Hey, I’m back! And I wrote a book! Well, a short ebook based on the research I did for the Electric Shadows blog here at kungfucinema.com.
There’s a lot more information that’s turned up online since my earliest post, so I revised and updated as I compiled. Some of you know I’ve been collecting vintage kung fu movie memorabilia on eBay for several years now. The best of that material provides illustrations for the book, which is volume one of a proposed 5-book series. Electric Shadows: the Secret History of Kung Fu Movies is available as a download from Amazon.
Our annual Boston Chinatown free outdoor film festival, Films at the Gate, is coming up this weekend. After the Marathon bombings, we made the decision to downplay overt violence. But we’ve found three films that everyone should enjoy. On Friday, Sept. 13, we’re showing MISMATCHED COUPLES, Donnie Yen’s 1985 breakdancing movie, now a cult classic. It’s also one of the few films that features Yuen Woo-ping himself in a major role. Boston is Donnie’s home town, and we hope to have some of his old buddies in attendance. The Wah Lum Kung Fu Academy and breakdancers KRAZY 88s will perform before the screening. A TV profile of Donnie that appeared on Boston TV in 1985 will also be shown.
The Saturday night movie is Lau Kar-leung’s HEROES OF THE EAST (1979), with Gordon Liu and Yasuaki Kurata, featuring a cameo by Lau as the Drunken Master. The Bow Sim Mark Tai Chi Arts Association and Shinkendo Shoshinkan will perform before the screening. Sunday night is Wilson Yip’s THE WHITE DRAGON (2004), starring Cecilia Cheung and Francis Ng. This is one of the films that made people start paying attention to Yip right before he teamed up with Donnie Yen to make SHA PO LANG, FLASH POINT, and IP MAN 1 & 2. It’s a comedy, a wuxia parody, that starts silly and builds to a heartfelt resolution. The Bow Sim Mark Tai Chi Arts Association will appear again, with the Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy. The festival is sponsored by the Asian Community Development Corporation, and will take place from Friday Sept. 13 to Sunday Sept. 15 on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway by the Chinatown Gate. Performances begin at 7 PM, films start at 8 PM. A limited number of chairs are available, so get there early or bring your own. Pick up some take-out Chinese food from one of the restaurants that border the site. Enjoy!
I hope to get an interview soon with John Salvitti about working with Donnie Yen on SPECIAL ID, as well as news about his own projects. Look for some reviews and, yes, some pieces on forgotten historical films, in the near future.
(Left) This was an alternate poster for the 1985 release of MISMATCHED COUPLES.