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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.
Date & Time
Friday, March 22 at 7:00 pm
Free and open to the public. More Info
Film Theater at the Rubenstein Arts Center
2020 Campus Drive
Durham, NC 27705

Drunken Master
(Yuen Woo-ping, 1978, 111 min, Hong Kong, Cantonese with English subtitles, Digital)


— Introduced by Prof. Eileen Cheng-yin Chow (Asian & Middle Eastern Studies)


“The thin story finds Chan turning the legend of real-life folk hero Wong Fei Hung on its ear, playing the famous do-gooder as a rambunctious, bratty youngster always getting into fights. In an attempt to straighten him out, Jackie’s father sends him to be disciplined by the titular drunken master, an old beggar who teaches Fei Hung the secrets of “drunken boxing,” a fighting style based upon the staggering movements of drunkards. As directed by Yuen Woo Ping, Drunken Master is basically one long fight sequence, occasionally interrupted by the picture’s torturous training set pieces. The chemistry between Chan and legendary Peking Opera actor Simon Yuen, playing his newfound master, continues the charming rapport they shared in their previous hit Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow … and provides one of the most memorable and imitated master/student relationships in the genre. Yuen Woo Ping’s direction is wildly energetic, and his fight choreography — strongly assisted by Jackie, no doubt — is nothing less than groundbreaking, shamelessly mixing slapstick from crude to clever, along with traditional martial arts stances and acrobatics. He deftly fills his Cinemascope frame with brilliant movement. Undoubtedly, many will snub their noses at the film’s lack of plot, and, admittedly, Drunken Master is far from brain food. However, not unlike the silent films of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd, or for that matter, the best pictures of Hong Kong’s Seventies kung fu films, the genius of Drunken Master lies in its kinetics. Pure entertainment, and a true chop-socky classic.” – Austin Chronicle

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