motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (Default)
[personal profile] motorharp
A couple of my friends independently let me know they wanted to see the monthly Kung Fu series at the Hollywood Theater. Yes, please!

Kung Fu sword fight!
Sabertooth Dragon vs. the Fiery Tiger was playing this week and it did indeed entertain. The (only known) 35mm print was a bit choppy, so there were puzzling gaps in the story. The puzzling gaps could also be due to my complete lack of cultural competence or the film's not-quite-translated-right dubbing.

The story starts with the king announced as dead and the successor being chosen from the king's will. In a surprise move, the 4th prince, instead of the 14th, is named the new king. The other princes object. The new king tries to kill his family. Chaos ensues. There's a dalai lama in gold lamé with a flying guillotine army. The palace is booby trapped pretty spectacularly. The cheongsams and hanfus (?) were gorgeous from what I could see in the faded film print.

The two stand-outs for me:
The king, who turns out to be a jerk of course, with many trying to overthrow and kill him, loves wine, women, and song. The first time he got busy with a lady, a guard rushed into the bed chamber and shouted, "YOUR MAJESTY!" and I thought, "Great, what kind of attack is coming now!" and the guard continued with, "DON'T OVERDO IT!" And this happened every. single. time. And the king just kind of smirked and kept going. ???

The head guard got drunk and said some things in the king's presence that he probably shouldn't have, which resulted in the king kind of banishing him. I think. And when the guard, in some distress, is reflecting back on what may have happened to cause this, before plucking his own eyeballs out, says, "I've never betrayed the king! Well... maybe once."

Again, this could be a cultural thing or the translation not quite conveying the actual situation.

Two thumbs up!

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motorharp: line drawing of kid with glasses intently reading (Default)

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