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Thread: I Am Bruce Lee

  1. #16
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    spot on jimbo.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  2. #17
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    Well Gene and I will let you all know how it is
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  3. #18
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    I'll wait for it to come to me.

    It may be a while...
    Gene Ching
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  4. #19
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    ya no i'll be waiting too, i dont doo theaters anymore...maybe i'll pirate it later idk.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  5. #20
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    Bruce in WSJ

    Maybe I'll see it in the theaters. If I'm invited to a screener...
    January 30, 2012, 12:00 PM ET
    Why Bruce Lee Has More Kick Now Than Ever
    By Jeff Yang

    “From my point of view, the 20th century gave us just two icons who rose above time, space and race: There was Muhammad Ali, and there was Bruce Lee,” says documentary filmmaker Pete McCormack, explaining the rationale behind his two most recent projects, the feature documentary “Facing Ali,” shortlisted for the Academy Award in 2010, and its new followup “I Am Bruce Lee,” which hits 160 theaters across the country for special screenings on February 9 and 11.

    It’s an assertion that instantly prompts thoughts of obvious alternatives (was that a muffled cough from Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.?) — but the truth is, it can’t be dismissed as hyperbole either.

    Ali and Lee were rare and similar figures: Exceptionally charismatic individuals who thrived in the spotlight, and who earned their permanent place in history by both embodying and overcoming the contradictions of their era. They were unifiers and provocateurs, paramount warriors who preached peace, racial role models whose impact reached far beyond their own communities.

    Both were named to Time magazine’s 1999 list of the 100 most important individuals of the past hundred years. And yet, when the list was unveiled, there were those who groused about Lee’s inclusion. A martial arts movie star? Alongside the likes of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and, uh, Gandhi and King?

    Well…yes. “I Am Bruce Lee” is essentially a 94-minute-long argument that Lee was more than worthy of recognition among the century’s greats, and frankly, it’s a convincing one. The documentary is a cascading chain of reminiscences from friends and family (including wife Linda Lee Cadwell and daughter Shannon, inner-circle member Dan Inosanto and goddaughter Diana Lee Inosanto), tributes from students and fellow fighters of many styles and generations, and vivid celebrations of his legacy from an eclectic mix of celebrities who claim him as a personal inspiration: NBA superstar Kobe Bryant; filmmaker and former BET chief Reginald Hudlin; actors Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”) and Mickey Rourke (“Iron Man 2″); skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, B-boy Jose Ruiz, and Black Eyed Peas member Taboo.

    Interspersed with the talking heads and moving bodies — the interviewees prove that it’s impossible to expound on Bruce Lee while standing still — are samples of his life and work, including personal clips and images that have never before been seen on screen.

    Together, all of it makes the case that the biggest source of Lee’s impact wasn’t his onscreen performances, but the unique philosophy he formulated and preached, and that has made converts of individuals from an amazing range of backgrounds — what you might call a way of thinking that leads to a way of moving that leads to a way of life.

    The belief system behind Lee’s art, Jeet Kune Do, was rooted in resourcefulness: “Use what works, and take it from any place you can find it”; in flexibility: “Don’t get set into one form, adapt, be like water”; in simplicity: “Express the utmost with the minimum”; in action: “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

    But most of all, it’s one that was steeped in a defiant antiestablishmentarianism, a rebellion against the status quo that walks in startling lockstep with the sensibilities of today’s cultural and political moment.

    Some of what he said sounds like it might appeal to the Tea Party right: “Not a daily increase, but a daily decrease: Hack away at the inessentials”; “To hell with circumstances — I create opportunities”; “A big organization is not necessary….all members will be conditioned according to the prescribed system; many will end up as a prisoner of a systematized drill.”

    But though Lee was a firm believer in the power of the individual, he was if anything the inverse of the Ayn Randian self-interested superman, contemptuous of the lesser beings around him. He told his disciples that “the successful warrior is just an average man with laser-like focus”; he stressed to them that he wasn’t their master, but a “student-master,” still constantly learning from them and from the world — “you can consider someone a master when you’re closing their casket”; he reminded them that “real living is living for others.”

    Lee abhorred the elitism of the martial arts world, refusing to issue belts or to imbue his lessons with quasi-mystical ritual. He was relentlessly egalitarian, teaching anyone and everyone who wanted to learn and was willing to work, regardless of size, shape, background — or race: Early in his career in the U.S., he came into violent conflict with the incensed heads of other Chinese martial arts schools, who demanded he stop initiating non-Asians into their secrets. Lee thrashed the representative they sent to challenge him, and continued instructing whomever he wanted.

    To Lee, boundaries and divisions, whether between styles or between peoples, were nothing more than a tool of oppression — and as Lee’s wife Linda says, “Bruce hated the oppression of the little people, which he saw everywhere: The Japanese occupation, the Boxer Rebellion, the foreign powers going into China. He just thought all of that was wrong.”
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  6. #21
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    continued from previous

    In the film, an animated Reggie Hudlin adds that Lee emerged at a time when the angry underclass was seeking out leaders and symbols, “counterculture figures to fight the establishment” — figures like Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Muhammad Ali — and Bruce Lee: “When he fought Chuck Norris [in "Way of the Dragon"], Bruce Lee represented the entire Third World, all people of color, fighting the Western oppressor.”

    In short, it’s fair to say that Lee was a badass of the 99 Percent.

    Today, Norris has become a kind of conservative kingmaker, anointing right wing candidates he decides are worthy of his badge of toughness (he’s the one who famously called Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a woman who eats “scorpions for breakfast,” which she promptly used as the title of her now-famous memoir). If Lee had lived to today, might he be replaying their famous battle at the Coliseum in the political arena — giving progressive politicians the benefit of his personal magic to counter Norris’s fists of approval? Or would he, as Kobe Bryant jokes in the doc, be competing on “Dancing With the Stars” — and winning?

    Maybe both.

    “My dad didn’t see limitations, in himself or in other people,” says Shannon Lee, who served as the film’s executive producer. “He did what he did his way, and left behind an extremely unique footprint.”

    Unique enough to last 40 years without fading, as trainer and expert Jeet Kune Do practitioner Teri Tom says in the film: “You’d think people would have forgotten him by now, but no — I think a lot of cultures have actually picked him up as their hero.”

    In 2005, a grassroots youth organization in Mostar in Bosnia spearheaded a successful drive to commission and erect a statue of Lee in one of the city’s main squares, calling him a symbol of “the fight against divisions, and the struggle to bridge cultures — one thing we all have in common is Bruce Lee.” (There’s also a street named after Lee in the city of Drvengrad in Bosnia’s bitter rival Serbia, suggesting a broad-based Balkan fascination with Lee.) That same year, Lee fans raised over $100,000 to get Hong Kong, the city of Lee’s childhood, to erect a statue of him in a choice location by the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on the Hong Kong Walk of Stars. A thriving theme park dedicated to Lee, “Bruce Lee Paradise,” opened in his ancestral town of Shunde on the China mainland in 2006.

    But this year could see the way open for the biggest Bruce Lee memorial yet — a $50 million Bruce Lee Action Museum targeted for Seattle, Washington’s International District, which is currently under review by the city’s council. According to Shannon Lee, the museum would have a permanent exhibit of Lee’s life and memorabilia, galleries for visiting shows on themes related to his ideas, a store, theater, meditation space, outdoor training area, research library and café.

    And what better year to announce the museum than this one? Lee’s family and fans await the council’s announcement with bated breath. In the meantime, there’s “I Am Bruce Lee,” which is as good a reason to Occupy movie theaters on February 9 and 11 as any. Happy Year of the Dragon.

    ***

    The truly amazing thing about Bruce is how much he accomplished in such a short span of time. He died in 1973 at the age of 32, with just five feature films to his name — one of which, “Game of Death,” was assembled posthumously around 11 minutes of footage shot before his demise. Despite this fact, Lee may be the only Asian American with household name status nearly everywhere in the world — he’s certainly the only Asian American on the Time 100 list of the century’s most influential individuals.

    It really does make you wonder what he’d have become if he hadn’t died. Given his amazing drive, ambition and intellect, it’s hard not to imagine that his career wouldn’t have continued on its upward trajectory, to paraphrase one of Lee’s most famous lines, like a finger pointing at the moon in all its heavenly glory.

    Lee’s legacy is something that’s already tough to live up to: “I’ve studied martial arts, but of course I’m not anywhere near the level of my father,” laughs Shannon Lee. “Still, people assume I’m a lethal weapon anyway! Sometimes people come up to me and I have to correct the impression — look, I’m a mom and a businessperson, and no, I can’t kill you with two fingers and an evil look.”

    I get that all the time myself, Shannon. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’ve written a book called “I Am Jackie Chan.”
    I am Jackie Chan was a good read.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  7. #22
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    i agree. a very good read. thanks for posting this though. puts a new light as to what this doc really is.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  8. #23
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    Macaulay Culkin?

    WTF? Macaulay Culkin! No f-ing way.
    New documentary explores the stylish paradoxes of Bruce Lee
    marsha lederman
    VANCOUVER— From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
    Published Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2012 5:40PM EST
    Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2012 5:42PM EST

    “Every piece of film fight choreography has been influenced by Bruce Lee, whether the people involved know it or not.”

    So muses author Paul Bowman in a new film about the martial-arts phenomenon that explores Lee’s great influence on the culture – and his own, sometimes surprising, influences.

    In I Am Bruce Lee, which has its world premiere in Vancouver on Wednesday, local documentary maker Pete McCormack (Facing Ali) lines up a star-studded list of acolytes to reflect on how Lee’s influence – whether in acting (Mickey Rourke, Ed O’Neill), basketball (Kobe Bryant), dance (Jose Ruiz) or, not surprisingly, mixed martial arts (UFC world champion Jon Jones).

    “Always bring it says Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo. “That’s the vibe that Bruce Lee taught me.”

    Even for those who have never seen one of his films, Lee is a familiar name, synonymous with the martial-arts movie. But his personal influences were wide – and sometimes contradictory.

    Lee was born in 1940, in San Francisco to a Chinese father and a half-Chinese/half-Caucasian mother. He was still very young when his family moved to Japan-occupied Hong Kong. There, he was exposed to war and conflict, and, later, British control. The overriding result was a feeling that others were dictating his future. He learned early the importance of self-defence and independence.

    He also got an early start on screen. Beginning as a baby – and long before he discovered martial arts – Lee appeared in Hong Kong-produced films became a prolific child star (in the documentary, historian David Tadman compares him to Macaulay Culkin).

    Another surprise influence? Dance: Lee was the 1957 Hong Kong cha-cha champion. “People don’t know that about him,” says Bryant, in the film. “His footwork was impeccable.”

    He has said that it was insecurity that drew him to martial arts. But Lee was also a fighter on the streets of Hong Kong and got into some trouble – with both police and gangs. Those conflicts ultimately led to his return, at age 18, to the United States. And there, beginning in Seattle, he found a new influence – a country in an era of liberation.

    “He’s sort of a product of the sixties in a way ... of civil rights, of women’s lib coming into its own, even gay rights,” McCormack said recently. “He’s a product of that, but also a pioneer inside of that.”

    In the U.S., Lee eventually landed a role as Kato on TV’s The Green Hornet in 1966. And although he tells Pierre Berton he “did a terrible job,” he later graduated to film.

    Work in Hollywood was drying up, however, so Lee went back to Hong Kong. There, he found the film projects that would make him a star – Fists of Fury and Way of the Dragon. Eventually it was Hollywood who came calling with Enter The Dragon.

    What’s remarkable is how influential Lee remains, almost 40 years after his sudden and mysterious death in Hong Kong, shortly before the world premiere of his seminal Enter the Dragon.

    “Bruce really brought kung fu to film. And now you can’t really watch a movie without the guy spinning and kicking and that kind of stuff, whether it’s The Bourne Identity or The Matrix,” says McCormack, who – along with Vancouver-based Network Productions – won the co-operation of Lee’s wife, Linda Lee Cadwell, and daughter, Shannon Lee (who serves as executive producer), largely on the strength of their previous joint venture, Facing Ali, which was in the running for an Academy Award in 2010.

    “Bruce Lee completely changed the way action scenes look today in cinema,” author and martial artist Daniele Bolelli says in the documentary. “It’s about making violence look beautiful.”

    Lee’s influence goes beyond film. He pioneered the belief that the martial arts should not be practised in silos, but combined for maximum impact. All these years later, that philosophy helps guide what has become a huge movement.

    “Bruce Lee is 100 per cent the father of mixed martial arts,” Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, says in the film.

    Lee was a stylish paradox: a mix of two cultures who called both America and Hong Kong home. He explored Zen Buddhism but fought for a living. He hated the idea of superstardom, but embraced what it brought: the ability to make films. He practised and taught martial arts at university with a deep-thinking passion, but always ran home to catch General Hospital.

    He is many things to many people: a fighter, a charmer, a rare Asian Hollywood leading man. And this is where McCormack found his title, I Am Bruce Lee.

    “When someone is so charismatic and crosses so many boundaries, we start to project ourselves onto those people and we become them. We are Bruce Lee. Whatever Bruce Lee has offers you such strength that we tend to take it on,” McCormack says.

    “I like Bruce Lee for the philosophy. Kids at school getting bullied like Bruce Lee ’cause he beat up people in those movies, which they dream of doing. People in martial arts like him because he’s so fluid and beautiful to watch. Other people like him because he’s sexy. More than most icons, we take him on for different reasons.”

    Still.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  9. #24
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    I am Bruce Lee!!! Documentary

    i watched this film yesterday and it was freaking awsome; one of the best documentaries of Bruce; i think that there's going to be a replay on SpikeTV next Sunday night; so if you have the chance see it; it's inspiring.

    See ya

  10. #25
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    luismtzr with the first review

    ‘I Am Bruce Lee’ doesn’t pull punches in portrayal of martial arts superstar’s career
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    Thursday, March 8, 2012, 11:49 AM
    Network / Air Date: Spike. Wed. at 9 p.m.

    Two kinds of people should not miss this film about the most famous martial arts actor and practitioner of modern times: those who worship Bruce Lee and those who don't.

    Even if you think his best career move was to die young, "I Am Bruce Lee" is a fast-moving, well-produced and altogether engrossing biographical documentary.

    Born in China in 1940, just as the Japanese occupiers were moving in, Lee developed an early obsession with physical discipline and fighting skills.

    He was groomed as an actor, but preferred street fighting, and when he was 18 his parents sent him to the U.S. to keep him from being arrested or killed.

    He became a martial arts instructor, and while he built a reputation as one of the best fighters in the world, that reputation was limited to modest circles until he landed a role as Kato on the 1966 TV series "The Green Hornet."

    That role led to his five movies, including "Enter the Dragon."

    By the the early 1970s, he was approaching Muhammad Ali status - not just the best at what he did, but a near-mythic leader who helped show others a way to live.

    Then, on July 20, 1973, he had an apparent allergic reaction to routine medication and died.

    As his widow Linda points out here, he enjoyed fame and fortune for only a short time at the very end of his life. But he packed a lot of legacy into 32 years.

    Linda and others also note that he did not live one of those calm-and-peaceful lives we often see with martial arts masters.

    As Lee says himself in several archival interviews, he had a violent temper. Fighting to him was not a day job.

    He also battled with directors and others who didn't understand his vision of how traditional martial arts could be blended with other fighting styles and integrated into a vision of life and justice - without sacrificing any of the fun of an old-fashioned action flick.

    Against extreme odds, he ultimately did what he set out to do: unite people of all races, cultures and martial arts styles.

    There are discussions here about how he made Asian males masculine and tough, about whether he was the father of mixed martial arts, about how he jotted down Confucious-like observations on life.

    Not all the interviewees agree on every point. But they are all in awe of his skill, his discipline, his determination, his focus.

    From Kobe Bryant to Mickey Rourke and a half-dozen of his fellow martial artists, everyone here agrees he's one of those rare icons who deserves every superlative, and whose influence four decades after his death only gets stronger.

    One of the few missing witnesses here is Chuck Norris, whom Lee defeated in one of the most famous movie fights ever, and it would have been nice to hear Norris's perspective.

    But after we hear about how Lee used to watch Ali's fights backwards to analyze his moves from a left-hander's perspective, we don't need everyone to believe we've heard about the best.
    I don't have Spike, so I wound up watching an old Jackie Chan flick on netflix.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #26
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    They got some stuff wrong in there.

    BL was born in San Francisco, not China. And while I respect BL a lot, I don't see how he gained a reputation as one of the world's best fighters.

    I also don't see how he made Asian males tough. Like any other group, there have always been the tough and not-tough. If you want to see a real outstanding example, in fairly recent history, of true Asian male toughness, study up on the Japanese-American 442 regiment in WWII. Also known as the Purple Heart Brigade.

  12. #27
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    jimbo have you read the book 'sun and steel' ?
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  13. #28
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    Not yet, Lucas.

    IMO, there should have been a major movie about the 442, but there hasn't. Other than the early-'50s movie Go For Broke, which, although progressive at that time, wasn't a very good portrayal. But there's been books out there, and an outstanding documentary, called 442.

    My uncle and mom were very close friends with Sadao Munemori, who is always mentioned in conjunction with the 442 for his valor. He singlehandedly took out an entire nest of Nazis, then threw himself on a grenade to save his comrades.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 03-08-2012 at 11:05 AM.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    They got some stuff wrong in there.

    BL was born in San Francisco, not China. And while I respect BL a lot, I don't see how he gained a reputation as one of the world's best fighters.

    I also don't see how he made Asian males tough. Like any other group, there have always been the tough and not-tough. If you want to see a real outstanding example, in fairly recent history, of true Asian male toughness, study up on the Japanese-American 442 regiment in WWII. Also known as the Purple Heart Brigade.
    I think the rep came from the respect he got from the best fighters of his time.
    Outside of Joe Lewis ( who doesn't think ANYONE is better than Joe Lewis, LOL) all thought very highly of his fighting skill.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  15. #30
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    With all due respect to the 442nd

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I also don't see how he made Asian males tough. Like any other group, there have always been the tough and not-tough. If you want to see a real outstanding example, in fairly recent history, of true Asian male toughness, study up on the Japanese-American 442 regiment in WWII. Also known as the Purple Heart Brigade.
    Before you get too enthralled with the 442nd, read up on the 100th Battalion. My grandfather was a colonel with the 100th. I have his Purple Heart medal.

    That being said, you can't find 442nd T-shirts at the mall. Few people know the 100th or the 442nd. But everyone knows Bruce Lee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    jimbo have you read the book 'sun and steel' ?
    One of Mishima's greatest.
    Gene Ching
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