Wednesday, September 03, 2008

WED 9/3 to SUN 9/7: Free Kung-Fu Cinema in Chinatown!

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
Films at the Gate 2008
at Vacant Lot near Chinatown Gate, about 10 Hudson St, Boston (Chinatown)

You can't go wrong with any night of this annual outdoor film series of kung-fu movies. It's not surprising since the person who picks the films was a projectionist at a couple of now-shuttered Chinatown moviehouses, and she knows her kung-fu movies.

I bet all those involved with "Films at the Gate" wished at least one theatre was still open in Chinatown. Alas! When life gives you lemons, sometimes you need to make Chinese lemon chicken... We get to watch the fruits of their labor for free out in the fresh air.

aerial viewAll of these might be deemed martial-arts classics. I think it's cool to see these movies with the original Chinese audio (including English subtitles), which must improve all of the screenings. Most of my kung-fu watching has been overdubbed -- in fact, I can't remember not watching with English overdubbing. (While I loved the cheesiness of those voice actors, none of them were any good.)

Seats are first-come, first-serve; but feel free to bring your own.

No one will mind if you pick up some food to eat, except for the hungry guy next to you. (How do you say, "You snooze, you lose," in Mandarin?)

The schedule is as follows, and there is much more info on the website:

WED 9/3: "My Young Auntie"

This sounds like a fun and funny movie that has some kickass action scenes.
THUR 9/4: "Police Story"
If you haven't seen any of Jackie Chan's Chinese films, you've only seen a small sliver of his greatness. This will give you a new appreciation for Jackie Chan, who also directed it. This is considered one of his best movies.
FRI 9/5: "Red Heroine" w/ live music soundtrack by Devil Music Ensemble
This is a real gem, because it's a 70-year-old silent film, which is one of the oldest surviving martial-arts movies. Devil Music Ensemble have provided live soundtracks for many silents. They're in the middle of a tour with "Red Heroine" (and includes a stop in Union Square on Saturday.) I doubt the music will sound much like the original score, but this should be a cool experience.
SAT 9/6: "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin"
Many people consider this the ultimate kung fu movie. You know the Wu Tang Clan would agree. I know RZA has talked about how much this (among others) was a major influence on him. It was also an influence on everything that followed in this genre.
SUN 9/7: "Iron Monkey: The Young Wong Fei Hong"
Another classic, this movie features Donnie Yen who was born in Canton (China, not Mass) and moved to Boston when he was a kid. There will be a live demonstration by the Bow Sim Mark Tai Chi Arts Association (Donnie Yen studied with Bow Sim-Mark) and Rick Wong's Chinese Martial Arts, so the movie (running time: 90 minutes) will start around 7:20pm.

crowd shot

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