the director said

Camryn 2022-10-21 07:07:38

In the history of world film art development, there are many "serial-style" film works, such as the Japanese comedy series "The Story of Tora Jiro" directed by Yoji Yamada, the British thriller series "007" and the grand robber series "Robin Hood" . Although they have different themes and styles, they are often typical representatives of a national film. However, none of these series have surpassed the Chinese martial arts films starring Wong Fei Hung in number and scale. According to the information recorded in the film books and periodicals published in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Mainland, since 1949, Hong Kong film director Hu Peng shot the first "The Whip of Once Upon a Time" and "The Legend of Once Upon a Time" and "The Legend of Once Upon a Time". Burning Bawangzhuang", to "Once Upon a Time in the Five Dragons City Destroyer" directed by Tsui Hark in 1994, the Chinese have shot 104 series of films featuring Huang Feihong as the protagonist. There are nearly 20 actors playing Huang Feihong. After nearly half a century of history, Huang Feihong's films have reached a considerable level in terms of production scale, market efficiency or artistic taste. It should be said that it is a miracle not only in Chinese film history but also in world film history.

Wong Fei Hung's story comes from real historical facts. According to historical records: Huang Feihong was originally from Dongxiqiao, Guangxi, and was a native of Muzhou Township. His father, Huang Qiying, was one of the Ten Tigers in Guangdong, and he once worshipped Lu Acai as his teacher. Lu Acai, Fang Shiyu, and Hong Xiguan are all high-ranking masters of Shaolin Temple Zen Master Zhishan, and they are already well-known figures in the martial arts field in Guangdong. In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, there were many Zengwu gymnasiums in Guangzhou, Yangcheng, and boxers of various sects came out in large numbers. After Huang Qiying completed his studies, he returned to Guangzhou to set up a hall to teach apprentices, hang a pot to help the world, and passed on his family's secret skills to his son Feihong. When Huang Feihong was young, he devoted himself to practicing martial arts and practiced Hongjiaquan with his father. He was very accomplished in "Tiger Crane Transformation", "Five Shape Boxing", "I-shaped Fuhu Boxing" and "Goro Bagua Stick". He often followed his father to and from four townships and eight counties, selling medicines. After Huang Qiying's death, Huang Feihong inherited his father's legacy and founded the "Baozhilin Medical Bureau" on Ren'an Street in Xindoulan, Guangzhou. Huang Feihong once served as an instructor in the "Black Flag Army" led by Liu Yongfu, and also served as the head coach of the Guangzhou Militia. In 1924, when the government forced civil self-defense groups to disarm, causing resistance, "Baozhilin" was burned in the turmoil. Huang Feihong passed away soon after.

As a generation of martial arts masters, Huang Feihong's heroic deeds are widely circulated among the people. This also attracted the attention of film creators.

The backbone of the first generation of Wong Feihong films is a group of Hong Kong film creators with director Hu Peng, screenwriter Wu Yixiao, Wang Feng, starring Guan Dexing, Cao Dahua and Ren Yan as the core. They are the founders of Huang Feihong's film, the founders and creators of Huang Feihong's silver martial arts monument. In the history of Chinese martial arts movies, the first actor to play Huang Feihong was Hong Kong actor Guan Dexing. He starred in 77 Huang Feihong films and 13 (episodes) Huang Feihong TV series in his lifetime. Can be called the "father of Wong Fei-hung" on the screen. The first-generation Wong Fei-hung films were popular with movie audiences for their real martial arts performances. In Hong Kong, they got rid of the stage-based and symbolic martial arts designs of the past martial arts films, and opened up a new way to win the market with real kung fu performances. . The Wong Fei-hung films at this stage are mainly for Hong Kong movie audiences, so they basically use Cantonese dialogue. In the first generation of Wong Fei-hung movies, Wong Fei-hung played basically a role in the drama. He fights injustice, suppresses evil and promotes good, and he always adheres to the traditional Chinese Confucian moral spirit. Pay attention to propriety (humility and courtesy), righteousness (acting chivalrous and righteous), tolerance (self-denial and tolerance), forgiveness (persuade bad people to change their ways and become good), and harmony (promoting peaceful solutions to problems). Huang Feihong's film particularly emphasizes martial arts, emphasizing that martial arts is for fitness, and should not rely on skills to bully others, especially against the abuse of force. Personal gains and losses or even humiliation can be ignored, but in order to eliminate violence and well-being, one must stand up. The Wong Fei-hung film, a cultural strategy that adheres to the traditional spirit and maintains the current order, is particularly in line with the folk customs of Hong Kong society in the 1950s and early 1960s to seek stability and maintain peace. For this reason, Hong Kong scholar Wu Hao once called the early Wong Fei-hung a "classical" hero.

Since the mid-1960s, Hong Kong has gradually evolved into a modern industrial and commercial city with specific economic strength from a distribution center for colonial entrepot trade that was half central, half west, half new and half old. The tastes and needs of urban audiences for movies have changed a lot. They are no longer satisfied with the old-fashioned, plain and regional Cantonese dialogue films. Under this cultural background, the Mandarin films transplanted to Hong Kong are mainly anti-customers and become the main force in the Hong Kong film market. The Wong Fei-hung movie, which has always been oriented by market demand, has changed into a new costume under this new historical condition. In this period of Huang Feihong films, in addition to the main creators of the first generation such as Wang Feng, Guan Dexing, and Shi Jian, who continued to shoot a series of films about Huang Feihong, the most important thing was to join the humorous kung fu film directed by Yuan Heping and starring Jackie Chan. Drunken Fist (1978). It is from this time that Huang Feihong is no longer a stereotyped screen image, no longer a heroic idol for people to worship, but has become synonymous with all chivalrous, courageous and martial arts heroes. His symbolic meaning has gone far beyond The real Huang Feihong in Muzhou Township, Xiqiao, Guangdong Province. The most notable change in Huang Feihong during this period was that he put on a comedy face, which greatly increased the entertainment of the film. Although the traditional virtues of benevolence, loyalty, and tolerance advocated by Wong Fei-hung, as a touching old-fashioned sentiment, still have their own specific psychological market, in Hong Kong society in the late 1960s, traditional Confucian ethics no longer had universal social constraints. force. "Huang Feihong's films in this period began to ignore the feudal system and challenge tradition. At this time, Huang Feihong can be called a comedy hero. The films often describe how his apprentices resisted imperialist aggression, joined the revolution, participated in the Northern Expedition, and interacted with students in Hong Kong at that time. The movement echoes the anti-colonial activism of the new generation, showing Hong Kong's historical process of seeking its own cultural identity... But whether revolutionary or comedy, the heroes of this era already belong to the realm of modernism." He is no longer a Wong Fei-hung who is blindly tolerant and forgiving, but has become a contemporary hero with the vision and mind of the times, a civilian image with the historical changes of Hong Kong as the "moving background".

Since the 1980s, due to the ever-expanding cultural exchanges between the two sides of the strait, the Wong Fei-hung film has gained a great opportunity at the right time and place. Many Huang Feihong films have added cultural themes of resisting foreign aggression and the humiliation of foreign powers on top of the traditional moral theme, expanding a Chinese-style chivalrous story into a righteous legend of resisting aggression. In terms of the style of the film, the third-generation Huang Feihong films have typical cultural characteristics of postmodern compatibility: the film combines martial arts, romance, comedy and other genres, and integrates mighty, powerful and witty, thus creating a new A new world of Wong Fei Hung movies! Culturally speaking, Huang Feihong films of this period were dominated by the Huang Feihong series created by Tsui Hark (producer and director), as well as Huang Feihong films directed by Liu Jialiang, Yuan Heping, Yuan Bin, etc. Actors Jet Li, Zhao Wenzhuo, and Wang Qun worked together to complete a historic revival of the Once Upon a Time movie!

If Tsui Hark has made some historical contributions to the development of Chinese martial arts films, the most important one is the reshaping and interpretation of Huang Feihong's image. The heroic character of Wong Fei-hung has undergone a historic change in Tsui Hark's "pen". This change is manifested as: he is often in a dual situation: he is caught between the Chinese and the foreigners, and he cannot tell where his real enemy is, a traitor or a foreign aggressor? At the beginning, his fan was written with "unequal treaty", and then Baozhilin caught fire, which affected the fan and burned the word "no", which turned into "equal treaty", which made him puzzled. On the one hand, Huang Feihong must resist the humiliation of foreign powers, and on the other hand, he must beware of being framed by traitors. Even if it is a life-and-death struggle, using the best skills in his life, and being able to overcome the heroes, the huge historical text of the modern history of China's humiliation finally determines that Huang Feihong can be a hero who won the gold medal of the Lion King, but he is unable to save the devastated people. Jiangshan Sheji. The fate of the country, the history of the nation and Huang Feihong's personal heroic character have formed a strong contrast. This is completely different from the all-powerful and turn-around heroes in traditional martial arts movies. This seems to be an era of "playing heroes," an era of myths collapsing and meaning confused. Although the Huang Feihong created by Tsui Hark inevitably flirts and dances with knives and guns, it already has a strong modern color compared with the traditional "Once Upon a Time" film. This so-called modern color is in the Under the huge shadow of history, individual behavior always shows a limitation of the times. Huang Feihong is no longer the mythical hero who is invincible and invincible, but has become a warrior with historical sorrow on the stage of life/society!

In terms of the ontology of the film, Tsui Hark's Wong Fei-hung series basically inherits a traditional dramatic structure, which includes a strong dramatic plot and action clues throughout. In the film's narrative method The "solar time-style" space-time sequence is adopted, which does not break the space-time layout of conventional films, thus maintaining the rigor of the film's narrative style. This ingenious arrangement of the causal relationship between characters and events enables the audience to maintain a continuous and progressive aesthetic feeling when watching the film, making it easy to be drawn and moved by the film's plot. In the development part of the film's story, Tsui Hark is good at drawing on the narrative style of martial arts novels, and the plot is ups and downs and confusing. In terms of character relationships, he did not follow the dual structure of good and evil as in traditional martial arts movies, but always set up several different forces to form multilateral contradictions and conflicts. In "Once Upon a Time", Huang Feihong, the Thirteenth Aunt, and the militia are one faction, the Shahe Gang and the foreign devils are one faction, the Qing Dynasty government is one faction, and the iron cloth shirt is another faction. The characters of these factions are entangled together, some are incompatible, some use each other, and some are sectarian disputes, which makes the film have a strong story and intricate conflicts. Although Tsui Hark's films set a linear narrative structure on the central plot, due to the complexity of the character relationships, the audience can be caught by the fate of the characters and the suspense of the plot when watching the film. At the climax of the film, Tsui Hark inherits the classic style of traditional dramatic films: it is the inevitable result of the development of various contradictions and the apex of the advance of the plot, and it is the most tense, touching, shocking and most exciting in the whole film. A dazzling moment of truth. It is a total contest of character, intelligence, perseverance and martial arts skills of the positive and negative characters. During this period of time, Tsui Hark was still able to handle the beginning, succession, turning and closing of the climax part of the plot very well. Especially at the critical moment of the life-and-death struggle, some unexpected and clapping strange tricks are often used to overcome the enemy and win. The finale of Wong Fei-hung's film directed by Tsui Hark is always meaningful. After the theme of the victory of justice over evil is explained, what is different from other films is that there will never be that kind of bright and unobstructed ending. He will always leave a gloomy trail in the blood of the sunset and after the dust settles. The azure light sometimes makes the audience realize something, and sometimes makes the audience feel dejected.

The historical background of "Once Upon a Time" is the late Qing Dynasty in the 19th century, but Tsui Hark did not adapt it based on the official history. On the contrary, he only borrowed some historical events to tell his story. For example, the background of the main episode is that after the end of the Opium War, Wong Fei-hung's sequels "Men Be Strong" and "The Lion King Contest" took place before and after the signing of the "Treaty of Shimonoseki" after the Sino-Japanese Sino-Japanese War. The fourth episode "The Wind of the King" The story takes place on the eve of the Eight-Power Allied Forces' invasion of China, and the fifth episode "Dragon City Destroys the Bastard" follows the fourth episode, describing the chaos of southern pirates after Cixi fled the capital. In these historical events, Tsui Hark cleverly arranged the national hero Huang Feihong to intersperse them. Tsui Hark even attached such subtitles at the beginning of "The Lion King", "The Wind of the King" and "Dragon City Destroyer". : "The historical figures and events in the play are still performed in a romantic way, not recorded in official history." Tsui Hark's rewriting history aims to highlight his theme: the landscape of troubled times under the impact of Chinese and Western cultures. As a national hero, Huang Feihong embodies not only a righteous image of worrying about the country and the people, and fighting injustice, but also a transitional figure in the process of China's modernization.

From 1991 to 1994, Tsui Hark's "Once Upon a Time" series spanned the historical time and space of the Opium War, the Sino-Japanese War and the Eight-Power Allied Forces. From Jet Li to Zhao Wenzhuo, the image of Huang Feihong also transitioned from the original national hero to advocating modernization and construction. China's revolutionary messenger. Although there have been failures in the fourth and fifth episodes of "Once Upon a Time", Tsui Hark's historical complex and awareness of troubled times have deepened and emerged step by step in the shaping of the story of "Once Upon a Time".

Tsui Hark is not the kind of film artist who prefers realism. His films are very romantic and often give people a sense of fantasy beyond reality. Many traditional Chinese martial arts films focus on the display of real kung fu, the performance of various boxing and foot routines, and the charming halo of martial arts elites, such as Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, Jet Li's Shaolin Kung Fu... When Tsui Hark is here, he However, all kinds of Chinese martial arts are magical and dreamlike. He often shows you the human skills that cannot be achieved in life clearly and beautifully, turning a character who has no foundation in martial arts into a martial arts master who is unparalleled in kung fu, adding a magic to the already amazing Chinese martial arts. color. The fluid, fast editing skills in his films are often stacked in a series of short takes. The splicing points in Tsui Hark's films are not limited to the authenticity of the characters' actions and positions, but only seek the authenticity of the psychology and impression recognized by the audience after a series of actions are combined. Therefore, digging, repeating, speeding up, slowing down, increasing time, and delaying in editing can be recognized by the audience, making the action even more magical. For example, when showing Huang Feihong's superb serial legs, "zooming in" this shot can show the whole process of the action more clearly, and secondly, it can let the audience and the characters experience the psychological emotions of the characters together. For the audience, this psychological truth is more touching and more popular than the material truth.

Tsui Hark has a tendency to indulge in the visual techniques of film. This is shown in his films always have amazing visual charm, such as the scene of the lion dance in the Forbidden City in "The Lion King", where countless lion dancers leap up and down in front of the ancient Chinese temple, like waves flying. , accompanied by the theme song of "Men Be Self-improvement", the spectacle of the lion dance in martial arts movies has reached an unprecedented level and scale. Watching Tsui Hark's Wong Fei-hung films can sometimes feel like experiencing a "visual bombardment" that never rests, and his sharp editing style and stretched scene scheduling give the film a strange fascination. Due to the excessive violence in martial arts movies, it is often criticized by people. In this regard, Tsui Hark said: "I think the guarantee of violence becoming a commercial hit is the beginning of martial arts films, the kind of heart-warming fights, let people know that Chinese films can also shoot such crisp movements, and they have a positive view of violence; For the audience, it is a spiritual catharsis.”

Tsui Hark has always been keen on a world of light and shadow about "history" and "chaotic times". The story of Huang Feihong usually takes place in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China or when the warlords were fighting. At this time, the situation will be met, and the disputes will continue. The heroic stories unfolded in this historical background have their own bearing of upholding justice and helping the world. Tsui Hark's films are often meant to allude to contemporary times. In "Once Upon a Time", the local people are oppressed by the boss of the Shahe Gang, and no one is justice. Come forward. In "Men Be Self-improvement", the ignorance and superstition displayed by the White Lotus Sect, borrowing the magic power of gods, pretending to be ghosts, oppressing the people, and harming the good people, reminds us of the shadow of superstition and blind worship of the whole people during the "Cultural Revolution". Tsui Hark's films often show the kind of turbulent, violently changing historical background. He often puts "people" in a confrontational state of life and death, survival and death, kinship and hatred, love and hate, thus showing the intense conflict in the characters' hearts. Tsui Hark said: "In Hong Kong, although there is no specific political oppression, there are struggles and power all around. Although there is no war, there is a war mentality." A modern coldness, which may fundamentally represent Tsui Hark's true knowledge of life and history. Although Huang Feihong won the lion dance competition in "The Lion King Contest", the imperial court lost the entire country outside this grand ceremony! These scenes are the most powerful parts of Tsui Hark's films.

The martial arts movies with Huang Feihong as the protagonist, although the narrative styles of the films are not consistent, the years of production of the films are also different, and the main creators of the films are not a fixed group, but all Huang Feihong films have many common features. :

1. Almost all Huang Feihong films have specific folk scenes, and the typical representative of such folk scenes is the lion dance competition. It has become an indispensable cultural spectacle in Huang Feihong's films, and it has also become an arena where justice and evil compete against each other, and righteousness and sorcery fight each other.

2. The Wong Fei Hung movie is not a mythical story that blindly escapes reality. Contemporary martial arts films based on Huang Feihong have added cultural themes of resisting foreign aggression and humiliation by foreign powers on top of the traditional moral theme, expanding a Chinese-style chivalrous story into a righteous legend of resisting aggression.

3. Most of the male protagonists in Huang Feihong's films are martial arts actors with real martial arts skills, such as Guan Dexing in "Once Upon a Time", Jackie Chan in "Drunken Fist", Jet Li in "The Wind of Kings", "Shaolin". Wang Qun in Legend of Heroes was once a famous martial artist in China. They rely more on real martial arts, rather than stunts or post-production of the movie, to complete the creation of the character of Huang Feihong. Therefore, Huang Feihong's film has the dual meaning of martial arts performance and artistic performance in terms of performance art.

4. The film has always delineated a pedigree of opposing and conflicting characters. Huang Feihong is the positive side represented by justice and kindness, while his opposite is the negative side represented by martial arts rebellious or aggressive forces. This kind of character pedigree with clear black and white, loyal and wicked judgement is a narrative strategy that Huang Feihong's films always follow.

5. What Huang Feihong's films have praised and admired for decades is not only the spirit of Chinese martial arts, but also the spirit of traditional Chinese culture. The core of this spirit is benevolence-based ethics. Wushu is not used to show off, nor is it used to conquer or be brave, but to cultivate self-defense, subdue evil spirits, maintain social stability, and maintain ethical order.

6. The psychological satisfaction of Huang Feihong's films for the audience is not based on catering to the irrational desires of people's subconscious level. Although a large number of martial arts scenes have vented the audience's violent complex, the audience can learn from Huang Feihong, a chivalrous hero. What is pinned is their expectation of justice, and what is expressed is their pursuit of perfection.

After half a century of competition for survival, Huang Feihong's image has also changed several times. For this reason, some people predict that Huang Feihong's movie has come to the end of his life, "his legendary function, his era significance" has ended, the hero 's epic has come to the "end". But what is the historical fate of Wong Fei Hung's films? I am afraid that in the end, historical facts will be the testimony. Taking a step back, no matter what the fate of Huang Feihong's films will be in the future, as a series of films that have led the Chinese film market for half a century, as more than 100 Huang Feihong films with the same protagonist in the history of Chinese martial arts films, it cannot be. Not to mention a historical miracle! Many Once Upon a Time films have become classic masterpieces of martial arts films. All these facts have fully demonstrated that Huang Feihong's films have occupied an irreplaceable position in the history of world film - and as a fair and objective world film history, this chapter of Huang Feihong cannot be ignored.

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