Sunday, March 28, 2010

[In Flight] How Bruce Lee Changed The World

I cannot partake in the launch of the Bruce Lee 7010 Spotlight Celebrations at the Hong Kong International Film Festival on Tuesday, which will be graced by Linda Lee and Shannon Lee, the wife and daughter of Bruce Lee respectively, and comes complete with film screenings of all his films, especially the earlier, non kung-fu ones, exhibitions, seminars and a newly launched publication whose cover is as above. But that doesn't mean that I cannot choose not to watch this when found hidden within the menus of the plane's inflight entertainment unit.

Written and directed by Steve Webb, How Bruce Lee Changed The World has been meticulously researched for the breath of Bruce Lee's work and influence around the world, and watching him in action again takes the cake, thanks to the fantastic sequences from his films and TV series like The Green Hornet even, complete with plenty of archival photos and footage of the man who would bring about a huge cultural impact for underdogs, and in general, for people around the world. Not only in the world of film, but being an influencer in things like dance as well!

Perhaps the most valuable amongst all the footage seen, to a fan like myself, will be the documentary ones with Bruce Lee showing what it takes to be an all round fighter working hard to maintain a tip top physique, as well as executing moves which will leave everyone doing a double take. It's quite unbelievable to see through the archival clips left, but Bruce Lee can do one-hand-two-fingered pushups repeatedly, floor someone with his famed one-inch punch, and mesmerize opponents with his lightning quick reflexes, leaving one grasping for the air, when he would have already delivered a lethal blow. You'd come to appreciate just how rare his talent is, and these film reels shown will likely make a fan out of any martial arts practitioner out there.

Containing scores of interviews with those who have been co-stars, students, peers and just about anyone who had worked with him before, even luminaries such as Golden Harvest's Raymong Wong, the film shares plenty of how the Bruce Lee influence shaped their respective lives, from being touched by his philosophy, approach to martial arts, or just about debunking stereotypes and the boosting of hopes for the downtrodden who have been inspired by his martial arts films where the character he plays seek justice, and is never shy to use his fists and weapons like the nunchaks when the situation calls for it.

From time to time I wonder just how Bruce Lee would have further developed himself as a fighter with his Jeet Kune Do, as well as the numerous kung-fu flicks that he would have brought to the table, if not for his unfortunate, early demise. One can only fantasize, otherwise this film is a fitting tribute of one of Asia's biggest action stars who's really the real deal. Now to really save up for that collector's edition box set that compiles The Big Boss right up to The Game of Death!

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