New York Asian Film Festival 2010 Report 7: CSB Interviews Bruce Leung Siu-Leung, Kung Fu Actor Extraordinaire and Star of GallantsPosted on 08.23.10 by David @ 10:07 am
Bruce Leung Siu-Leung (who has gone by a number of names in the West, including Bruce Liang and Bruce Leong), now in his early sixties, has had a storied history in martial arts films, both as an actor and as an action choreographer. First entering the public eye as one of several “Lee-Alikes” in the wake of Bruce Lee’s untimely demise, Leung distinguished himself with his martial arts skills, especially as a leg fighter. Leung moved past his Bruceploitation phase to become a legitimate star in his own right in the seventies and eighties, working with producer Ng See-Yuen and alongside kung fu superstars like Angela Mao Ying and Sammo Hung, and taking leading roles for major studios in films like Call Me Dragon and Little Supermen.
Unfortunately, after an incident involving a visit to China, Leung was essentially banned from the film industry for roughly 16 years, from 1988 to 2004, when Stephen Chow brought him back to play the role of the villainous Beast in his phenomenally successful Kung Fu Hustle. Since then, Leung’s career has experienced a revival, with roles in gritty actioners like Shamo and Sasori (review here) and comedies like Just Another Pandora’s Box and Kung Fu Chefs (review here). His latest film is Gallants and it stars a slew of old school Hong Kong talent like Chen Kuan-Tai, Lo Meng, Shaw Yum-Yum and Teddy Robin, though nobody is better showcased than Leung.
Recently, CSB’s David Austin and Charlie Prince had the opportunity to sit down with Bruce Leung, in town for the New York Asian Film Festival, to talk about Gallants and the ups and downs of his career. Leung, whose thickly-calloused knuckles bespeak a lifelong tough guy (and who has one of the best business cards I’ve ever seen, see immediately below), did not disappoint.
On Growing Up in Kung Fu Films
CSB: How did you get involved in kung fu films?
Bruce Leung: It’s a long story. I grew up in a single-parent family. To protect my family, every day when I walked past I saw little kids learning how to do martial arts and I wanted to learn. I used rice, and I would chop it until it was in really small pieces every day. My grandma would hit me when she saw me because I would cut the rice so small. To help my family, I got involved in the movies when I was 15.
Filed under: General and Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and People: Stephen Chow Sing Chi and Movie News: Interviews and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2010 and People: Bruce Leung Siu-Leung and People: Angela Mao Ying
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Joy Sales has released a complete list of movies from the Fortune Star catalogue that it intends to remaster and re-release on DVD. The majority of it is already available on DVD, and some of it is already available on clean anamorphic DVD, but here are some highlights.
* Dreadnaught - This Yuen Biao starrer directed by Yuen Woo-ping is a personal favorite of mine, and features what may be the most amazing lion dance scenes ever committed to film. Also, medicine fu, dry-cleaning fu, and tailor fu.
* The Fate of Lee Khan - Any release from King Hu is good news, though Raining in the Mountain still remains unavailable outside of a gorgeous but expensive French import.
* Hapkido (aka Lady Kung Fu) - Finally, an Angela Mao film is seeing the light of day. Fu fans will recognize her as Bruce Lee’s little sister in Enter the Dragon. She has a huge back catalogue just waiting to be exploited, and this is a start.
* Peking Opera Blues - Tsui Hark’s gender-bender operatic dramedy, with Brigitte Lin. Some think it’s the best HK movie ever made, others among our correspondents found it a big disappointment. Personally, I fall somewhere in between. Worth seeing for yourself though. Also, while I usually find Sally Yeh annoying (as in The Killer), here she’s cute as a button.
* Dragons Forever - Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao, the Dream Team.
* The Miracle Fighters - Yuen clan wackiness, including a giant animated hammer man that looks like he escaped from a Peter Gabriel video.
* Sex and Zen - The ultimate insane category III arty sex comedy. Only rivalled by A Chinese Torture Chamber Story, which isn’t the least bit arty.
* One-Armed Boxer - More one-armed hijinks from Jimmy Wang Yu, perhaps the only actor in history to be typecast as missing an arm despite having a full set. Followed by the amazing Master of the Flying Guillotine.
Sadly, many films which are very difficult to pick up did not make the list, including Devil Fetus (a wonderfully disgusting horror film), Robotrix (Amy Yip meets Robocop), I Love Maria (Sally Yeh meets Short Circuit) and numerous Angela Mao and Jimmy Wang Yu films.
::: Complete List of Titles to be Remastered
Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and DVD News and People: Stephen Chow Sing Chi and People: Sammo Hung and DVD News: Hong Kong and People: Jackie Chan
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