Someday my monks will come

Tuesday, 2 November 2004 — 2:37pm | Film, Literature, Michael Chabon

Leaving for a weekend means there is a lot of catching up to do in terms of current events, happenings that had or will have a dramatic impact on the world.

When the dramatic impact I speak of is possessed of a physicality like the flurry of Wong Fei-Hung’s legendary No-Shadow Kick, you have Yuen Wo-Ping to thank for that. As every martial arts aficionado knows, Yuen is possibly the greatest fight choreographer in cinematic history. Over the past few years he has finally gotten more attention in North America, thanks to his work in The Matrix and Kill Bill as well as the overwhelming success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the domestic box office. Well, it looks like he’s about to make his English-language directorial debut in the Disney-financed Snow and the Seven, which is reportedly an iteration of Snow White featuring seven Shaolin monks and set in late-nineteenth-century China, a setting that immediately brings the braided hairstyles of the period to mind.

Unfortunately, whenever the best in Asian film come do a stateside project, studio pressures and fundamental misunderstandings of how Hong Kong cinema works the way it does impede their movies from ever being nearly as good as one would expect. Once Upon A Time In China director Tsui Hark has since been damned (or rather, van Dammed) to B-movie hell; Jackie Chan’s career has been limited to buddy-cop culture-clashes and inexplicably, Passepartout; and someone should tell Revolution Studios that Jet Li and DMX aren’t exactly Freddy and Ginger. There’s a lot of talent going to waste here. Hopefully Yuen Wo-Ping is given the directorial freedom he needs, and moreover, a good writer.

But if you read that story to which I linked, you’ll see that the “good writer” part has already been covered. They’ve signed none other than Michael Chabon, whom I never hesitate to identify as the best American novelist this generation. As such, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about how this will turn out.

Speaking of Chabon, I never ended up ordering my Amazing Adventures of the Escapist #3 and #4. I’ll get on it, unless I spot it at a local retailer first.

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