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Michael Donovan O'Donnell
If you've seen "Chop Socky: Hong Kong Cinema" then you've seen SOME of this already as some of this and other "Cinema Hong Kong:...." specials are chopped up and put into Chop Socky. This special just about Wu Xia (Sword fighting) is as long as the entire Chop Socky special and it's pretty insightful. First let me just say that I have discovered numerous new Sword-play, Kung Fu and other Hong Kong classic martial arts films by viewing these various documentaries that I may not have otherwise. Seeing clips and hearing discussion and comment on these various films that I hadn't seen made me go out and find them and most are definitely worth the trouble. Seeing clips and hearing discussion of the some I had heard of, seen, and or own is pretty nice also. There's some insight into various Sword play films and interviews by actors and crew that have played in them and there's insight into how the wire work of actors jumping and certain camera angles and cuts came about. There's also footage and discussion of VERY early martial arts films from way back before the 70s or even 60's which I knew little of the existence of to be honest. I learned about about some great films, some great actors/directors and learned even a bit about some weaponry. With a bit to learn and some great clips to relive fav films and discover new ones I find that this is definitely worth your viewing. It's too bad these don't appear to be on DVD yet but if you catch them on TV then take the time and give them a view, you'll not regret it. Wu Xia (Sword Fighting) is far from perfect but its good enough and there aren't enough Martial Arts documentaries so I recommend it.
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