DOUBLE FEATURE Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon & Kung Fu Hustle

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Pickford Film Center Mon, Jun 13 6:30 PM


Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow, 2004)
Stephen Chow was Hong Kong’s biggest star in the 1990s, with a series of box office smash comedies that mixed complex verbal wordplay with farcical slapstick and martial arts action. In the 2000s, now directing his own films, he began making increasingly sophisticated works, while at the same time integrating computer-generated effects. In Kung Fu Hustle, Chow plays a wanna-be hoodlum who gets involved in a war between a vicious gang and the residents of a housing complex who have a surprising amount of martial arts skill. Freely grabbing from old martial arts serials, post-war Cantonese comedies, and Looney Tunes cartoons, Kung Fu Hustle is one of Chow’s most accomplished works, and was by far his biggest hit in the US.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
Still the highest-grossing non-English language film in American box office history, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is Taiwanese director Ang Lee lush reimagining of the classic wuxia films of King Hu (Dragon Gate InnA Touch of Zen). Gathering a cast from across the Chinese-speaking world (Hong Kong’s Chow Yun-fat and Cheng Pei-pei; Malaysia’s Michelle Yeoh; Taiwan’s Chang Chen; and the Mainland’s Zhang Ziyi), Lee adapts a story of martial chivalry set in the Qing Dynasty, where the free-spirited daughter of an official steals a powerful sword from two aging heroes of the jianghu, the borderlands outside normal society that is the home of warriors and bandits governed not by laws or desires, but by a strict code of duty and honor. With dazzling choreography by the legendary Yeun Woo-ping (The Matrix, Drunken Master) and a propulsive score by Tan Dun, Crouching Tiger remains a landmark of prestige martial arts cinema.

Series Description:

"Hong Kong cinema blossomed in the 1960s and 70s with bright colorful musicals and astoundingly acrobatic martial arts spectacles. It reached international prominence in the 80s and early 90s with audacious and anarchic experiments in genre film form: lush romances, hyper-kinetic thrillers, mind-bending comedies. But by 1997, when the former British colony was handed over to Mainland Chinese control, many of Hong Kong's brightest stars and directors had left for Hollywood. This is a series about what happened after they left, about the filmmakers who stayed behind and how they navigated their new world in-between East and West.

"Stephen Chow unites the traditions of 1970s comedy and kung fu with modern special effects in Kung Fu Hustle while Ang Lee adapts the epic wuxias of King Hu into a stately international box office smash with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Johnnie To charts the arcane rituals of the criminal underworld, and their manipulations by a ruling elite in Election and Election 2. And Fruit Chan carves out new territory for independent cinema with Made in Hong Kong, shot on scrounged bits of leftover film scraps and released mere months after the Handover, an essential snapshot of teens trapped in a world they know is about to end, haunted by the idea of what happens next."