Celestial Pictures | Kim August
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Ramblings on Chang Cheh’s ‘THE DUEL’

By Kim August === Where else but in a Chang Cheh movie would frenemies comment on each other’s knife skills as they slice through their targets like butter? The fight in question happens early in The Duel as rival gang bloodshed turns inward toward the Ren clan. Brothers...

KEMBUCHI AND THE ART OF CONQUEST: A TRIBUTE TO FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS’ BIG BAD

By Kim August In 1982, director Chang Cheh unleashed one of his greatest examples of super-heroic mayhem with Five Elements Ninjas. Calling back to a favorite theme of China vs. Japan, this no-holds-barred example of Peking Opera acrobatics and traditional Japanese ninjutsu remains a fan favorite...

David Chiang steals money and your heart in The Wandering Swordsman

“I don’t feel like messing around with you. Please excuse me!” In this Robin Hood style early Chang Cheh wuxia, none of our heroes are who they seem to be. Lily Li’s Miss Jiang is not quite the damsel in distress she seems-despite her crying- Miss...

Romance Shaw Brothers style…

Love abounds in Shaw Brothers movies. Below are a few favorites featuring sword-crossed fighters, and modern-day innocents who may or may not find their heart's desire.   Have Sword Will Travel (1969) by Chang Cheh. Yun Pao Pao’s (Li Ching) devotion to fiancé Siang (Ti Lung) only...

Happy Birthday Chen Kuan-Tai!

生日快樂, 陳觀泰! Happy Birthday Chen Kuan-Tai! Discovered by Shaw Brothers in 1969, this champion martial artist quickly ascended the studio’s productions, from extra (he’s one of the guards David Chang kills in Vengeance!) to leading man. Chen Kuan-Tai soon became a favorite of directors Chang...

Celebrating Ti Lung on his Birthday with Kim August

生日快樂, 狄龍!   Many happy blessings to Ti Lung on his birthday! Building upon last year’s celebratory article; this piece explores a few of the many martial arts forms and moves Ti Lung performed throughout his swordplay filmography at Shaw Brothers. Superb execution of kung fu is why...

THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD, STATUS IS THE BIGGEST PRIZE BY KIM AUGUST

In The Deadly Breaking Sword, director Sun Chung places reputation above all else. This desire for rank and status ripples off the quartet of men who dominate this tale.   For Tuan Chang-Qing the Deadly Breaking Sword, his many duels are a minor war against any who...