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Chi­nese Kung Fu show en­chants au­di­ence at Is­tan­bul uni­ver­sity

Global Times US Edition - - LIFE -

The Charm of Chi­nese Kung Fu tour kicked off on Tues­day evening at Bogazici Uni­ver­sity in Is­tan­bul, en­chant­ing the au­di­ence with a mix­ture of Chi­nese mar­tial arts and dances.

The show not only al­lowed the au­di­ence to feel the unique charm of Chi­nese mar­tial arts, but also pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about its ori­gins.

The per­form­ers from the art troupe of the Bei­jing-based Cap­i­tal Uni­ver­sity of Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Sports dis­played the ori­gin of kung fu by per­form­ing “fights” be­tween hunters and an­i­mals in an­cient times.

They also showed the art of kung fu through tribal sac­ri­fices by com­bin­ing the mar­tial arts and dance in an­cient China, and kung fu in war by demon­strat­ing a scene in which Em­peror Qin Shi Huang, the first per­son ever to unify China, calls up his troops to fight a bat­tle.

The or­ga­niz­ers of the Academy Awards re­leased the com­plete list of 87 movies com­pet­ing for the 2019 Os­cars for­eign lan­guage cat­e­gory on Mon­day, re­veal­ing that the Chi­nese main­land’s pick this year is Jiang Wen’s ac­tion drama Hid­den Man.

Jiang’s stu­dio posted the news on its of­fi­cial Sina Weibo ac­count on Tues­day, with a num­ber of celebri­ties and stars post­ing in the com­ments to con­grat­u­late the team for hav­ing ng the honor to rep­re­sent China at Hol­ly­wood’s top event.

Di­rected by main­land ac­tordi­rec­tor Jiang Wen, who is fa­mous for his noir come­dies in­clud­ing Devils on the Doorstep (2000) and Let the Bul­lets Fly (2010), Hid­den Man tells the story of a young Chi­nese mar­tial artist in the 1930s who is trained in the US as a se­cret agent and even­tu­ally comes back to China to take re­venge on the men who mur­dered his teacher. The film pulled in a to­tal of 583 mil­lion yuan ($84 mil­lion) when it made its main­land de­but in mid-July.

This is the first time that one of Jiang’s di­rec­to­rial works has been cho­sen to com­pete for an Os­car.

Be­fore the of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment came out, many Chi­nese ne­ti­zens spec­u­lated that Zhang Yi­mou’s pe­riod drama Shadow would rep­re­sent the main­land at the Os­cars, but film in­dus­try in­sid­ers im­me­di­ately pointed out that the film is not el­i­gi­ble for the com­pe­ti­tion as the rules stip­u­late that films for the for­eign lan­guage cat­e­gory “must be re­leased in the coun­try sub­mit­ting it no ear­lier than Oc­to­ber 1, 2017 and no later than Septem­ber 30, 2018, and be first pub­licly ex­hib­ited for at least seven con­sec­u­tive days in a com­mer­cial mo­tion pic­ture the­ater for the profit of the pro­ducer and ex­hibitor.”

Shadow’s main­land de­but on Septem­ber 30 ap­par­ently dis­qual­i­fied it from this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Some Chi­nese film crit­ics ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment, as

By us­ing swords, um­brel­las, fold­ing fans, writ­ing brushes and long sleeves as weapons, the per­form­ers demon­strated the de­meanors of mar­tial arts masters as shown in nu­mer­ous kung fu films.

Some mem­bers of the Tur­key Wushu Kung Fu na­tional team also joined in.

As the Chi­nese mar­tial arts are draw­ing more and more learn­ers from around the world, Shi Lon­g­long, a Chi­nese kung fu cham­pion, had a lively they feel Shadow stands a far bet­ter chance than Hid­den Man.

“Zhang Yi­mou’s Shadow is the safest choice – there is hope that it could be nom­i­nated. A pity that its re­lease time dis­qual­i­fies it,” renowned Chi­nese film critic Dark Knight posted on Sina Weibo on Wed­nes­day.

“Though there is lit­tle chance that Hid­den Ma Man can make it to the fi­nal com­pe­ti­tion, it is a far bet­ter film than those cho­sen [to rep­re­sent the main­land] for the c cat­e­gory in the past few years,” Dark Knight wrote.

Some crit­ics worry w that the film’s cul­tural-rich cu di­a­logue and Jiang’s ob­scure cin­e­matic style might be­come ob­sta­cles for mem­bers of the Academy.

“The film’s witty Jiang-style lines of di­a­logue might sound great to Chi­nese au­di­ences, but prob­a­bly not to over­seas judges who come from a dif­fer­ent cul­tural back­ground; the film’s cine­matog­ra­phy may in­ter­est them more,” Chi­nese writer Du Jinghua posted on Sina Weibo.

A num­ber of crit­ics, on the other hand, are op­ti­mistic about the film’s prospects.

“I think Hid­den Man still has a chance due to its fan­tas­tic aes­thetic style and dis­play of black hu­mor,” wrote Chi­nese film blog­ger Ying­shi Pinglun­yuan.

Look­ing back on the main­land’s pre­vi­ous choices for the Os­cars over the past decade, about half are pe­riod dra­mas that de­pict ma­jor his­tor­i­cal events or fig­ures, such as 2016’s Xuan Zang, 2013’s Back to 1942 and 2010’s Af­ter­shock. Zhang Yi­mou, Feng Xiao­gang and Chen Kaige are the di­rec­tors most-often picked by China’s film author­ity for the com­pe­ti­tion.

Zhang ranks at the top with seven works submitted to the Os­cars, fol­lowed by three films from Chen and two from Feng. How­ever, while Zhang had three of his films make it into the fi­nal round, the lat­ter two di­rec­tors have not yet had that honor. in­ter­ac­tion with some Turks on the stage by teach­ing them ABCs of the art.

Yusuf Tuna, a Bogazici sopho­more, has watched many kung fu films.

“What I saw here was some­thing else. Their per­for­mances were amaz­ing. The en­tire show was the best ac­tion movie I have ever seen,” he said.

Ali Kazan, Tuna’s friend, is also “very in­ter­ested” in the mar­tial arts.

“I’m fas­ci­nated by the way they per­formed. I wish I could at­tend their classes in their coun­try,” he said.

The tour, spOn­sored by the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute Head­quar­ters in Bei­jing, will visit other uni­ver­si­ties in Is­tan­bul be­fore head­ing to other cities in Tur­key. Xin­hua

Pho­tos: IC/ VCG

Pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial for Hid­den Man

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