Today I was kicked in the back of the chair by someone here in the Hebe Media office. It made me want to get my Kung Fu on! It also got me thinking of some of the great Kung Fu movies I used to watch as a kid.
Kung Fu, played such an important role in the Far East movie movement. In 1949, a of bunch of martial arts academies put together a fund to shoot a film about a legendary hero Wong Fei-Hung with not just acting, but actual kung fu fights in it. Since then, Kung Fu movies grew in popularity. Every decade, there were new Kung Fu stars to take the genre to the next level. The greatest star of all was Bruce Lee, his brand new performing style attracted global attention. After he died, all the studios tried to create a different Kung Fu star to fill his spot, including Jackie Chan. But people weren't buying it, no one can replace Bruce Lee.
"After Bruce Lee passed away, the whole movie industry went down. Everyone thinks he is the best, no one wanted to watch other Kung Fu movies, I was very disappointed at the time." - Jackie Chan
Luckily, a few years later they found back into people's hearts: Kung Fu comedy. And finally, Jackie Chan's career took off from this point. In the 80s, Kung Fu became a great support for action films, a few action directors even made it to the Hollywood and are still playing important roles there like Yuen Woo-ping for Matrix, Charlie's Angel, etc. Jet Li became famous afterwards in the 90s by playing the legend Wong Fei-Hung.
Some people think that one of the popular themes in Kung Fu movies, you know the one, where the Kung Fu master beats some foreigner, are a comfort for the memories of the Chinese being invaded by foreign intruders. For kids (like me!), Kung Fu characters were just like Superman for us, giving us the feeling of knowing someone out there with great power, is fighting the big man and protecting us. And also it is just a lot of fun to learn from the tv how to Kick people in the face with style ;)