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Film Archive's "Morning Matinee" series to showcase weaponry in Hong Kong cinema (with photo)
     The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present "Multifarious Arrays of Weaponry in Hong Kong Cinema" as part of the "Morning Matinee" series at 11am on Fridays from December to March next year. Sixteen kung fu and wuxia films will be screened for film buffs to witness the power of a wide range of weapons and magnificent action choreography on screen. Some of the films will be accompanied by post-screening talks, to be hosted by film critics David Chan, Lau Yam and Po Fung. The talks will be conducted in Cantonese with free admission.
     In Tsui Hark's notable kung fu film "Once Upon a Time in China II" (1992), Jet Li and Donnie Yen give a mesmerising display of long staff fighting styles, ranging from spins to slams and from thrusts to undercuts.  
     Bruce Lee in "Fist of Fury" (1972) wields nunchaku with unimaginable speed to decimate his opponents from unpredictable angles.
     Directed and scripted by Lau Kar-leung and starring him too, "Legendary Weapons of China" (1982) is filled with fantasy duels of witchcraft and magic in the first half. The second half features a series of combat scenes that show an array of Chinese weapons and the unique techniques in using them.
     "Heroes of the East" (1978) offers a combined showcase of both Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Building off a playful argument between a Chinese man and his Japanese wife, who is a martial arts enthusiast, the story turns out to highlight a series of spectacular combat sequences between the husband and various Japanese martial arts masters.   
     "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" (1977) follows Gordon Liu as he goes through martial arts training in the Shaolin Temple, where he displays the techniques of many kinds of weapons, in particular the three-part staff.
     In "Odd Couple" (1979), Lau Kar-wing and Sammo Hung both play dual roles as long-time rivals using sabre and spear as weapons and as each other's apprentice. With their distinctive personas, the duo give vivid and entertaining performances.

     Yuen Woo-ping's "Iron Monkey" (1993) features the adaptability of Wong Fei-hung's umbrella, which can strike like a whip and defend like a shield.
     Starring and directed by Jackie Chan, "The Young Master" (1980) features the classic elements of Hong Kong kung fu cinema, in which ordinary objects of daily life such as a paper fan and a bench can become weapons.
     "Story of the Sword and the Sabre, Part One" (1963) tells of a legend that whoever owns a sacred sabre runs the martial world. A series of battles therefore break out among warriors to fight for the ultimate weapon.
     "The Flying Guillotine" (1974) follows a member of the legendary secret Flying Guillotine squad. When he tries to quit, he finds himself being hunted by his former teammates. The flying guillotine in the film is a deadly hat-like weapon that is thrown at its victims and decapitates them.
     In Chang Cheh's "One-armed Swordsman" (1967), the protagonist's arm is taken by his master's reckless daughter. With strong determination, he teaches himself unique one-armed swordplay and even saves the master's family.
     With great imagination, director Chor Yuen and martial arts choreographer Tong Kai created a half tonfa, half épée blade in "The Magic Blade" (1976). The weapon can be wielded horizontally as a metaphor for the composed but valiant character of the protagonist.
     Directed by Patrick Tam, "The Sword" (1980) depicts the Qiwu Sword, which is dark and evil in nature, endangering the life of whoever owns it. When its owner tries to avert ill fortune by living in seclusion for years, many in the martial world continue to seek him out to battle for the famous weapon.
     In "The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter" (1983), the Yang Spear, which is a family heirloom of the famed generals of the Yang family, is unbeatable until the Liao kingdom invents a new weapon. The fifth son of the Yang family then develops his own move, the Eight Diagram Pole, for revenge.
     After the parents of the two lead characters in "Holy Flame of the Martial World" (1983) are killed over a pair of flame-shaped blades, the siblings, each possessing one of the blades, are raised and separately trained to become martial arts masters by a hero and a villain.
     "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) follows Jen, a daughter from a rich family, who steals the Green Destiny Sword and leaves home to pursue independence in the martial world. Ang Lee's direction and Yuen Woo-ping's martial arts choreography won this film the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001.
     "The Flying Guillotine", "One-armed Swordsman", "The Magic Blade" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" are in Mandarin and the other films are in Cantonese. "Iron Monkey", "Story of the Sword and the Sabre, Part One" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" are without subtitles and the other films have Chinese and English subtitles.
     Tickets priced at $30 are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme details, please call 2739 2139 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/HKFA/en_US/web/hkfa/programmesandexhibitions/programmes/weaponry/index.html.
Ends/Thursday, November 14, 2019
Issued at HKT 15:30
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The Hong Kong Film Archive of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present "Multifarious Arrays of Weaponry in Hong Kong Cinema" as part of the "Morning Matinee" series at 11am on Fridays from December to March next year. Sixteen kung fu and wuxia films will be screened. Photo shows a film still of "Story of the Sword and the Sabre, Part One".