Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The passing of a Kung Fu Icon Run Run Shaw

Blogger apparently ate my post so this is a report.  Or a prepost? Anyway...
As reported by New York times, NPR, and other sources, the 106 year old media master, Run Run Shaw, has passed.

I'm not a film scholar. I grew up one of those dumb kids who was 'reached' by the 'Kung Fu' that Run Run Shaw brought over many times in many movies.

Some of my favorites are below. Things to remember though. One, is these were often done on a low budget. Two, they have a different perspective than most Westernized films. At least most of them. Three, they're from a different time and period.

Fists of Fury: I could just go, "Bruce Lee" and that would make it one of my favorite movies. But that's nonsense. As old as I am, I was born in 1971 so I was maybe 1 year old when this first came out. There are a ton of m'eh versions of this movie out in terms of transfer but I hear this one isn't too bad but if you're looking for a definitive version, I hear searching Amazon.UK is your better bet.

Fists of Fury is one of those simple movies where Bruce's character is told, "Honor your promise and don't fight" but hey, he discovers that his working environment is not what is seems and so must break his promise! This movie is over forty years old and it still brings the Wushu.

Five Fingers of Death: Also known as King Boxer. Another one from 1972. One of the 'fun' things about this movie is it's one of the first ones I remember with a 'secret' technique aka the Iron Fist or Iron Palm, depending on your translation. It's got a LOT of fighting and well, if Kung Fu is your thing...

Looking up his movies, I think I may be running into some directed by the sons but were ones that I enjoyed so I'm springing them up here.

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin: Thinking that the Shaolin Monks and the mystic elements associated with them? This is one of the movies that would make a good starting point to see where all of that came from 1978! Here we have some kindly wise old masters and the outsider who wishes to learn their secrets to take the fight back against corruption! Heck, this one is even on blu ray.

There are a lot more but again, no scholar, just someone who enjoyed a lot of these films, but saw them when he was a younger man and honestly can't remember most of them. They turn into a blur of kung fu with angry students, wise old masters, and the deadly arts of hand to hand combat!

But there is one that he is an unaccredited producer of...

Blade Runner: Yup, this one has all sorts of editions including a four disk edition and a blu ray.  I myself had one of those ultimate edition things that was sadly destroyed in a move. Verily that sucketh!

With my buddies getting ready to run more Legends of the Five Rings, or L5R, I think that instead of the next Samurai I was going to do, a crab who actually tried to be sociable, it's time to review the Dragon and see if I can monkey up a monk for Friday.

What about the rest of wushu fans out there? Any particular favorites jump to the forefront? Any particular stories about Shaw that you think people should know about? Share the