Saturday, February 6, 2010

ZenTiger Bang Bang Bang

I did three essential piano pieces the other day, and I think I'll continue the triple feature theme. It's a tradition. In my later teenage years I would go to the movies most Saturday nights, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, for I had few friends with the same level of, shall we say, "fortitude"? I'd head down to the Chinese sector of Ottawa and watch a Kung Fu triple feature. That was three movies for about the price of one movie, and a long evening. All movies were in Chinese. Some movies had subtitles. They would inspire me for the rest of the week, which featured a couple of hours a day training at the dojang.

I must have seen hundreds of B grade martial arts films in my life. No regrets there, but I will not inflict this on you tonight. Instead, three martial art films to ponder over. The first from the Lone Wolf and Cub series, would have to be one of the 10 best martial art movies ever. The western mainstream version "Shogun Assassin" is actually a dubbed and reedited blend of the first two Lone Wolf movies, and yet remains masterful. Great cinematography, and absolutely compelling storytelling, being narrated by his young son.

The intro gives a small flavour to the movie and if you want to see more (blood, that is) then try the link after that.

Loud noise and lots of blood The noise is a pity, because some of the best dialogue comes from his son after fight scenes like this.

No matter. That's the kind of movie that would inspire the likes of Quentin Tarintino. I suspect it did. Tarintino certainly borrowed from the same genre, and yet made his rendition into something distinctly Tarintino. "Kill Bill" if you are looking to be on the same page as me right now. Casting Carradine (RIP) as Bill was also genius, and did to Carradine what Pulp Fiction did to John Travolta. He does that with music too, (or at least reminds us of truly classic hits that are just so retro) thus my link to Bang Bang and Nancy Sinatra:

And here's a remix of that with action from the film: gnab gnab (remix)

My final selection tonight is going to be the theme song that made it into the top 10 charts back around 1975. I loved the movie, and loved the song back then too. Got around to re-watching the movie a few years ago, and it was extremely disappointing. Still, that's being picky because it was good for its time and I think the director and many of the actors were doing quite well for themselves with other movies that made a great impact. Mad Max springs to mind. The movie was "Man From Hong Kong" and the hit song was "Sky High, by Jigsaw. Listen only if you can handle 70's pop music.

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