Today is a special day, mark your calendars Asian Films Fans! Jimmy Wang Yu to receive Lifetime Achievement Award! If you are nearby New York City tonight and love Wang Yu and/or oldschool movies, GO!
Congratulations Jimmy Wang Yu (aka Jimmy Wong Yu)!
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Photo Credit: Film Society Lincoln Center
Copied from New York Asian Film Festival
In the 1960s the Shaw Brothers were looking to expand from their more traditional dramas and romances to martial arts films, and one of their hires was a former water polo champion, horse rider and car racer: Jimmy Wong Yu. Appearing in films like Temple of the Red Lotus, Twin Swords, Magnificent Trio and Tiger Boy at the beginning of his career, his true breakthrough came in Chang Chen’s landmark The One-Armed Swordsman (1967), the film that launched Wong Yu’s career as well as the martial arts swordfighting movie (wuxia pian) craze. With all the fury and masculine intensity exploding from the screen, Jimmy Wong Yu became the prototype for the tough stoic male characters that this new wave of swordfighting films brought to the screen.
If The One-Armed Swordsman launched Wong Yu into stardom, it was The Chinese Boxer (1970) that cemented his legendary status by igniting the kung fu fever that was to become a global phenomenon. Written, directed, and starring Wong Yu, The Chinese Boxer was the first major movie to devote itself entirely to the art of kung fu. It established the basic conventions, such as revenge as a motive, Chinese martial arts versus Japanese martial arts, and strong nationalistic feeling, all of which later found their way into the films of Bruce Lee. Following this film, Wong Yu broke his contract with Shaw Brothers and started making films in Taiwan with Golden Harvest, including his masterpiece Beach of the War Gods (1973), described by scholar Stephen Teo as “the swordfighting movie to end all swordfighting movies.”
Wong Yu is currently enjoying an Indian Summer in his long career, with outstanding roles in Peter Chan’s Wu Xia (aka Dragon, 2011), and Andrew Lau’s The Guillotines (2012). Most recently, he starred in Chung Mong-hong’s arty slasher Soul (2013), turning it into a showcase for his acting talent, where with hardly a change in facial expression, he’s able to summon up a whole range of emotions (sadness, paternal love, madness). With a career spanning over five decades, he has acted in over 80 films, directed 12 films and left an indelible mark on the history of martial arts cinema. For all of these accomplishments it is our deepest honor to present Jimmy Wong Yu with our Lifetime Achievement Award, and to screen three of his films at this year’s Festival (The One-Armed Swordsman, The Chinese Boxer, and Soul).
Copied from Film Society Lincoln Center
Master of the Flying Guillotine
Jimmy Wong Yu, 1976
Taiwan/Hong Kong | Mandarin with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | 93 minutes
Ticket includes admission to the 5:30pm reception with Jimmy Wong Yu in the Furman Gallery.
After becoming the face of the martial-arts sword-fighting movie (wuxia pian) craze with his legendary performance in Chang Cheh’s The One Armed Boxer (1967), and paving the way for Bruce Lee by igniting kung-fu fever with The Chinese Boxer (1970), Jimmy Wong Yu went on to create a grindhouse masterpiece with Master of the Flying Guillotine, in which a blind lama assassin employed by the Qing Emperor goes after the righteous “One-Armed Boxer” (played by the director). Featuring extravagant choreography by brothers Lau Kar-leung and Lau Kar-wing, this film set the template for martial-arts video games with its centerpiece kung-fu tournament full of freaky contestants, and the fireworks of its final showdown (set in a booby-trapped coffin shop) have yet to be equaled.
Screening as part of An Evening with Jimmy Wong Yu:
Jimmy Wong Yu will be presented the New York Asian Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award and will participate in an on-stage discussion before a screening of his massively entertaining martial-arts classic Master of the Flying Guillotine, projected on glorious 35mm.
Co-presented with Subway Cinema and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.
For more information, please check out:
I made some animated GIF's in celebration:
NOTE: Props to my friend Mentoir K for the heads-up!