Friday, June 5, 2009

David Carradine's KILL BILL DIARIES

The news of David Carradine's death spun me back to the 1970s. Kung Fu was the favorite show in our house. All of us watched it—a rare overlapping of taste among the five of us. We were very proud when an episode (1974's Arrogant Dragon) written by my cousin Barbara Melzer aired.

Nobody was happier to see David Carradine's comeback in Kill Bill than I was. David shared the experience of making that movie in The Kill Bill Diaries.

David Carradine and Kung Fu were the start of my passion for martial arts movies. In the late 70s and 80s, I spent many hours in Chinatown theaters watching movies made in Hong Kong. Most weren't subtitled—but it didn't matter to me. They were beautiful and tragic—or zany and frantically funny. In his prime, Jackie Chan was as gifted a physical comedian as Buster Keaton--and Jet Li as dashing as Errol Flynn.

For a detailed look at Asian films--from the highbrow to the lowbrow--turn to Asian Cinema by Tom Vick. It belongs on every film student's bookshelf.

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