The kung fu nuns of Kathmandu

NPR profiles the 800 Himalayan Buddhist nuns of Amitabha Drukpa Nunnery in Kathmandu Valley. The nuns have taken up the practice of kung fu. Read the rest

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits

Bruce Lee's 1970s films have entered the realm of cinematic fine art. The Criterion Collection is releasing a Bruce Lee seven-disc Blu-Ray box set appropriately titled "His Greatest Hits." Included are The Big Boss (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972), Enter the Dragon (1973), and Game of Death (1978). Never take your eyes off your opponent, even when you're bowing. Here's what's included in Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits:

4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks; New 2K digital restoration of the rarely-seen 99-minute 1973 theatrical version of Enter the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack; 2K digital restoration of the 102-minute “special-edition” version of Enter the Dragon; Alternate audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon; Six audio commentaries: on The Big Boss by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death, and The Way of the Dragon by Hong Kong–film expert Mike Leeder; and on the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon by producer Paul Heller; High-definition presentation of Game of Death II, the 1981 sequel to Game of Death; Game of Death Redux, a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage, produced by Alan Canvan; New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly; New interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee; New program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge; New interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers; Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon; Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998); Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T.

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Incredible clip of Shaolin Kung Fu seen from above

From the BBC's "Earth from Space" series.

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Fascinating introduction to kung fu movies

Museum of Modern Art film curator La Frances Hui narrates this fascinating introduction to the genre of Kung Fu films:

Many directors and actors have been associated with the kung fu genre, Hong Kong cinema’s most unique creation, but no one compares to Lau Kar-leung (1937–2013) as a purist of the genre and the kung fu form.

Associate curator La Frances Hui explores the history of the kung fu films, the actors and filmmakers associated with the genre like Bruce Lee, Gordon Liu, and Jackie Chan, and why Lau Kar-leung has been hailed as the grandmaster of kung fu films.

(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Stunning visualization of Kung Fu motion capture data

Tobias Gremmler created this magnificent visualization of motion data he captured of a person practicing Kung Fu.

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest