6th Old School Kung Fu Fest
Action Classics from Hong Kong’s Golden Harvest Studio
The Old School Kung Fu Fest, a three-day barrage of the rarest, wildest, and most incredible classic martial arts and action movies is back for its 6th annual edition. This year, we’re focusing on Golden Harvest, the studio that became Hong Kong’s leading purveyor of truly insane action cinema in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
Established in 1970 by Raymond Chow and Leonard Ho, Golden Harvest fast became a rival to Shaw Brothers with a string of blockbusters in the 1970s, and went on to became a dominant force in the Hong Kong film industry throughout the 80’s and 90’s, producing, financing, and distributing over 600 films across many genres. The studio has nurtured the talents of Bruce Lee, John Woo, Michael Hui, Stanley Kwan, Jimmy Wang Yu, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Angela Mao, and many others.
Golden Harvest was also active in the international market. After successfully collaborating with Warner Bros. on Enter the Dragon, the studio went on to set up its own film division in the U.S. and invested in around 20 Hollywood films, including Battle Creek Brawl (1980), which was Jackie Chan’s first attempt to crack the U.S. market, The Cannonball Run (1981), High Road to China (1983), Cannonball Run II (1984), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
To celebrate Golden Harvest’s legacy, we have put together a program of some of the studio’s greatest martial arts and action films: we’ve got Bruce Lee’s funkadelic masterpiece Enter The Dragon (1973); the original One-Armed Swordsman (Jimmy Wang Yu) and the one-off James Bond (George Lazenby) going mano-a-mano in the car crashtastic The Man From Hong Kong (1975); Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao in martial arts action paradise with The Prodigal Son (1981); Sammo Hung directing and starring in Pedicab Driver (1989), the greatest achievement of his early career; Jackie Chan fighting a big yellow hovercraft in Rumble in the Bronx (1995); Tsui Hark’s feral swordplay movie The Blade (1996); and the last truly great Hong Kong cop film of the 90s, Big Bullet (1996). All the titles (except Prodigal Son) will be super-rare 35mm screenings!*
In other exciting news for fans of Hong Kong cinema, Warner Archive has begun to make Golden Harvest titles available as part of their manufacture on demand service. 16×9 widescreen DVDs in their original language with English captions can be ordered for the discerning film fan’s collection. Titles include A Terra-Cotta Warrior (1989), He’s a Woman, She’s a Man (1994), The Blade (1995), Pedicab Driver (1989), Blade of Fury (1993), Big Bullet (1996) and Downtown Torpedoes (1997) – and these few are just the beginning! For information on how to order visit www.warnerarchive.com
The 6th Old School Kung Fu Fest is presented with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York, in association with Warner Archive.
We’re deeply grateful for the support of the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation.
*The Prodigal Son will be screened on DCP.
OLD SCHOOL KUNG FU FEST Breaking News!
At the Saturday screening of ENTER THE DRAGON we’re starting out with a costume contest! Dress as any Old School Kung Fu character (Jackie in lots of denim! Sammo in plaid! Gordon Liu topless! Even a ninja!) and you could win THE GOLDEN BRUCE!!! Which is the greatest prize in the world! And it gets you free admission to every single other movie in the line-up. Plus, we’ll have Blu-Ray boxed sets and other prizes for the runners-up! And a quick trip to the puma tank for the losers.
Then at 7pm we’re holding an Australia party for our audience because…AUSTRALIA! That’s right! Celebrate the land down under with free beer (Foster’s, no less) and koala hugs.
Where is it? At the Metrograph!
What time is it? 7pm (we just said!)
How do you get in?
Just buy a ticket to that day’s 5:45pm screening of Oz-ploitation classic, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG (tickets), or a ticket to that night’s screening of A TERRA-COTTA WARRIOR (tickets), bring your ID, and you can party like the beds are burning!
BIG BULLET 衝鋒隊─怒火街頭
(1996, Hong Kong, 92 minutes, 35mm, in Cantonese with English and Chinese subtitles)
Directed by Benny Chan
Starring: Sean Lau Ching-Wan, Jordan Chan, Cheung Tat-Ming, Theresa Lee
1996 was the end of one era of Hong Kong movies, and the beginning of another. The box office was in freefall, and people were trying new things because no one knew what worked. Benny Chan, previously known for his light comedies, wanted to try action and Big Bullet was his shot. Starring Lau Ching-wan (Full Alert) as a hard-nosed cop demoted to riding in a patrol van with a gang of misfits (including Jordan Chan, who’d score big playing a gangster in that year’s Young & Dangerous movies), his gang of losers runs afoul of a pair of baroque criminals played by Anthony Wong (The Untold Story) and Yu Rong-Guang (A Terra-Cotta Warrior) out to knock over Interpol Headquarters. Ridiculous? Sure, but it was a chance for Chan and action director Ma Yuk-Sing (The East is Red) to showcase their new brand of action that mixed high octane Hollywood boom-boom with Hong Kong’s complex action set pieces to deliver what feels like an 80s Hollywood action classic like Lethal Weapon with the “Mayhem” dial turned up to 11.
Friday, April 8 at 5:40pm
Sunday, April 10 at 10:00pm
ENTER THE DRAGON 龍爭虎鬥
(1973, USA/Hong Kong, 98 minutes, 35mm)
Directed by Robert Clouse
Starring: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Angela Mao, Shih Kien, Sammo Hung, Bolo Yeung.
The legendary martial arts film that cemented Bruce Lee as an international cinema icon, Robert Clouse’s Enter the Dragon is a punchdrunk ride through exploitation heaven that shaped the pattern for the thousands of martial arts movies that followed in its wake. Bruce plays a martial arts champ who goes undercover for British intelligence on the island of Mr. Han (longtime Hong Kong star Shih Kien) where he’ll fight in an underground tournament where the world’s best martial artists try to kill each other to earn a job with Mr. Han. Competing against him are American exploitation star John Saxon and blaxploitation hero Jim Kelly. Lee is especially hacked off that his sister (Hong Kong martial arts heroine Angela Mao) was recently beaten to death in the streets by Mr. Han’s bodyguard. Bruce Lee is a beautiful animal in this flick, burning like a supernova as he dishes out beatdowns and neck breakings like candy at a Shriner’s parade. This was his one shot to show the world why everyone should know his name, and he seizes it with both hands and takes a big, bloody bite out of it.
Saturday, April 9 at 3:15pm
PEDICAB DRIVER 群龍戲鳳
(1989, Hong Kong, 93 minutes, 35mm, in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles)
Directed by Sammo Hung
Starring: Sammo Hung, Nina Li, Yuet Suen, Max Mok, Fennie Yuen, Lau Kar-Leung, Corey Yuen Kwai, and Billy Chow.
Long unseen and unavailable on home video, until Warner Archive finally brought it to DVD this year, 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 a galaxy of 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. As Lau Kar-leung tells Sammo: “Fatty, you’re crafty!” Then watch Sammo unleash infinite pain on super-kicker Billy Chow (the Japanese baddie in Fist of Legend (1994). Audience-pleasing, heart-pumping, nitro-burning moviemaking in what is arguably one of the best martial arts movies of the 1980’s.
Friday, April 8 at 7:50pm
Saturday, April 9 at 11:00pm
RUMBLE IN THE BRONX 紅番區
(1995, Hong Kong, 103 minutes, 35mm, in Cantonese with English and Chinese subtitles)
Directed by Stanley Tong
Starring: Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Francoise Yip, Bill Tung, Marc Akerstream.
It’s the candy-colored, DayGlo movie that finally broke Jackie Chan big in America, Rumble in the Bronx is like the 90’s Saturday morning cartoon of your dreams. The second time Chan teamed up with director-stunt coordinator, Stanley Tong (the first was Police Story III: Supercop), it’s really “Rumble in Vancouver” with the freshly-scrubbed Canadian wonderland standing in for the “dangerous” Bronx, and that sets the tone for this lighthearted riff on the Jackie Chan formula. Here he plays a cop coming to Bron-Couver for his uncle’s wedding, but he randomly runs up against diamond thieves, and winds up having to protect a local supermarket. It’s as goofy as it sounds, full of rampaging hovercraft, goodnatured gang members, kids in wheelchairs wishing their legs were “normal,” and some of the goofiest dialogue to ever come out of Hong Kong. On the other hand, it features Hong Kong’s great diva, Anita Mui, as the supermarket owner, some gravity-defying fight scenes from Jackie, and it’s peppered with Stanley Tong’s jumps and stunts — including a leap onto a hovercraft that broke Jackie’s ankle (he finished the movie with his foot in a cast painted to look like his shoe). The gooniest, most 90’s movie that Chan ever made.
Saturday, April 9 at 1:00pm
Sunday, April 10 at 5:30pm
Metrograph 7 Ludlow St
Screenings will be held at Metrograph, located at 7 Ludlow Street, between Canal and Hester streets, in the Lower East Side.
NOTE: Metrograph is an assigned-seating movie house. To choose your preferred seats, we recommend that you buy tickets in advance online.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the box office.
General admission: $15; Senior & Child: $12 (Senior and child tickets must be bought in person at the box-office). Matinees: $12 (The first show of the day is priced at a reduced matinee rate, available both online and in person). Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.
About Old School Kung Fu Fest
Old School Kung Fu Fest (OSKFF) is an annual celebration of the rarest, wildest, and most incredible martial arts and action cinema from the ‘60s through the ‘90s, presented on rare 35mm film prints whenever possible. Rising from the ashes of Subway Cinema’s original Old School Kung Fu Fest underground screenings of the early 2000’s, the new incarnation was relaunched in 2013 as a 3-day spring festival, infused with the grindhouse spirit of New York’s 42nd Street and Chinatown theaters, and designed for the maximum audience enjoyment. Twitter: @subwaycinema (#oldschool16).
Showcasing first-run and repertory films, Metrograph is a two screen movie house built with archive-quality 35mm film projection, state-of-the-art digital projection, a restaurant, cinema-dedicated rare bookshop, café, and lounge. The definitive place for people to celebrate cinema.
Metrograph – 7 Ludlow Street (between Hester St. and Canal St.)
F Train to East Broadway
D/B Train to Grand Street
J/M/Z/F Train to Essex Street