Although, taken for granted today, King Hu’s Come Drink with Me (1966) set the wuxia genre on a completely new footing. By turning away from trained martial artists and instead hiring performers from the Beijing Opera school, such as the film’s magnificent female lead Chang Pei Pei, he began the process of transforming the type of action that defined these films away from the world of rigid, practical martial arts towards the more artful, flowing, and graceful form of combative dance that feature so strongly today. Tune in for our full review of this Shaw Brothers classic that directly inspired Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!
Sorry about the poor audio quality. We had to record part of this episode over Skype.
What We’ve Been Watching (00:00) :
On today’s episode, Grant has us watch the 1978, Shaw Brothers, kung fu classic, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin by director and fight choreographer Lau Kar-Leung. The film stars a young Gordon Liu as the iconic San Te, a schoolboy turned Shaolin master in a role that would make Liu famous. This classic of the genre, which went on to inspire — along with a host of other Shaw Brothers films from the era — everyone from Quentin Tarantino to the Wu-Tang Clan, features a tale of revenge, possibly the longest training sequence ever filmed, mystical Buddhist powers, swordplay, pole fighting, three pronged staff fighting, Chinese fisticuffs of every kind, and — oh yes — perhaps the most memorable headbutt ever captured on celluloid!