As kung fu and martial arts film fans we are constantly on the look out for more information concerning our beloved film genre. In this “information age” a good book, whether the traditional kind or digital eBook, can go a long way in satisfying our insatiable thirts for more knowledge about the film genre we love. We crave and yearn to read about our favorite stars, studios, directors, locations, etc. Since Christmas is around the corner why not get ourselves or our kung fu film obsessed loved one a couple of nifty secret-technique-filled scrolls ( books) to add to their collection. Here’s my recommendation for some interesting kung fu and martial art movie reading. Please feel free to comment if you know of any that I neglected or if you have some cool recommendations.
Dr. Craig Reid writes an excellent book that reviews over 2,000 martial arts movies from the classic 1970’s era. He breaks down the plot, the fight scenes, alternate titles, and even gives you a percentage of the amount of kung fu action in each film. A must have reference guide.
Hong Kong film scholar Fu Poshek edits this anthology of writing dedicated to the all mighty Shaw Brothers Studio. Essays cover history of Shaw Brothers, examination of business strategy, Cathay Studios and Shaw Brothers, the influence of Shaw Brothers and kung fu movies on African American urban audiences, and a essay by Ching Pei Pei! Great book to learn about how Shaw’s did business and the sheer number of film genres the Shaw Brothers produced.
Kung fu film critic and author Ric Meyers put together this exciting book that is a great intro to the martial art movie world. A companion DVD was released and both are fun and entertaining. Ric Meyers is one of my favorite kung fu film writers. Check him out at his website.
Bey Logan’s Hong Kong Action Cinema is one of the best booka on the subject of Hong Kong action films. He gives insight into Bruce Lee, Shaw Brothers Lau Kar Leung, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and others. He details the different genre of Hong Kong action film such as the Heroic Bloodshed of directors like John Woo, horror flicks, fighting femmes, and more. Although published in 1995, the book is still a must have.
Dojo Podcast guest, action film historian, fight choreographer, actor, and martial artist John Kreng’s detailed and informative book should not be missed. He covers a lot of ground in this awesome book. Once you read it you will never view a fight scene the same agin and that’s a good thing! He writes in a simple, effective way and has plenty of examples of good fight scenes, movie recommendations, DVD distributor lists, and much much more. A must have for the film fight fan!