7.3/10
148
4 user 4 critic

Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong (2003)

Cinema Hong Kong: Kung Fu (original title)
A look at the martial arts and kung fu cinema of Hong Kong.

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Himself
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David Chiang ...
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Yuen Chor ...
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(archive footage)
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Hou Ng ...
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Jim Nicholson ...
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Kien Shih ...
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Storyline

A look at Hong Kong action films, from their roots in choreography of Beijing Opera and the Wuxia tradition of honorable solitary fighters to the evolution in film from martial arts (swordplay) to Kung Fu (fists, feet, and sticks). Talking heads discuss actors: the stylized fighting of David Chiang, the realism of Bruce Lee, and the comedy of Jackie Chan. They discuss directors: King Hu and Cheng Che, whose work leads to international successes of Ang Lee and John Woo. There's a demonstration of editing in the camera, and there are discussions of Japan's influence, the increased violence of 70s and 80s films, the emergence of the superhero, and the films' cultural subtext. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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31 July 2004 (USA)  »

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Chop Socky: Cinema Hong Kong  »

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1.78 : 1
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Outstanding documentary
6 August 2004 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

What's not to like about this incredible hour long documentary about the genesis of the Hong Kong martial arts film? Filled with great interviews (Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Cheng Pei Pei, Jet Li, John Woo, David Chiang, and others), amazing archival footage from the '20s and '40s, a black and white TV interview with Bruce Lee, and an astounding array of mind-boggling letterboxed and subtitled clips from the golden age of martial arts cinema, Chop Socky is one of the best film documentaries you're likely to see. As an extra added bonus, this made in Hong Kong film eschews the obligatory interview sequence with annoying motormouth Quentin Tarantino, who has to settle for two brief clips from Kill Bill Volume 2. The inclusion of these clips is a minor quibble (I lowered my rating from 10 to 9 as a result) and shouldn't put you off. This film keeps the focus where it belongs--the Chinese speaking creators of this remarkable genre.


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