Eight Diagram Pole-Fighter
A celebration of the life and work of the late Lau Kar-leung and Run Run Shaw
Co-presented with Subway Cinema/New York Asian Film Festival
Introduced by author and filmmaker, Ric Meyers
Dir. Lau Kar-leung. 1983, 98 mins. 35mm. With Gordon Liu, Alexander Fu, Kara Hui, Ko Fe. This ferocious late-period masterpiece from the Shaw Brothers Studio (co-founded by Run Run Shaw with his brother, Run Me Shaw), directed by pioneering action-choreographer Lau Kar-leung, stars Gordon Liu—Lau’s god-brother, the “John Wayne to [Lau’s] Ford,” (per David Bordwell)—in one of the legendary actor’s most enthralling performances. After a group of marauding Khitans ambush the imperial Yang family, Yang Wu-lang (Liu)—one of two sons to survive the attack—retreats to a monastery to train and develop the eight-diagram pole fighting technique. When he finds his sister endangered by the same group of dangerous invaders, tensions soar high as his need for unadulterated revenge begins to eclipse his pacifist training. Scintillatingly beautiful and fiercely dynamic, Eight Diagram Pole-Fighter is one of the greatest kung-fu movies ever made.
Ric Meyers is the author of Films of Fury: The Kungfu Movie Book. He is the film columnist for both Inside Kung Fu and Asian Cult Cinema magazine, and has presented the popular San Diego Comic Con Kung Fu Extravaganza for over a decade.
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