ear the end of Enter the Dragon
, Bruce Lee chases the villain Han through the latter's island paradise as Han flees a terraced arena/garden. Had Quentin Tarantino shot the scene, Lee would have run right up the stone wall in slow motion, his legs windmilling.
Instead, he leaps onto a piece of furniture and propels himself over the wall, the way you or I would if chasing a sadistic, renegade megalomaniac. Given the aestheticized technical gimcrackery that has since become so closely associated with Hong Kong martial arts movies, Lee's act was endearingly human.
What has changed in moviemaking since Enter the Dragon's release in 1973, and who or what is to blame? Tarantino? The martial arts movies that influenced him? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?
(Read this blog's discussion of a Hong Kong martial arts movie that followed Enter the Dragon by twenty years and is already full of slow-motion flying. When did that sort of thing become a part of cinematic language?)
© Peter Rozovsky 2012
Labels: Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon, Hong Kong, martial arts movies, movies, Quentin Tarantino