Tuesday, April 30, 2024

JACKIE CHAN HITS 70

 

This month marks the 70th birthday of Hong Kong Cinema Superstar JACKIE CHAN! And to honor this special occasion, EASTERN HEROES Magazine is publishing a Special Edition all about 'you know who'. And I was honored to be tasked with creating a special cover for this issue.

RUSH HOUR director, Brett Ratner, is interviewed so his image on the cover was a prerequisite. Something from DRUNKEN MASTER 2 was another request. Otherwise I was left to do pretty much whatever. 

I figured a collage of the birthday boy throughout the years in front of, and behind the camera, was the most obvious direction. (I'm aware these types of commercial projects are not the place for risk-taking, experimental design). Jackie's wife, Joan Lin Feng-jiao, makes an appearance along with Chan's Chinese Drama School chums Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. The man that took Jackie under his wing, Golden Harvest studio head, Raymond Chow, raises his glass in celebration. Bruce Lee makes an appearance as his shadow loomed large over Jackie's early career, and of course Chan died for him in films while working as a lowly stuntman.

And so we remember where it all started, a little cowboy Jackie...stands poised to begin his accent. When he naively and fortuitosly signed up for a ten-year stint under the harsh tutelage of Master Yu Jim-yuen and began his upward spiral into the iconic stratosphere.

It's a rather busy image. For an even more full life. Happy Birthday Mr. Jackie Chan. Thanks for the thrills, the laughs and even a few tears. Seventy years. What a ride.

By the way Jackie, I know slowing down for you is only jumping off one exploading rooftop per day. But you'already left fans with a lifetime of breathtaking entertainment.

You've have earned a break.

If you ever choose to slowdown.

It's okay. We'll completely understand. 


But, like some perpetual motion machine, Jackie seems like he's riding an inertia comet. 
And we're just lucky enough to witness the splendor. 
God speed.


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Mystery Solved


Another 'old skool' kung fu flick gets the grundgey, 'vintage-look' treatment. This piece for Joseph Kuo's fan-favorite THE MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING was commissioned for the inlay cover of a Blu-ray release of a transfer of the only known surviving print. Not a negative transfer, but a banged-up 35mm fourty-year-old release print. So naturally the art is lovingly worn to match it's contents. 

The composition depicts the martial art 'players' strategically posing, sparring, and battling across the quadrants of a Xiangqi (Chinese chess) board. The limted color pallate takes it's cues from the game itself. The title spans the "river", with chess pieces in violent motion, mimicing the fighters above, and adding a little visual depth. 

I added folded damage to the art, not knowing that this would also be used as art for an included folded poster. Life imitates art I guess.  


Jackie Chan turns, what?, SEVENTY??? Yep. Already? That's next time...


Monday, April 15, 2024

PEKING OPERA BLUES

Simply irresistible. No, they are not backup dancers from a 80's Robert Palmer video, but three of the leading queens of 80s Hong Kong cinema. And they starred together in my favorite film, PEKING OPERA BLUES. (I've thoroughly covered my fandom here.)

If you are lucky enough to be anywhere near the Los Angeles, California area then you're in for a special treat. It's getting a RARE ONE-OFF screening at the legendary Nu Art Theatre on April 20th for an early matinee courtesy of the Hong Kong Cinema Secret Society. In fact this is the first public screening of a new DCP presentation with improved English subtitles (courtesy of my wife and I) and some other restoration. The film's long-unseen opening text and epilogue have been restored as well. We've got a ringing endorsement from Tsui Hark who, sadly, can't make the trip from Hong Kong. But he sends his blessings... along with a selfie. (I spy OUATIC in the background.

I was invited to introduce the film but after some ping-ponging of the theatres available schedule, it settled on a date where I have a conflict and cannot attend. No worries. Introductions will be capably conducted by your gracious host, Felix. There will be limited-edition free posters and/or flyers for attendies as well as a slideshow of rare photos and music from the film. You won't even miss me.

A period action film with political undertones. A female empowerment statement featuring gender-swapped intrigue. A comedy farce interwoven with Chinese culture and history. A colorful spectacle of art and drama in a time of bureaucratic upheaval. An acrobatic extravaganza featuring three of the most beautiful women to grace the silver screen. Something for everyone. Oh, and it's fun too. Come celebrate this landmark of HK cinema at it's free-wheeling finest as it was meant to be experienced. BIG and with a crowd.


The special event is FREE but tickets are required and are going fast.
CLICK HERE or scan the QR CODE.


BE THERE.
OR FOREVER WISH YOU WERE.