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RZA Reflects on ‘The 36th Chamber of Shaolin’ and Wu-Tang Clan at Lacma

RZA Reflects on ‘The 36th Chamber of Shaolin’ and Wu-Tang Clan at Lacma
Welcoming producer, rapper, director and Wu-Tang Clan founder the RZA to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Tuesday night, the Film Independent at Lacma series scored an excellent 35mm print of Liu Chia-Liang’s 1978 kung-fu classic “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin,” presented in its original Mandarin language. In fact, it might have even been too pristine for the occasion.

As he explained in a Q&A with Elvis Mitchell, the RZA’s formative experiences with the Gordon Liu-starrer came in its dubbed, heavily expurgated form. Yet the film not only provided the Wu-Tang with its debut album title and a plethora of memorable (English language) dialogue samples, it also influenced the group’s guiding philosophy.

“I saw it when I was nine years old on Channel 5, and then again when I was 13 or 14 on 42nd St.,” RZA said, noting that the film’s story of the struggle between
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