Global Chinese Kungfu Jubilee 2007
Global Chinese Kungfu Jubilee, organised by Shenzhen Satellite TV, Shaolin Culture, TVB, China Wushu Association, was held at Shenzhen Bao-an Stadium on the October 12 evening and was graced by various luminaries in the film industry who’s involved in martial arts productions. The evening kicked off with red carpet walk by Jackie Chan, wuxia novelist Jin Yong, Liu Chia Liang, Ching Siu Ting. Cheung Sing Yim, Peter Pau, Yuen Biao, Cheng Pei Pei, Anthena Chu, Jay Leung, Josie Ho, David Chiang, Gordon Liu, Wu Jing, Tony Jaa, Yasuaki Kurata etc.
The following Chinese Kungfu awards were given out:
Most Influential Personality: Jackie Chan
Martial Arts Supreme: Jin Yong
Newcomers Awards: Wu Jing, Jang Hyuk, Meng Fei, Li Ya Jun (Meng Fei and Li Ya Jun are male and female winners of the recent Kungfu Star 2007 contest), Wu Jian Hao,
Best Action Stars: Yu Rong Guang, Gordon Liu, David Chiang, Yuen Biao, Yasuaki Kurata, Wang Yu
Best Female Action Stars: Jay Leung, Kara Hui, Cheng Pei Pei
Best Visuals: Peter Pau
Outstanding Contributions: Cheung Sing Yim, Stanley Tong, Ching Siu Tung
Many of us have lamented about lack of realism in today’s action films which rely on special effects rather than on skills of the actors themselves, with the new generation stars generally lacking in martial arts foundation. This is a feeling shared by Yu Rongguang, Stanley Tong, Gordon Liu, Ching Siu Tung, Liu Chia Liang etc who echoed similar words on that day.
Both Liu Chia Liang and Yuen Biao think highly of Wu Jing among the new generation stars. Even Peter Pau was impressed by Wu Jing when he was asked to strike a pose, saying that he projected the right atmosphere by drawing his chin in as opposed to jutting it out.
Peter Pau says that while one should have foundation in martial arts, an actor’s ability at creating the atmosphere is more important, especially the expression in the eyes – they could send shivers down one’s spine, or move forward bravely. To him, even if an actor isn’t trained in martial arts, (s)he could be given a helping hand, such as presenting kung fu from a different angle. Filmmaking is an art involving teamwork. Peter Pau adds that there should be a Best Stuntman Award too.
Gordon Liu says that it’s hard to juggle between academics and martial arts. In his times, there was less emphasis on academic studies and people have more time to practice martial arts. But the trend is reversed nowadays. He thinks that there should still be young people who train in martial arts so as to restore the glories of martial arts films of yesteryear.
Liu Chia Liang says that films today are laden with too much special effects and too little martial arts. He also balks at too much violence in today’s films, “I still prefer the traditional martial arts films with themes on patriotism, on loving one’s family, on pursuit of righteousness. Unfortunately, such films don’t sell well today.”
Cheng Pei Pei feels that as long as one is willing to work hard and risk oneself, one could be an action star – especially for girls – they need not be a martial artist. Cheng Pei Pei was trained in dancing earlier, and by chance, she got into a martial arts role. Initially, she did not know how to fight, and would only get beaten up. On the first day, she did a scene in which she got beaten up, she received 60 hits in the stomach that she vomited. The conditions are much more conducive these days, with proper safety measures, guards, wires and specials effects. Actors need not suffer and can still succeed.
Yuen Biao defended Nicholas Tse on being labelled as an action star and not a martial arts star. He says that Nicholas Tse is a very hardworking actor, when fighting him, he didn’t mind doing all sorts of action, including rolling, crawling. He’s very professional.
Ching Siu Tung finds it increasingly difficult to shoot martial arts films. It’s not enough to rely on martial arts, technical aspects must be taken care of too. If you show old school martial arts movies to the modern audience, they won’t like it, and might even find them to be dated. They are very picky and would spot it if doubles are used. So, technology would play a part here. Still, he believes that as long as there are people who still practises martial arts, Chinese martial arts film would still continue to flourish.
Stanley Tong says the biggest problem he’s facing with Hua Mulan, which he has been in pre-production for a few years, is finding the right person to play the eponymous heroine, who must not only possesses martial arts background, but also carries the heroic air.
Li Ya Jun, who just won the Kungfu Star 2007 Contest, says she hopes to collaborate with Stanley Tong and act in Hua Mulan. With regard to playing the lead female role in Shaolin Temple: Monks and Marines TV series that would begin filming soon, she says that she was being contacted by the production, but being informed at such short notice, nothing is finalised yet.
Meng Fei, the male champion of Kungfu Star 2007 Contest, feels excited to receive the award with Wu Jing. He feels honoured to be called the successor by Donnie Yen. He says that he has thought of asking Donnie Yen to be his mentor, but due to his busy schedule, the matter was not actualised.
Having been in the industry for a little over a decade, Wu Jing feels rather awkward at receiving Best Newcomer Award. He says that he’d be making an appearance in Mummy 3 and would have a fierce battle against his senior Jet Li. Wu Jing recently filmed Fatal Move but as the movie is too violent and bloody with limbs being cut and flying about, it’s not likely to be released in China. After Mummy 3, Wu Jing would be working with Paco Wong on a new film. As to his future developments, he’s thinking of becoming a director. He hopes that the new generation would perform as well as the veterans in the circle who have brought worldwide recognition and honour to Chinese martial arts. He hopes to explore new ways of presenting martial arts on the silver screen, so that the Chinese martial arts films could scale greater heights.
Videos and more photos: A, B, C, D
Photo sources: Sohu, Sina, Netease, Shenzhen News