Kung Fu Fridays: Snake In The Eagle’S Shadow

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Kung Fu Fridays: Snake In The Eagle’S Shadow
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The Royal Cinema - Toronto says
Pre-Show Starts at 7PM + Feature Starts at 8PM

Kung Fu Fridays returns to The Royal! Ten years after the series ended its run, it kicks and punches its way back onto the big screen, harder and faster than ever before. Join us for monthly martial arts screenings that range from classics to Holy Grail obscurities to old school thrills from around Asia. Eagle’s talons slash and tear, flying guillotines zip through the air, evil masters laugh maniacally, and struggling students persevere with pugilistic prowess.

On February Friday in 1996 at the Metro Theatre, a run down adult cinema at Bloor and Christie, a rare 35mm print of Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow was screened. The print turned out not to have any English subtitles, but the evening was saved with a quick round of audience participation. That screening was the first of a series of events that would later become known as, “Kung Fu Fridays.”

Now 20 years later, we revisit Jackie Chan’s breakout hit, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow in a new digitally restored version, this time, with English dubbing.

After starring in some less than successful Bruce Lee knock off projects directed by Lo Wei, the director credited with discovering Lee, Jackie Chan was considered a bit of a bad investment and was loaned out to Ng See Yuen, a producer who teamed up up with director Yuen Woo Ping (now known as the highly regarded action director on The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and history was made. Together, the director and stuntman actor broke the conventions and flipped the tropes commonly found in martial arts film up to that point and made a breakthrough kung fu comedy that was very rapidly imitated across the industry. The plot was simple – Chan is a bumbling janitor at a martial arts school who is secretly taught a unique form of kung fu, “The Snake Fist,” in order to defend himself from bullies.

Of note, the role of the old, eccentric, wandering kung fu master who teaches Chan, is played by the director’s own father, Yuen Siu Tien. Yuen would continue to reprise the role of “Beggar So” in several more movies before his death in 1979.

The trio of producer, director and actor created an innovative brand of action-comedy with this film and quickly made Drunken Master, released in the same year, which also starred Chan, Hwang Jang Lee and Yuen Siu Tien. That film followed a similar plot, but with the angle of a style of drunken boxing that made it unique.

Join us for this rare chance to see the film that made Jackie Chan the legend he is today on the the big screen. Only at The Royal and only at Kung Fu Fridays!
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By: The Royal Cinema - Toronto

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