned detail about the aspects of cinema and popular culture that this particular film and its star did change over the ensuing years.


I do not agree with: "This really demonstrates the ignorance of Western audiences or, rather, mainstream Western critics, regarding the development of Chinese cinema in the preceding decades."

Western critics were missing several pieces of the puzzle (the Wuxia film and other actioneers), they had been lauding Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-Wai, John Woo, Zhang Yimou and some even Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang. They have been dismissive of action content and comedy from HK (and certain auteurs like Ann Hui) ignoring Chang Cheh (even Woo was not content on praising him until later) while some were loving King Hu (but not all knew of him).


Not sure I'm reading you right on this one. It sounds like you do agree with the writer's stance that western critics/audiences being ignorant of the bigger picture, though mostly critics, since they were and are paid to be savvy about world cinema and in all likelihood were only missing pieces of the puzzle they selectively chose to miss, either for lack of interest or lack of time. Hong Kong cinema was very accessible at the time of CROUCHING TIGER (the key film behind the writer's point above), and I remember being a bit frustrated at the time by at least a couple of critics who clearly had almost no knowledge of the cinema and culture that gave CROUCHING TIGER its raison d'etre. Then again, I was probably somewhere nearer the opposite end of the spectrum in that I was a rabid consumer of Hong Kong films and culture, which could have been equally annoying to readers of the paper I worked for at the time, and in which I reviewed the film. :lol:

On a side note: readers of Black Belt (I was during the early 90s) saw a huge change in the way they did articles etc... because of the UFC. They helped push the "death touch" type of mentality and slowly changed because of this (Bill Wallace anti-UFC articles are great though I have to transcribe some of those sometime).


It would be interesting to read that early resistance to the new form. Ain't that always the way? I'm not a big follower of UFC/MMA, though one of the talk radio stations here in Toronto has a late night MMA recap show that I (very) occasionally listen to on my way back home from visiting family out of town. I'm still pretty clueless, but I figure it doesn't hurt to pick up the terminology and/or learn about rules, styles and what not, especially when a filmmaker like Yen is so actively visiting the well. Watching the actual combat, however, kinda repulses me (show me a chainsaw massacre in a movie and I'm fine; show me a dude bleeding all over his head for real, and I get a bit queasy), but I can certainly understand how it has evolved away from the more artistic leanings of traditional martial arts. Especially when the combatants drop all pretense of "styles" and just start pummeling the s**t out of each other. Nasty. :lol:
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:28 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote: ...
I do not agree with: "This really demonstrates the ignorance of Western audiences or, rather, mainstream Western critics, regarding the development of Chinese cinema in the preceding decades."

Western critics were missing several pieces of the puzzle (the Wuxia film and other actioneers), they had been lauding Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-Wai, John Woo, Zhang Yimou and some even Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang. They have been dismissive of action content and comedy from HK (and certain auteurs like Ann Hui) ignoring Chang Cheh (even Woo was not content on praising him until later) while some were loving King Hu (but not all knew of him).


Not sure I'm reading you right on this one. It sounds like you do agree with the writer's stance that western critics/audiences being ignorant of the bigger picture, though mostly critics, since they were and are paid to be savvy about world cinema and in all likelihood were only missing pieces of the puzzle they selectively chose to miss, either for lack of interest or lack of time. Hong Kong cinema was very accessible at the time of CROUCHING TIGER (the key film behind the writer's point above), and I remember being a bit frustrated at the time by at least a couple of critics who clearly had almost no knowledge of the cinema and culture that gave CROUCHING TIGER its raison d'etre. Then again, I was probably somewhere nearer the opposite end of the spectrum in that I was a rabid consumer of Hong Kong films and culture, which could have been equally annoying to readers of the paper I worked for at the time, and in which I reviewed the film. :lol:

... (MMA talk):


Well I was partially disagreeing :D, I felt that the article missed the point that there were many critics who understood a part of the Asian cinematic scope (mostly Mainland though when I think about it and look over there top lists, on a side note I've been compiling a list-of-lists from western critics on their top Asian films for a side project I have been doing, will let you know more about it later), but have to agree they rarely see the whole picture (the whole action genre is mostly ignored by many critics to this day which I do not like -- so yes all of sudden they think CROUCHING TIGER is something new, well they were certainly missing a lot). Partially disagreeing comes across more difficult unless written well :D. You know me I hate when people categorize everything as a whole, even if it is a majority.

My own rant:
So yes, many critics here tend to favor European cinema over Asian or if they do know Asian cinema it is three or four auteurs like

Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang and/or Wong Kar-Wai (with many fanboys of Johnny To, though I have found it funny if you ask them about Wilson Yip or Wai Ka-Fai they just stare at you; (you mean Mad Detective was not directed only by To ...).

MMA is an interesting beast. I like grappling (and ju jitsu and judo) so I tend to find submissions more interesting that just slugging it out. Though I have found some things interesting like how Karate has worked well for certain practicioners like Loyota Machida and a boxing background for Marcus Davis (one of the few that has actually down well).
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