fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Chiachi Wu 吳佳琪

Picture of Chiachi Wu 吳佳琪
Chia-chi Wu received her Ph.D. from Cinema and Media Studies (formerly Critical Studies), School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of English at National Taiwan Normal University. Her areas of research include film and cultural theory, contemporary East Asian (queer) films, 21st century martial arts cinema, and trans-Chinese micro cinema (wei dianying).

Chinese Martial Arts Cinema in the 21st Century: from Wong Fei-hung to Huang Fei-hong

( This manuscript is NOT a formally written paper and is NOT FOR CITATION in any form. )     The real Wong Fei-hung (WFH) was a celebrated martial artist, a physician, an herbalist, and a street performer. He belonged to the Hong Fist (洪拳) of the Southern Shaolin School (南少林) and was taught by his father, Wong Kei-ying (黃麒英). Wong Fei-hung’s legend was first popularized because of the serialized stories written by Zhu Yu-zhai in Hong Kong and published in newspapers in the 40s. In 1949, the first WFH film, True Story of Wong Fei-hung, (Huang feihong zhuan) was made, with 2 installments. This film ushered in a new era of martial arts films, and the directors trademarked it with Cantonese opera actor Kwan Tak-hing (關德興). These two films started the longest running series in world cinema. In my count, there are at least 107 films made featuring WFH from 1949 to 1997. And it is officially confirmed that Kwan Tak-hing appeared invariably as WFH in 77 films.      This specifically Cantonese series proclaimed to be kung fu, in the sense that it departed from a previous fantasy subgenre of martial arts, shenguai wuxia (神怪武俠). It rejected the

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal