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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: Romeo Must Die
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0626  Thursday, 30 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 19:25:40 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die

[2]     From:   Andrew J. Hamilton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 20:19:22 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 19:25:40 +0100
Subject: 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die

> >It simply isn't accurate, nor is it far, to suggest that the two
> >Kurosawa films Tanya mentions, Ran and Throne of Blood, are part of the
> >"martial arts" genre.

I may be slightly offside on this, as I owe most of what I know on this
to my Darling Only Son, but ..

Don't the Kurosawa (7 Samurai, Throne of Blood, and "Ran") predate the
Bruce Lee (specifically) "martial arts" genre?  [And "martial arts"
ISN'T identical to samuria movies] ...

How much truth is there in the rumour that Bruce Lee (and Samo of
Britland Channel 5 fame) are refugees from the Peking Opera?

[And let's not forget "Rashoman Gates" ...]

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew J. Hamilton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 20:19:22 +0000
Subject: 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0612 Re: Romeo Must Die


 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 ,Internet writes:

>> >It simply isn't accurate, nor is it far, to suggest that the two
>> >Kurosawa films Tanya mentions, Ran and Throne of Blood, are part of the
>> >"martial arts" genre.

I assume this is the Shakespeare list as these two films are re-workings
of King Lear and Macbeth respectively.

>Don't the Kurosawa (7 Samurai, Throne of Blood, and "Ran") predate the
>Bruce Lee (specifically) "martial arts" genre?  [And "martial arts" ISN'T
>identical to samuria movies] ...

The Seven Samurai (not inspired by Shakespeare) was made in 1954, Throne
of Blood 1957, and Ran 1985.  Bruce Lee made his films in the early
seventies.

Kurosawas films are not 'martial art' films, although you could possibly
say that the Samurai used a martial art, (I don't know enough about
them).  The closest connection is that the Samurai used swords, but the
'martial arts' films of the time were all set in China.

>How much truth is there in the rumour that Bruce Lee (and Samo of Britland
>Channel 5 fame) are refugees from the Peking Opera?

Now you've got me going.  Samo, and Jackie Chan, trained at a Peking
Opera school in Hong Kong for ten years (about 1960-1970).  This
involved learning acrobatics, dance, singing, kung fu and the other
things that were needed for a performance.  By all accounts the training
was incredibly brutal, the kind of 'teaching' Samo got is now illegal.
When (usually very poor) children joined part of the contract their
parents signed was that the school could never be held accountable for
the accidental death of the child!  The elite, including Samo, performed
and sometimes had parts in films, but after graduating around 1970 he
found that the Peking Opera was largely dying out.  Having only learned
basic literacy skills the only thing that made money was to work, along
with everyone else that had been to one of these schools, as a stunt man
in the mass of low budget kung fu films being made at the time.

Bruce Lee did not attend a Peking Opera school, but his Dad was an actor
in the films being made in Hong Kong during the forties and fifties,
heavily influenced by Peking Opera, and Bruce sometimes appeared as a
child actor.  He had an OK upbringing, living in America for part of his
childhood, and moved there in his twenties.  He invented his own martial
arts discipline and ran schools in America, teaching Hollywood stars
like Steve McQueen.  He wanted to break into movies there, he has a
minor role in a Raymond Chandler adaptation made in 1969, but ended
starring in 3 big films in Hong Kong between 1971 and 1972.  He made an
American film, which Samo and Jackie Chan worked as a stuntmen on, in
1973 before dying shortly after aged 33.

Love, Andrew.
 

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