Daily Blog 08/27/2012

  • Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry’s global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling and aesthetic traditions, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural appeal. In recent years, the flow has reversed somewhat, with American and European action films being heavily influenced by Hong Kong genre conventions.

    The first Hong Kong action films favoured the wuxia style, emphasizing mysticism and swordplay, but this trend was politically suppressed in the 1930s and replaced by styles in which films depicted more down-to-earth unarmed kung fu, often featuring folk hero Wong Fei Hung. Post-war cultural upheavals led to a second wave of wuxia films with highly acrobatic violence, followed by the emergence of the grittier kung fu films for which the Shaw Brothers studio became best known. The 1970s saw the rise and sudden death of international superstar Bruce Lee. He was succeeded in the 1980s by Jackie Chan—who popularised the use of comedy, dangerous stunts, and modern urban settings in action films—and Jet Li, whose authentic wushu skills appealed to both eastern and western audiences. The innovative work of directors and producers like Tsui Hark and John Woo introduced further variety (for example, gunplay, triads and the supernatural). An exodus by many leading figures to Hollywood in the 1990s coincided with a downturn in the industry.

    tags: hongkong cinema action

  • The Shaw Brothers Studio (Chinese: 邵氏片場), owned by Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd., was the foremost and the largest movie production company of Hong Kong movies.

    From their distribution base in Singapore where they founded parent company Shaw Organization in 1924, and as a strategic development of their movie distribution business in Southeast Asia, Sir Run Run Shaw (邵逸夫) and his third brother Runme Shaw (邵仁枚) founded South Sea Film (南洋影片) in 1930. It was later renamed Shaw Brothers Studio. The studio released Hong Kong’s first movie with sound 《白金龍》 (which translates as “platinum dragon”, or one of the slang terms for a pistol) in 1934.

    tags: HongKong Singapore MartialArts China Movies

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