Hong Kong — In the film Project A, there is a classic segment where martial arts legend Jackie Chan jumps down from a 15-metre-high bell tower, passes through several layers of awnings and hits the ground.
When Chan was then helped by someone up to get up, he said: “I finally proved one thing. There is really gravity in this world.”
Hong Kong action movies are considered classics by many, and the work produced in them are miracles fought by the lives of generations of dragon and tiger martial artists. As director Tsui Hark said, “What they did before may not be able to be done by anyone in the future.”
The dragon and tiger fighters are special jobs in Hong Kong action flicks. Their jobs consist of standing on the back of superstars, doing stand-ins, stunts and trying their moves ahead of time.
During that time, the drama team went south and founded a drama school in Hong Kong.
The master of Peking opera Yu Zhanyuan trained Yuan Long (Hong Jinbao), Yuan Lou (Jackie Chan), Yuan Biao, Yuan Kui, Yuan Hua, Yuan Wu, Yuan Tai as the representatives of “Seventh Xiaofu”.
Fenjuku accepted Lin Zhengying, Dong Wei and other apprentices, while the Oriental Drama School went out of Xu Zhongxin, Cheng Xiaodong, Mars…
The style of Hong Kong action movies changed from “virtual moves” to “actual combat” in the era of Bruce Lee, and a group of dragon and tiger martial artists came together.
However, when Lee died, action movies fell into a low ebb. A few years later after Lee’s death, the four major action teams of Liu Jiaban, Hong Jiaban, Cheng Jiaban and Yuan Jiaban emerged, and it was then the most glorious era arrived.
The thrilling and hearty excitement of Hong Kong action movies is often missed by many, as reported by China News Network.
Dragon and tiger martial arts are all about throwing, fighting, jumping and hurting.
In “Province and Hong Kong Flag Soldiers,” Yuan Wu, a “death squad member” of Hong’s family, fell from a tall building. Instead of jumping off, he fell back to the hard ice rink and fainted on the spot.
Eight martial artists jumped down from the seventh floor at the same time in Dragon’s Heart while there were real explosions around them. The director’s call after the scene was filmed, was “save people“.
Also, during that time, people from abroad came to visit the set and asked the martial artists, “Do you dare to do this? Whoever does this action will die!”
Though their special effects may not match Hollywood, the dragon and tiger warriors worked hard to make the action presented on the big screen exciting enough. The warriors never hesitate to challenge the limit with their own flesh and blood to create amazing Hong Kong action flicks.
Director Tsui Hark said, “Because they have proved one thing, what we can do is something other countries and cultures can’t do, even Hollywood must pay tribute to us!”
One may question why do the warriors have to fight like this? The reason is, there is pressure from both their team and viewers in addition to the difficulties of filming.
A midnight scene was an indicator of how popular a Hong Kong film was, as the audience’s reaction was quite direct. They would applaud if it was good and yell if it was bad – even if the director of the film is on the set.
The film Huang Feihong had a classic warehouse bamboo ladder battle, starred by Jet Li. Unfortunately, he was injured, so most of the actions in that scene were performed by several martial artists such as Xiong Xinxin and Gu Xuanzhao. They filmed 16 hours a day for 31 days.
“Action stunts, never say ‘no’!” said the martial artists. This is a kind of self-masochistic vanity, “too unreasonable” and “I am really proud to tell others that I used to be a substitute.”
At a young age, many of the dragon and tiger warriors start working hard in society to take on the responsibility of taking care of their whole family. They secretly learn wherever they were trained, hoping to protect their families when they grow up.
A group of hard-working people created the legend of “everything goes too far, all going crazy” in Hong Kong movies.
Shaw stopped film production in 1987. Golden Harvest failed to bid in 1998. Clearwater Bay Studios was abandoned in 2003, and “Oriental Hollywood” gradually became a thing of the past.
Some became actors, but not everyone was that lucky. Salaries were high back then, but many did not have the concept of financial management. They did not have savings also due to injuries and illnesses, and their education level is limited, so their evening scenes were unimpressive.
Director Wei Junzi wanted to portray the lives of senior martial artists in filming the documentary Dragon and Tiger Warrior, but he was rejected without exception, “because they believed in one sentence: Don’t allow heroes to see their heads.”
Back then, martial arts masters opened new branches, became directors and remained persistent. Qian Jiale, the president of the Hong Kong Action Stunt Actors Association, continued to train new talents, but the operating rate was not high. It was difficult to have another action celebrity.
This summer, Rage: Serious Case made viewers miss the passion of Hong Kong action films but the starring actors Donnie Yen is 58 years old while Nicholas Tse is 41 years old.
The influence of dragon and tiger warriors continues as the film industry continues to update and iterate. Martial arts directors of many well-known movies mentioned that they learned from the dragon and tiger martial arts masters. Many Hollywood movies have also learned from the experience of Hong Kong action movies.
At the ending of Dragon and Tiger Warrior, Junzi Wei paid special tribute to Lin Zhengying. He was the successful representative of Longhu Warrior’s transformation.
An era has gone, but the spirit of the dragon and tiger warriors must never be forgotten. /TISG
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