As the Shaw Brothers film studio business was winding down, resulting in an output of lesser quality than the preceding decades, The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter burst forth, a bellowing send-off for both a voluminous cycle of movies and a star who died too young. Bursting with vigour and capturing much of what made the studio and director famous, it never settles for imitating the past, still refining techniques and pushing new ideas.
This is not immediately evident as the … (read more)
Chang Cheh was one of Shaw Brothers’ most iconic directors. Working from the late 50s into the 90s, he was extremely prolific (more than a hundred films, eight films in one year at his peak in 1974) and, along with action maestro Lau Kar-Leung, he can claim a large chunk of the credit for Shaws’ reputation as a martial arts film powerhouse. Heavily influenced by Kurosawa’s samurai pictures and Leone’s spaghetti westerns, he brought a dramatic, blood-spattered intensity to Shaws’ … (read more)