Sunday, February 22, 2009

Congratulations Best Supporting Actor Heath Ledger

Thank you Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the community of voters, for recognizing the late, great Heath Ledger and his extraordinary portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. with the 2009 Oscar® for Best Supporting Actor.

This was one of the finest performances I've ever seen on film.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Donnie Yen is the great Ip Man

I have been a passionate follower of Chinese-language martial arts cinema for most of my life. Though I have learned the chronology of martial arts cinema and have seen many films in the genre from the 1930s to the present, in terms of my own chronology, I fell in love with this type of film as a New York kid in the 1970s. This was, of course, the start of the golden era of martial arts motion picture production, with films from the Shaw Brothers (邵氏片場) and Cathay (國泰) dominant and prolific, the emergence of new production powerhouses such as Golden Harvest (嘉禾娛樂有限公司), and with stars like the one-and-only Bruce Lee (李振藩; Li Zhenfan). My dad took me to see poorly-subtitled versions of these films in crusty old 42nd Street movie theaters -- dodging hookers, drug dealers and other such characters en route -- where they would play as double-features with a bad, American exploitation flick. I can't even remember the exploitation movies; all I wanted to see were the Hong Kong action pictures.