Old School Kung Fu Fest 2014 Lau Kar-Leung Tribute

Lau Kar-leung is the soul of kung fu. A genius of mayhem, this action auteur is as philosophical as Kubrick and as kinetic as Chan, a Godzilla-sized talent who towers over the martial arts movie landscape. If ever a director was ripe for re-discovery, re-evaluation, and resurrection it’s Lau Kar-leung and his classy, epic, thoughtful, ass-kicking martial arts movies. The first director to treat kung fu realistically, pitting style against style (Northern Fist vs. Southern Leg! Monkey Boxing vs. Drunken Boxing!), he made movies where martial arts were a philosophy, training elevated the soul, virtue was more important than survival, and invincible enemies were stabbed in the eardrums. LKL passed away last year at 78 years old, so we’re unleashing five of his greatest movies, plus his show-stopping appearance in Sammo Hung’s rarely-screened classic, Pedicab Driver, and his unstoppable action choreography in Master of the Flying Guillotine, to pay tribute to the first true master of the martial arts film.

Organized and curated by Subway Cinema/New York Asian Film Festival. Lau Kar-leung tribute and exhibition co-presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York. Canton Viper co-presented with The Korea Society.

Screening materials provided by the American Genre Film Archive, Celestial Pictures, the Korean Film Archive, Pathfinder Pictures, and Warner Brothers. Additional support by Epic Proportions, Dragon Dynasty, Well Go USA, and Yum Cha Studios.

If all that wasn’t enough we’re also exhibiting a bunch of kick-ass poster designs for the films in this series from the following amazing artists: Larry Hama, Bernard Chang, Ken Knudtsen, Jef Castro, Glenn Urieta, John Jennings, and Jerry Ma.

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Schedule

36th Chamber of Shaolin

THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN (aka MASTER KILLER) 少林卅六房

THE 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN (aka MASTER KILLER)  少林卅六房

(1978, 119 minutes, 35mm, with English subtitles)

Part of Lau Kar-leung Tribute; Presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

The movie that cracked the genre in half, 36th Chamber is king of the kung fu films — everyone references it, everyone steals from it, but it still holds up today. LKL’s god-brother, Gordon Liu, plays a kid in Manchu-occupied China who gets his entire family killed by the Manchus because he is an idiot. With nowhere else to go, he flees to the Shaolin Temple, and begs them to train him for revenge. Training involves mastering 35 chambers, each teaching a different discipline, and as he conquers them one-by-one the Buddhist philosophy behind Shaolin kung fu opens his third eye to enlightenment. The training sequence is a stock martial arts movie setpiece, but in the hands of LKL it expands into an hour-long, genius-level, cinematic tone poem on how discipline, focus, commitment, and willpower can save you from yourself.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Friday, April 18 at 7:45pm

Saturday, April 19 at 1:00pm

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CANTON VIPER 毒蛇 / 광동살무사

CANTON VIPER  毒蛇 / 광동살무사

North American premiere!

(1983, 78min, 16mm, in Korean with live English subtitles)

A Korean martial arts movie as raw as steak tartare, CANTON VIPER features “king of kicks” and taekwondo Grandmaster Hwang Jang-lee in the role of a formidable anti-hero struggling with revenge and redemption. In pure Korean tradition, the film wastes no time and throws us right in the midst of an epic showdown between Hwang, the villain of the tale, and 100 swordsmen, whose bodies he proceeds to fling around the Chinese landscape and straight into hell. Exhausted and injured after the carnage, Hwang unknowingly take refuge with the wife and son of a dead foe. Soon, their affections tempt him into changing his bad guy ways. Sadly, a league of kung fu masters is determined to punish him for his sins. Perfectly poised between drama and deadly action, CANTON VIPER is truly one-of-a-kind. Presented and unleashed for the first time in the unsuspecting West!

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Friday, April 18 at 6:00pm

Sunday, April 20 at 1:00pm.

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CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS 陸阿采與黃飛鴻

CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS  陸阿采與黃飛鴻

(1976, 95 minutes, 35mm, with English subtitles)

Part of Lau Kar-leung Tribute; Presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

Appearing in over 100 films before 1976, Wong Fei-hung, the real-life martial arts master and avatar of Confucian virtue, was always depicted onscreen as a pompous stiff. But in Lau Kar-leung’s second film, he was recast as a bratty street punk whose dad won’t let him learn kung fu because then he’ll be an even bigger pain in the ass. An injection of youthful energy, this flick comes straight from the heart. LKL’s dad was a student of Wong Fei-hung’s student, so this family affair pays tribute  to Wong’s real-life legacy. Lau himself plays a criminal on the run, his brother, Lau Kar-wing, plays a cop who’s after him, and his god-brother, Gordon Liu, plays the brash Wong Fei-hung. Full of high energy mayhem, it’s the first martial arts movie to focus on respecting your enemy, not just kicking his ass.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Saturday, April 19 at 3:30pm

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DIRTY HO 爛頭何

DIRTY HO  爛頭何

(1979, 103 minutes, 35mm, with English subtitles)

Part of Lau Kar-leung Tribute; Presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

One of the best titles ever to grace a movie poster comes attached to one of the most sophisticated kung fu movies ever made. The Qing Prince (Gordon Liu) is traveling the country incognito, tasting wine, fondling antiques, and relaxing in brothels. While brothel-relaxing he gets in a scrap with a loud-mouthed conman, Ho (Wong Yue), and forces the punk to become his reluctant servant. This comes in handy when a series of assassins are dispatched to ensure the Prince never returns to the imperial palace. Shakespearean in scope, this flick is a series of secret duels between the Prince and the killers, all taking place in public but disguised as wine tastings and genteel social encounters. LKL reaches dizzying heights of physical invention, and the movie becomes an ever-expanding series of jaw-dropping duels leading to an arrow studded showdown in a sound stage wasteland.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Sunday, April 20 at 7:00pm.

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HEROES OF THE EAST (aka SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA) 中華丈夫

HEROES OF THE EAST (aka SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA)  中華丈夫

(1978, 104 minutes, DigiBeta, in Mandarin with English subtitles)

Part of Lau Kar-leung Tribute; Presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

A classic screwball comedy, only with Mantis Fists and Skirt Kicks replacing quips and wisecracks, this is the kung fu comedy elevated to high art. Ah To (Gordon Liu) is strong-armed into an arranged marriage with the daughter of his dad’s Japanese business partner. The blushing bride, Kuda, and the grim groom soon discover that they’re both martial arts mavens, but they can’t agree on whether Japanese or Chinese skills are superior. So they decide to settle their differences with sword, spear, and throwing stars, gleefully laying waste to their posh new home in the process. Finally, Kuda goes full ninja, and Ah To declares her “sneaky.” Kuda takes it personally and her entire family decides to head to Hong Kong to teach their Chinese in-law a lesson. Combat is couples counseling, and lethal strikes are love bites in LKL’s ode to the sweet, sweet mayhem of marriage.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Saturday, April 19 at 5:30pm

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LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA 十八般武藝

LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA  十八般武藝

(1982, 107 minutes, DigiBeta, in Mandarin with English subtitles)

Part of Lau Kar-leung Tribute; Presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.

Lau Kar-leung is known for his realistic martial arts, but things get gothic when he delves into the supernatural in this steeped-in-dread classic. It’s 1899 and the Westerners are bringing China to its knees with their guns. The Empress Dowager commissions kung fu cults for a solution, and they turn to maoshan magic to become bulletproof, resulting in lots of dead test subjects. One of the masters (Lau Kar-leung), refuses to let his students become bullet-fodder and goes into hiding, so the Empress Dowager orders three of the cults to find him and rip off his face. Ending in an explosive two-part fight scene that sees all 18 legendary weapons unleashed, LKL stages combat in rafters, narrow alleys, and on rooftops in the pouring rain, as he works every nook and cranny of the Shawscope screen in his most visually arresting and grimmest movie.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Sunday, April 20 at 9:15pm.

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MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE 獨臂拳王大破血滴子

MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE A.K.A. THE ONE-ARMED BOXER VS. THE FLYING GUILLOTINE  獨臂拳王大破血滴子

(1976, 93min, 35mm, in Mandarin with English subtitles)

Jimmy Wang Yu writes, directs, and stars in this massively entertaining grindhouse masterpiece. A blind lama assassin employed by the Qing Emperor goes after the righteous “One-Armed Boxer” (Wang Yu). Intent on avenging his two disciples, whom Wang Yu killed, the imperial assassin packs his monk robes, his unbeatable flying guillotine, and soon he’s keeping the clashes coming, the blood flowing, and the heads rolling. His killer quest ends at a kung fu tournament full of freaky martial artists who employ ponytail-strangling, yoga-magic-stretching, and kickboxing, but they’re no match for the killer lama and his one-armed foe! Featuring extravagant choreography by brothers Lau Kar-leung and Lau Kar-wing, MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE set the ultimate template for martial arts video games, and the fireworks of its final showdown (set in a booby-trapped coffin shop) have yet to be equalled.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Saturday, April 19 at 10:00pm

Sunday, April 20 at 3:00pm.

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PEDICAB DRIVER 群龍戲鳳

PEDICAB DRIVER  群龍戲鳳

(1989, 94 minutes, 35mm, in Cantonese with English subtitles)

Long unseen, and unavailable on home video, Sammo Hung’s action masterpiece is here and it wants to kick you through a wall. Set in 1950’s Macau, this action-comedy-drama-romance burns up the screen with old school intensity, and is sprinkled with appearances by many big-name Hong Kong stunt actors and filmmakers. Yuen Biao and Corey Yuen get into a “light saber” duel with fluorescent light tubes! Eric Tsang hides! Sammo takes on Lau Kar-leung, and you won’t want to miss two of the world’s greatest action directors duking it out. See for yourself what makes LKL tell Sammo: “Fatty, you’re crafty!” Then watch Sammo unleashing infinite pain on superkicker, Billy Chow (Japanese baddie in FIST OF LEGEND). Audience-pleasing, heart-pumping, nitro-burning moviemaking in what is arguably one of the best martial arts movies of the 1980s.

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Friday, April 18 at 10:30pm

Sunday, April 20 at 5:00pm

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SUPER SPECIAL SECRET SCREENING!

SUPER SPECIAL SECRET SCREENING!

We can’t tell you the title of this Hong Kong action movie from the 1970s, but trust us: you want to see it on the big screen with an audience! Before the show, we’re going to give away prizes, and make a couple of announcements regarding the lineup and guests for this year’s New York Asian Film Festival, so what more could you possible ask for!?

SHOWTIMES:

TICKETS

Saturday, April 19 at 7:45pm

Anthology Film Archives

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets are now on sale on Brown Paper Tickets.

Pre-ordered tickets do not have Anthology discounts applied to them and will be held for you at the box office to pick up before the start of the show.

Tickets will also be sold day of at Anthology’s ticket booth.

Unfortunately we will not be able to provide refunds on tickets.