Screen/Society--Kung Fu 'Sifu' Lau Kar-leung--"The 36th Chamber of Shaolin AKA Master Killer" (1978) 35mm Print
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin AKA Master Killer
(Lau Kar-leung, 1978, 116 min, Hong Kong, dubbed in English, 35mm)
Lau Kar-leung and Gordon Liu Chia-hui’s most celebrated work is a quintessential, all-exhaustive course in Shaolin kung fu. Liu plays San Te, originally a commoner on the run from oppressive Manchu officers. Taking refuge in the Shaolin temple, he devotes himself to the most rigorous kung fu training ever seen on screen. Each of the temple’s chambers specializes in one aspect of training, from arm strength to vision, balance to the mastery of individual weapons. No acting lessons ever prepare an actor to undergo such a grueling process—documentary-style. Liu proves himself one of the most sensational and enduring kung fu stars. (MOMA)
"Tarantino is clearly a man who knows which films to liberally borrow from, and The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin is a film that packs a good punch, managing to be viscerally stimulating and emotionally engaging." -- Daniel Hooper, Eye For Film (UK)
"[T]raining and sharing knowledge seems to be a key component of Lau Kar-Leung’s filmmaking philosophy. His career goal was to bring true martial arts to the screen, and in achieving this he brought the Shaolin arts to the world.... I get the sense that he felt the power of the lineage that his kung fu held, descended to him from folk hero Wong Fei-Hung and the Shaolin Temple itself, so he sought to use the international platform of film to share it with the world." -- Will Kouf, Silver Emulsion Film Reviews
Courtesy of Celestial Pictures Limited. 35mm film prints provided by University of North Carolina School of the Arts Moving image Archives.
Sponsored by the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI).
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