The Cultural Impact of Martial Arts Films Seminar is online.
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
2y ago
I was honoured to be included in the panel for The Fighting Spirit Film Festival’s recent seminar on The Cultural Impact of Martial Arts Films. This seminar is now online in three 40-minute(ish) clips on Youtube. I recommend it for the fascinating insights of panellists Andrew Heskins, Josh Toussaint-Strauss, Marlon ‘Kush’ Palmer, and our facilitator Weng Yu.   ..read more
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King Hu and his Swordswomen
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
2y ago
King Hu’s martial arts films both honour and innovate wuxia pian, (or Chinese martial arts swordplay films). King took certain elements long established in wuxia, and refashioned them in the films he made in the 1960s and 1970s so that they worked with an unprecedented nuance and impact. An important convention in wuxia pian in the decades leading up to the 1960s, and one that was seen less often after the interventions of Chang Cheh and Bruce Lee, with their emphasis on hyper-macho kung fu movies, was that of the hero being a highly skilled swordswoman, and one who often had to rescue her eff ..read more
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Fighting Spirit Film Festival Panel: Follow-Up Blog
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
2y ago
A word of explanation: I am writing, and then scheduling, this blog post before you see it and way before the panel I refer to below. That’s why the grammar might be a bit strange. On Sunday 23 August 2020, I will be honoured to participate in this panel hosted by the Fighting Spirit Film Festival: Design by Be Water Creative https://twitter.com/LetsBeWater   As with all panels, the conversation will ebb and flow so I am not sure exactly what I will say, or what I will have time to get into in detail. So, I thought that I would list a few of my talking points below as a follow up. The the ..read more
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FSFF Online Seminar: The Cultural Impact of Martial Arts films
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
2y ago
I am honoured and excited to be included on the panel hosted by Fighting Spirit Film Festival. To quote from the event’s Eventbrite page: Fighting Spirit Film Festival are proud to present our first online seminar, examining the cultural impact of martial arts films. Since the 1970s, martial arts films have spread across the globe – in this seminar we will look how their impact transcended film and moved into pop culture, and found unexpected popularity with minority communities in the West. To help us with this, we have assembled a panel of experts who will deep dive into the genre and disc ..read more
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New blog on 36styles.com
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
2y ago
I was recently honoured to be invited to do some guest blogging for the 36 Styles website. My first blog is about Chor Yuen’s wuxia pian ‘Roving Swordsman’. “I was almost fooled!” ripostes Feng Rusung (played by Kwan Fung), one of the good guys in Chor Yuen’s Roving Swordsman, when confronted by one of many sleights of hand that take place during the course of this film’s plot. While it is a throwaway line in one of the early scenes, it is also apt, for Roving Swordsman is full of trickery and deceit as its protagonists and antagonists try to outwit each other. To read the rest of the blog ..read more
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Researching Shaw Brothers
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
3y ago
One of the most challenging, but, paradoxically, most enjoyable aspects of writing Ask for the Moon was conducting research. Out of respect for both my readers and the filmmakers about whom I was writing, I took great care in assembling reliable information on which to base the stories and ideas I was presenting. As a long-time fan of martial arts movies I always knew where to start, having parsed relevant books in the State Library of Victoria as well as enjoying online resources such as web archives, blogs, and YouTube clips. As a producer and disseminator of cultural product, Shaw Brothers ..read more
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Year of the Rat
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
3y ago
A few days ago the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Rat began. Rat characteristics include cleverness, a strong work ethic, and entrepreneurialism. As these qualities can be recognised in the way the Shaw Brothers ran their business (in fact, Runme Shaw was born in the Year of the Rat*). I thought that I would check to see if anything significant happened for Shaw Brothers Organisation in past Years of the Rat. Apparently, the Year of the Rat is auspicious for new beginnings. And it was in 1924, the Year of the Wood Rat, that Shaw Brothers got their start as filmmakers: “By 1924, (eldest brother ..read more
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The Yellow Carpet
Ask for the Moon
by Meredith
4y ago
If you are ever lucky enough to watch a Shaw Brothers martial arts movie from the 60s or 70s, be sure to keep an eagle eye out for the yellow carpet: “Somewhere during his film commentary on Heroes of the East, kung fu movie expert Bey Logan points out a magnificent yellow carpet that is used to dress a set. He mentions that some fans (he thinks they were Dutch) pointed out to him that this same carpet is used time and again in Shaw Brothers movie sets. I first listened to Logan’s excellent commentary years ago now; his comment about the carpet stuck in my mind. It stuck in my mind because he ..read more
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