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    The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

    THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN

    LAU KAR-LEUNG Hong Kong, 1978

    Martial arts movies don’t come more iconic than this kung fu masterpiece from director Lau Kar-leung. With an acute focus on the disciplines of combat, it’s the ultimate training film, as Gordon Liu’s lithe apprentice eschews the path of vengeance for one of grace and spiritual self-determination.

    Come Drink with Me

    COME DRINK WITH ME

    KING HU Hong Kong, 1966

    With an iconic turn from Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), this female-centric masterwork kickstarted the wuxia resurgence of the 1960s. Making astonishing use of confined spaces, director King Hu fashions a cinema of movement impelled by the balletic virtuosity of his leading lady.

    The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter

    THE 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER

    LAU KAR-LEUNG Hong Kong, 1984

    The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter may have arrived at the midpoint of Lau Kar-leung’s career, but it plays like a late-period reckoning with a genre he helped create. Possessing some of the action maestro’s finest set pieces, and steeped in spiritual exhaustion, this is kung fu’s answer to The Searchers.

    Heroes of the East

    HEROES OF THE EAST

    LAU KAR-LEUNG Hong Kong, 1978

    Kung fu is pitted against Japanese fighting styles in this sparkling culture-clash romcom. Talked into a marriage of convenience, Gordon Liu meets his match in Yuka Mizuno’s feisty bride, while Lau Kar-leung shows why he’s the king of action staging, with some of the most dynamic battles on his CV.

    King Boxer

    KING BOXER

    JEONG CHANG-HWA Hong Kong, 1972

    A pivotal classic that marked the rise of the 1970s kung fu craze, Jeong Chang-hwa’s international crossover hit ruled box-office charts upon its release in America. Starring martial arts legend Lo Lieh, this audacious tale of red-hot vengeance punctuates gravity-defying battles with startling gore.

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