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How East-Asian Martial Films Have Influenced Hollywood Cinema - Literature review Example

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How East-Asian Martial Films Have Influenced Hollywood Cinema

This genre has been known to incorporate richly detailed choreographed action scenes with high-flying kicks and martial art techniques. When it was first seen in Asia, it was far-removed from the American film genre and style. However, it soon became a common feature in the Hong Kong film industry (Michallet-Romero, 2003). While trying to preserve the traditional stories of Chinese heroes, Hong Kong film directors translated martial arts techniques into film and in the process influenced the Hollywood film industry. The Wuxia tales in Chinese history were representations of male and female sword masters who represented much heroism in their actions (Garnet, 1999). These tales of heroism were developed in an era dominated by Confucianism and the teachings of this religion. Confucius was very much focused on loyalty, obedience, and on fulfilling one’s duty to one’s family. The father was considered the head of the household and as such total respect was owed him by the rest of the family (Morgan, 2001). Confucius also advocated the belief that those who were stronger must protect the weak, the aged, and those who were unable to defend themselves. Confucius also supported the ideal leader, ordering his warriors to live their lives with dignity and with valour. From these teachings grew wuxia literature. This literature was also enriched by the stories of the Buddhist religious leader Siddartha Gautama (Michallet-Romero, 2003). Buddha’s teachings incorporated philosophical beliefs to the wuxia tales and also advocated the idea of alleviating the sufferings of man. Physical disciplines were later associated with Buddhism and Confucianism and these movements were meant to enhance a person’s chi, which is considered to be the life force of all beings (Michallet-Romero, 2003). ...
iplines were later associated with Buddhism and Confucianism and these movements were meant to enhance a person’s chi, which is considered to be the life force of all beings (Michallet-Romero, 2003). From these movements Kung Fu would soon evolve. The Wuxia tales presented the image of the hero – either male or female – as one who is able to wield a sword skilfully, travelling to distant lands and carrying out heroic deeds in defence of the powerless and the weak. These heroes were often known to travel alone, exemplifying their strong skills in martial arts and sword play (Desser, 2002). The relationship of master and student within these stories were also apparent. The wuxia tales also presented the virtues of justice, valour, and sacrifice for the greater good of the people. The protagonists were also usually of common lineage and with skill and training gained much prestige (Birrell, 1999). This protagonist was very much different from the protagonists portrayed in Western stories where the heroes were often of noble blood. Wuxia folklore eventually made its way into the common and the noble people of China and these stories were retold with slight changes in their characterizations, making them darker and flawed and somehow representing a danger to those who were weak. Due to these changes in their characterization, the heroes were often made to confront their dark side as well (Birrell, 1999). Eventually however, this wuxian hero would be able to redeem himself by favouring the original teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism, harnessing enough chi to make the ultimate sacrifice for the people. These wuxia tales became popular forms of literature in China and they became common themes among travelling groups of actors in China. When the Peking Opera was ...Show more


The Asian influence on Hollywood cinema has been apparent since the days where martial arts movies found their way into the Hollywood big screen. …
Author : jwilderman
How East-Asian Martial Films Have Influenced Hollywood Cinema essay example
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