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Strike A Pose, Kung-Fu Style

March 30, 2007

It probably doesn’t take the average reader of my blog too long to figure out that I’m a fan of kung-fu movies.  I’m not quite sure what it is about them that I find entertaining, but I know I’ve liked them since my childhood (I know I’m not the only one who watched Kung Fu Theater).  I’m not sure where I’d be placed on rating of fanaticism, but let’s just say that I own 40 or so of them on DVD and I’ve seen many, many more.  I’ve actually thought about how the genre has evolved from the Shaw Bros. days to appearing in major Hollywood films like The Matrix, but that subject will have to wait for some future post here.

One thing I’ve always found really cool and different about the older ones (in particular) is the way the fight scenes incorporate a sort of machismo and LOTS of posturing.  These scenes will typically have many “squaring off” pose breaks interspersed within the choreographed action sequences.  It’s almost as if these directors and screenwriters knew that this moment before the combatants engaged each other had high excitement value, so they figured on having it happen as many times as possible before the fight’s conclusion.  I’ve noticed that it seems to be a source of some creativity on the part of the both actor and director.  As this type of thing became more popular, I’m sure the filmmakers were challenged to come up with new and hip ways of doing it.   A perfect example of this style of action sequencing taken to the max is the final fight scene in the Woo-ping classic The Buddhist Fist.

Fun stuff!  I’ll add more fun kung fu observations in the future.

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