Documentary revisits heyday of kung fu stuntmen

(china org) A new documentary film revisits the golden age of kung fu stuntmen and action directors in Hong Kong during the 1960s-’80s, exploring their pain and struggles. In making “Kungfu Stuntmen,” Wei Junzi – the movie’s director and a film historian – interviewed nearly a hundred renowned kung fu film directors, stars, action choreographers and stuntmen, including Tsui Hark, Andrew Lau, Yuen Woo-ping, Sammo Hung, and Donnie Yen. Wei also interviewed the new generation of stuntmen.Martial arts stuntmen, a special job in the Hong Kong film industry, generally play small roles in action films supporting the main stars. Many go on to become big movie stars or kung fu choreographers, such as Jackie Chan – who once supported Bruce Lee, before making his own name in movie history.But many more are working silently behind the scenes, contributing to the action film industry. The documentary is a tribute to all these people. “They risked their lives for stunts,” said kung fu choreographer Yuen Bin. In their heyday, these stuntmen and choreographers presented the best, most creative and most complicated kung fu fight sequences anywhere in the world, creating stunts that looked seemingly impossible. What’s more, they did it all themselves rather than relying on the CGI trickery often employed nowadays.”What they did back then is something that no one will be able to repeat,” director Tsui Hark said in the film, according to the newly released movie trailer.The documentary’s director Wei Junzi said that these stuntmen helped Chinese kung fu movies reach foreign audiences and secure a place in the global film market. Audiences and filmmakers across the world, even those in Hollywood, have been stunned and fascinated by them. “I hope the film can inspire a new generation of Chinese filmmakers and that they’ll inherit the spirit of struggle shown by these stuntmen,” Wei said. “Only when you have such a spirit, will Chinese films really go on forever.””Kungfu Stuntmen” will be released nationwide on Aug. 28.Source: by Zhang Rui
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