Sunday, 8 July 2007

Heroes of the East (1978)

Chinese Title: Chinese Husband.

Heroes of the East (1978) I have little doubt that this kungfu flick is inspired by Bruce Lee's The Chinese Connection. Before Bruce Lee, the HK film industry shunned away from political controversy/sensitivity. Bruce Lee's movie The Chinese Connection changed that. Not many such movies were made, if any. But after The Chinese Connection, more of movies that appeals to the national pride was made. This 1 is much more conciliatory in tone (as well as somewhat more light hearted than the Bruce Lee's movie). Still, I think this is a good idea. Otherwise, it would be the same movie.

Despite the many similarities of these 2 cultures in the Far East, this flick highlights the cultural differences between Chinese and Japanese from wedding to martial arts.

In their wedding, the Japanese bride wears white, symbolises purity. While Chinese wear white robes during funeral ONLY according to tradition because colour represents festivity. Traditional Chinese brides wear red in wedding. The Japanese bride then refuses to kneel as Chinese couple would during wedding. On the other hand, Japanese bows a lot in everyday life while Chinese only bows during formal occasions. And so forth.

The Japanese national martial arts like judo, and karate are characterised by efficiency, effectiveness, economy, and power. In fact, Bruce Lee's style has more in common with the Japanese martial arts than the Chinese ones. While Chinese martial arts are characterised by huge variety of styles. So for every Japanese martial art, there's always a style to overcome it. This is fine in principle. In reality, who could have possibly mastered all these different styles like our hero (played by Gordon Liu) in 1 day?

Oh well, it's only a kungfu flick...and an interesting 1 that explores these differences that you would want to know, but too afraid to ask. Who says kungfu flick isn't informative or educational? They should make more martial arts movies like this.

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