Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Śakra

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,728

    Śakra

    From Donnie Yen's facebook:
    Donnie Yen 甄子丹

    Itís always been my desire to reinvent WuXia films, especially after decades of creating modern action and KungFu genres, I am excited to share with you that Iím about to produce and remake one of most popular WuXia novel by Louis Cha, perhaps the most famous WuXia novelist in modern history. The book in the english title is Eight Books of the Heavenly Dragon. The main characters are based on the Buddhism eight races of demi-gods and semi-devils. These demi-gods and semi-devils are different from the human race but are still bound to Saṃsāra by their own desires.
    Filming begins in July! 👊
    #wuxia #天龍八部 #喬峯 #金庸
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,728

    Donnie Yen & Sakra

    Tokyo: Donnie Yen on Stepping Behind the Camera for His Martial Arts Passion Project ĎŚakraí
    The action hero is producing, directing and starring in the film, an adaptation of the classic Chinese novel 'Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils': "I really think this has been one of the biggest challenges of my career."


    BY PATRICK BRZESKI

    OCTOBER 24, 2022 3:45PM

    Behind the scenes on Donnie Yen's 'Śakra' COURTESY OF WISHART


    Donnie Yen is among the exceedingly few actors of his generation to have worked at the highest levels of both Hollywood and the Chinese film industry. These days, though, he says heís putting all his focus in the singular project of elevating Chinese commercial cinemaís reputation on the world stage.

    Yen made his breakthrough way back in 1992 in Tsui Harkís Wuxia classic Once Upon a Time in China II thanks to a memorable fight scene against the filmís hero, played by Jet Li. Scores of roles in Hong Kong, Chinese and Hollywood cinema have followed, including parts in Zhang Yimouís Hero, Wilson Yipís brutal crime flicks SPL: Sha Po Lang and Flash Point, Chinese tentpoles like The Monkey King 3D and Raging Fire, and most memorably as the star of the semi-biographical Ip Man movie series, which tells the story of Bruce Leeís legendary teacher of Wing Chun. While his Chinese film career continued at a blistering pace, Yen went on to co-star in The Weinstein Companyís martial arts sequel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016) and Disney tentpoles including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and Mulan (2020).

    Presently, Yen is producing, directing and starring in the Chinese tentpole Śakra, an adaptation of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, a classic wuxia novel from 1963 that is considered one of the most influential works of martial arts fiction ever. The film began production this summer, with Yen starring as martial arts master Qiao Feng, one of the central figures of the Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils story universe. The actor envisions Śakra ó which he alternately describes as both Chinaís Shakespeare and Marvel ó as a potential franchise starter, with the bookís many sub-plots and compelling characters ripe for further big-screen adaptation. The film is produced by Chinese studio Wishart, with Yenís longtime collaborator Wong Jing (From Vegas to Macau) also attached as a producer. International sales on Śakra are being handled by Plus Entertainment Limited, with the title already generating interest at both the Tokyo International Film Festivalís TIFFCOM market this week, and the upcoming American Film Market in Los Angeles.

    The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Yen about why Śakra is a personal passion project and how it fits into his vision for the future of the Chinese film industry.

    How did your involvement in Śakra come about?

    Well, as you know, Iíve been in the industry for many, many years, right? I think for any artist or actor whoís done so many films, whether they were successful or not, itís really important to keep finding motivation and inspiration. That motivation comes from a feeling ó itís about what kind of film you want to make, and the energy and creativity follows that feeling.

    So, when I consider a project, there are three action genres in my book. One is the contemporarily action movie, like my films Raging Fire, Kill Zone or Flash Point. The second type is the kung fu movie, like my Ip Man franchise, where the era is closer to the modern day, but people donít fly as much (laughs). It requires a more traditional martial arts form ó like Ip Man or The Grandmaster, where you see traditional martial arts abilities in a character who is grounded in realism. Like the old Shaw Brothers movies, and so many that Jackie Chan and Jet Li did. And the third type is the Wuxia movie, which is a whole other rich tradition of stylistic heritage. Itís been a long time since I did a Wuxia movie. I did Crouching Tiger 2 and Mulan, but I wouldnít really consider either of those a true Wuxia movie. Mulan really wasnít my cup of tea, but I did it for my kids, who grew up watching the original animation. The last film I did, which I would consider truly in the genre, was probably Hero (2002). So itís been a long time. And I think after I finished the Ip Man series, I didnít feel that I would be able to continue to find fresh inspiration to make kung fu movies. So thatís why I returned to make more contemporary action movies, and thatís what I did with my late friend Benny Chan on Raging Fire (2021). So then I got this opportunity to make a Wuxia film and I hadnít done one in a while and I felt it had the chance to really be something special. The older I get, the more I feel that if I commit to a project, it has to at least have the chance of being a really special film ó something that can leave a mark and have a legacy. I feel like we achieved that with Ip Man; Iím really proud of those films. And I felt that maybe we could do something big and special in the Wuxia genre with this one.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,728

    Continued from previous post


    A behind-the-scenes shot during production of ‘Śakra’ COURTESY OF WISHART

    And how did you decide to adapt a Louis Cha story in particular?

    Well, if I was going to do a Wuxia movie, it had to be Louis Cha, because he’s the most influential Wuxia writer and Wuxia scholar of modern times. I spent a few months thinking about whether I should take up this challenge, because it’s a really big challenge, since his legacy is so huge in Chinese culture. And I really wanted to break ground if I was going to do it. I knew I would be the producer of the film as well as the director, so I knew I would end up spending a lot of my life creating this world. So it wasn’t an easy or quick decision, but I decided to do it. It’s extremely difficult to adapt Louis Cha’s novels as a feature film, because all of his novels are extremely long, with dozens of characters and backstories and mythic details. All of these things are part of what made his novels into classics. In the last few decades, the few relatively successful examples of adaptations of his work were all TV series, because you have many episodes and hours to develop his characters and stories. To do it in a movie is really difficult, because if you do one of his classic works, which small part of the story are you going to break out and focus on? And how are you going to make it an authentic adaptation while also allowing newcomers into his world — and for them to have any clue what’s going on? It’s really difficult. This project was presented to me by my good friend Wong Jing; he got the financing together. But I told him, let me re-read the novels and think about it. And as I was reading through, after a while I started to get ideas about how I would want to present the story, and then I spent a few months working with a couple of younger writers reframing the whole story so that it could work as a film that could be accessible to everyone.

    And how did you think about how you would capture his world visually?

    That was the other big piece. Because, you know, Tsui Hark has made a number of classic Wuxia films and he’s created a lot of imagery that we now associate with the genre. Even Wong Kar Wai did some Wuxia films in a very artistic and stylish way. So where do I come along? I have to kind of identify certain things that can feel modern but still keep the history and tradition of the genre. I really wanted the history and the tradition of Chinese literature to be there — not just people flying around spectacularly with no substance — because that’s what’s so cool about Louis Cha’s novels. There’s a tremendous amount of real history and philosophy built into his work. It’s like Chinese Shakespeare, with all of this real culture and history woven into it. That was another really challenging thing, because you need to make sure you get all of these period details right. We all had to do a lot of research. Over the last 20 years, a lot of Wuxia characters on screen have become more and more fantasy and cartoon-ish. I wanted to stay away from that — I wanted to go back to the history and the roots. From the wardrobe to the hair and set design all the way to the action and stunts, I wanted to go back to the roots with some realism. And when it comes to the action, I wanted it to be classic Donnie Yen style, where there’s real martial arts going on — where you can feel the pain, power and substance of the fighting in that universe. The most challenging thing was how I would portray Qiao Feng, the character we are focusing on — because there have been multiple actors who have taken on this character and role over the years, so I needed to find a new and unique point of view on him. At the same time, I had to be very level-headed and really understand what the audience has always loved about Qiao Feng in the text. He’s probably one of Louis Cha’s most beloved characters, so I really had to understand the charm of this character and think deeply about how to capture that and blend my own persona with it. I really think this has been one of the biggest challenges of my career. Like I said, picking up Louis Cha isn’t like just doing another movie for me. It’s like you’re remaking Shakespeare. But I’m quite happy I’ve taken on the challenge, so far.

    You’re on a very short list of actors who have had top-level success in the old Hong Kong film business, the new mainland Chinese industry and Hollywood. China and Hollywood have very different production systems and both have their virtues. But since you mentioned how you’re aiming to adapt this Louis Cha story for a universal audience who might not already be familiar with his work, I wondered whether there was anything you gleaned from your time in Hollywood that you’re attempted to utilize on this project.

    Well, obviously, I have learned some things from working on big U.S. projects, with corporate Hollywood and various talents. The Hollywood industry is very professionalized, because they’ve been doing it for so long, and the global business has been dominated by Hollywood for a long time, right? So, of course, I’ve learned a lot from working on projects like Rogue One. But at the same time, I really feel that China will be next to dominate the world. In fact, the economy of China is already dominating the world. And as a Chinese filmmaker, I’m a very proud Chinese man. Everybody knows that by now. And I have every right to be proud because our culture is so rich. So I just feel like I have a responsibility to continue. Because I’m quite fortunate to have spent 40 years in this business. It takes a lot of luck, and a lot of support from investors who give me this opportunity to create. So what I want to do is use my experience and dedicate myself to continue making films with Chinese elements, Chinese history and Chinese actors — to do my part to help elevate the whole Chinese film world. Because when I look at Marvel’s commercial success, I feel there’s so much I could do with my own culture that’s equally as good, if not better. You know, Wuxia is Chinese Marvel, except it has a lot more rich history and culture behind it. I mean, it goes back thousands of years. So, anyway, that is my single goal. Besides being creative as an artist, I really feel like I want to use my influence to make really good Chinese movies. That’s all I want to do before I retire.


    A production still from Donnie Yen’s forthcoming ‘Śakra’ COURTESY OF WISHART
    Sakra
    Jin-Yong-aka-Louis-Cha
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,728

    《天龍八部之喬峰傳》香港預告 1月19日 義薄雲天

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,728

    Good ol' Well Go USA

    Hong Kong martial arts film ĎSakraí scores US distribution deal (exclusive)
    BY MICHAEL ROSSER8 FEBRUARY 2023


    SOURCE: WELL GO USA

    ĎSAKRAí

    Well Go USA Entertainment has acquired North America distribution rights to Sakra, the latest wuxia action feature led by martial arts star Donnie Yen.

    Well Go, which has previously distributed Yenís hit Ip Man films, plans to release Sakra in select theatres this spring. The deal was struck with Mandarin Motion Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.

    Based on the classic wuxia novel Demi-Gods And Semi-Devils by Louis Cha (known worldwide by his pen name Jin Yong), it marks the first time Yen has stepped back into a directorial role in nearly two decades.

    Yen also produces alongside veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Jing and stars as Qiao Feng ó whose name provides the filmís Chinese title ó a tragic hero accused of killing his adoptive parents. He goes on the run and vows to discover more about his own origin story and the enemies attempting to frame him for murder from the shadows.

    Chen Yuqi from TV series Heavenly Sword And Dragon Slaying Sabre and Cya Liu of Limbo co-star alongside Ray Lui and Tsui Siu Ming. Kenji Tanigaki and Yan Hua served as action directors, with Yenís Action Team on board for stunts.

    The film received a release in Hong Kong over Chinese New Year and has taken a combined $518,525 (including South Korea) to date.
    This has been at the top of my list for this Lunar New Year's crop of releases.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,728

    Slated for Apr 14 US theatrical release

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2023
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    34
    Watched this on the Hong Kong Blu-Ray that I received last week. If you love seeing Donnie Yen being OP (over-powered) and want to see Wuxia novels adapted to the big screen while retaining the core "Xia" elements that are missing from many recent Wuxia films, you will enjoy it. As I'm very familiar with the original novel, Jin Yong's Demi-Gods & Semi-Devils, I was certainly scratching my head when the other two main characters of the novel appeared in this movie for literally 1 minute (one of which only appeared for about 10 seconds!). It also does not help that certain important characters with important subplots are introduced on a whim. Probably the funniest thing to myself and other fans of the Wuxia genre is how Donnie is portraying a character half his age (Qiao Feng should be in his early thirties) and he's interacting with other characters who are supposed to be the same age as his characters' parents, who in turn are portrayed by actors who are only 1-3 years older than Donnie! Despite that, I still enjoyed this movie and give it a 7.5 out of 10 as I enjoyed seeing famous Wuxia martial arts techniques given the "Marvel" treatment.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •