As a culture writer, a Chinese person, and a comics nerd, I’ve had a deep interest in the character of Shang-Chi, and the way he has been used over the last half century. I’ve written about him in the build up to Marvel’s first Asian led movie, but now that I have seen the film, and had a chance to really digest it, I’ve got a lot to discuss.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, comics, culture, film, Ghost Month, kungfu, Mandarin, Marvel, MCU, reaction, Shang-chi, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, wushu, Wuxia
I did some work on Shang-chi for a project last year, which didn’t materialise due to the pandemic. The filming of the MCU movie was delayed, also due to COVID_19. Now that it’s finally in the can, I’m celebrating its shaqing by reworking the contents of that unfortunate project into an article that looks at the pitfalls and potential of Marvel’s cultural representation of a character whose origins were so problematic, and yet whose development through the decades of comics has been so interesting.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, comics, cultural appropriation, culture, diversity, film, kungfu, Marvel, MCU, movie, racism, representation, Shang-chi
2013’s Chinese New Year movie, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons is a kungfu fantasy film directed by Chi-kin Kwok and Stephen Chow. It’s based on one of the four cornerstones of Chinese classical literature, Xi You Ji or Journey to the West. Set in the Tang Dynasty, the novel tells the story of the monk Tripitaka and his perilous journey to India in search for Buddhist sutras, accompanied by his disciples and bodyguards, three reformed demons – a mischievous but super powerful monkey spirit, a fallen god turned pig demon and a fish demon.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, classic, demons, film, Journey to the West, kungfu, literature, Monkey King, movie, novel, Stephen Chow, wuxi a
Run Run Shaw passed away this week at the age of 106. He is known for the great his kung fu movies, and his contributions to the Hong Kong movie industry. However, to me, the impact of Run Run Shaw and his brothers were far wider even than this.
Posted in Commentary and tagged Bladerunner, china, Chinese, culture, film, kungfu, movie, obituary, Shaw Brothers Studios
When I first saw the trailer for Tai Chi Zero last year, I was incredibly impressed and couldn’t wait to see it. Tai Chi Hero, the sequel, was released a month later, October 2012. So far there has been no UK release. On May the 4th, I got to go a one-off showing of the two films in Stratford, courtesy of Terracotta Distribution cross promoting with Sci Fi London, the amazing people who brought the films for showcasing so that English film lovers got a chance to watch it. Tai Chi Zero blew me away. So as well as adding this review to my repertoire of Chinese pop culture articles, I also hope that it will in some way, help with films find a distributor in the UK.
Posted in Culture and tagged china, cinema, culture, film, kungfu, steampunk, tai chi