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Showing posts from July, 2011

Empire List #474: Enter the Dragon

Before Tony Jaa, Jet Li, and Jackie Chan there was Bruce Lee. The man has been dead since the 1970s yet say his name and images of martial art fights spring to mind. He died way too early leaving behind only a handful of films, a few of them unfinished. Fortunately, Robert Clouse’s “Enter the Dragon” was completed before his death on July 20, 1973. As far as martial arts films go, it is one of the best and features the master in top shape.
Whenever I write for this blog I try to describe the impression I had when I watched the film for the first time. Sometimes it’s a memorable moment, such as watching a game-changing movie on the big screen. This however, is a rather ordinary moment since I watched “Enter the Dragon” yesterday evening on TV in my mom’s apartment in Quebec City. Life is ordinary sometimes.
Yet when it comes to Bruce Lee movies I still have a personal movie anecdote. About two years ago my brother bought a DVD box set of Bruce Lee’s films for Asian studio Golden Harvest…

Empire List #440: Akira

The least you can say about the Japanese people is that they are a resilient bunch. They were bombed twice with nuclear bombs at the end of World War II, their economy was left in ruins, and their empire was crumbled by the new emerging American one. How did they recover? They became the world’s best provider of electronics. Read the end credits of any Nintendo game, most of the names are Japanese. But video games weren’t enough. They also emerged as a global influence on comic books and cartoons with manga and anime. If you are ever interested in learning about these two art forms, you couldn’t do better than Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime movie “Akira,” based on his own best selling two-part manga.

I saw this movie as part of my Friday night film club at the University of Sherbrooke in the fall of 2008. That night OMASUS (Obscure Movie Appreciation Society of the University of Sherbrooke) was showing a double feature comprising of “Blade Runner” and “Akira.” Appropriate, since “Akira…