The transcript below is from the video “Small Tidbits about Bruce Lee | VIdeo Essay” by Accented Cinema.

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

So instead of your usual analysis and critique, we are just going to share a few small tidbits about Bruce Lee, information that I can’t quite fit into the two-part retrospective.

What other Bruce Lee trivial do you know? Share it in the comment below!

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

Hey, everyone! So I was busy moving for the past two weeks and didn’t really have time to prepare a full video essay. So, let’s do something light and fun instead. While researching for our retrospective on Bruce Lee, I’ve stumbled upon quite a lot of info that I can’t quite fit into the episodes. Let’s be honest, we can probably talk about him for two more hours. So, I’m going to show you some tidbits and let’s talk about the significance behind them. Let’s all huddle around the campfire. Sit back, relax. Let’s pay our respect a bit more.

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

In the retrospective, we talk quite a lot about Bruce’s impact on Hong Kong cinema but we can’t ignore his impact in the west, either. When I think of fight scenes that came before Green Hornet, it’s either this… or this… That’s Frank Sinatra in Manchurian Candidate using karate. But yes, fight scenes from 1940s to 1960s are all pretty hilarious. Like, what the hell is that? I saw this in film school twice and both times, the entire class laughed.

The best fight scene from this period that I can remember is the iconic fight between Bond and Oddjob in Goldfinger. Here, you can see the fights are just people tossing things and tossing each other. There’s not a lot of martial arts in there. But as soon as the Green Hornet became a thing, fight scenes in Diamonds Are Forever is immediately better. See the blocking and the punching, with that distinct rhythm and movement from martial arts movies.

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

It’s not quite this, but it’s a pretty good step forward. Unsurprisingly, Bruce Lee had a massive impact on anime, too. The World Martial Arts Tournament in Dragon Ball is likely inspired by Enter the Dragon. There’s Sailor Jupiter’s fighting stance and Seijuro Shin’s appearance. The most popular interpretation though, is probably Rock Lee from Naruto, whose excellent physical strength and dedication allows him to rival those who has magical powers.

And of course, there is Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, whose personality and battle cry copies Bruce Lee directly… which is funny because those high pitch battle cries were dubbed. Yeah, they were not Bruce Lee’s voice. Here’s his real voice… A lot of us probably know this video, but not all of us know the truth. Yes, it’s fake. It was a viral marketing video from Nokia. But even though the video is fake, the public seems willing to believe its legitimacy.

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

If it’s anyone else, we’ll question it from the start. But Bruce with his maniacal dedication, it’s not that hard to believe that he’s crazy enough to do it for real. What is real, is his demonstration on TVB, one of Hong Kong’s most popular TV stations. Majority of the footage has been lost but even with only the short clips we have here, you can still see Bruce’s unbelievable explosive strength. That one-inch punch lives on as an iconic move. There, is another anime moment inspired by him.

After Bruce passed away, a new genre emerged, Bruceploitation. Basically, films that exploited people’s craving for more Bruce Lee; from Bruce Lee Fights Back From the Grave to Clones of Bruce Lee and, in some way, Robert Clouse’s Game of Death is also a Bruceploitation film. It’s clear that audience desperately wants more of him and the industry scrambled to find the next big star. That star? Jackie Chan. That’s why Jackie’s stage name is what it is.

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

It was meant to capitalize on the fame of Bruce Lee when Jackie starred in New Fist of Fury. Here we have Bruce Lee in a kickboxing tournament in an exhibition match. What you may not know is that this tournament was co-hosted by Bruce Lee. It was one of the first demonstrations of full contact outside of boxing and wrestling. So, which one is Bruce? Oh… Bruce Lee is often referred to as the father of MMA and that is no exaggeration.

Supposedly, schools of Kung Fu were secretive and are not willing to teach the techniques openly.”

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

And now, he begins to question why most martial artists, Chinese and otherwise, seem more concerned with preserving tradition. The lack of knowledge exchange and sparring between schools made Kung Fu quite dated and ineffective. Like the rebel that he is, Bruce changed all that. Not only did Bruce Lee create his own school of martial arts, by combining and advancing multiple styles of Kung Fu together. He also openly teaches his technique. Through films and events like this one, he helped ignite public interests in full contact martial arts competitions.

There’s this popular video on YouTube that shows all the tiny movements Bruce did in his movies. It’s a great video. You should go watch it! The one movement I want to show you is this one. See how he pushes his hand away and does the punch? That’s a move from the Wing Chun School of Kung Fu. Many of us know Bruce learned Wing Chun from Yip Man. What you may not know is this lineage is quite legendary.

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

Yip Man’s master is Chan Wah-shun, whose master is the legendary Leung Jan. Leung Jan is as far as the history of Wing Chun goes. Any history before him is lost in time and is now just legends and folklores. The fun thing is, the Yip Man School of Wing Chun is probably the most radical lineage with each apprentice taking the style and changing it greatly. It’s even a plot point in Ip Man 3.

(Scene from Ip Man 3 movie)

“Our ancestors gave us Wing Chun. Once changed, then it is no longer authentic.”

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

So, in some ways, Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do is just a continuation of the Wing Chun tradition – the anti-tradition. Did you know Bruce Lee can dance? No, they weren’t making it up in Ip Man 3.

(Scene from Ip Man 3 movie)

“I’m a dancing expert. I’ll teach you how to dance. You teach me how to fight.”

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

Here’s him dancing in the movie Darling Girl. Bruce went around quite a few dancing competitions, and even won some of them before his martial arts career took off. If you watch his fight scenes closely, you can absolutely feel the sense of rhythm and movement from a cha-cha dancer. Not a video, but a photo of Bruce Lee and Linda Lee. Lovely couple, no? When talking about Bruce Lee, race relations is always a topic that comes up.

Bruce Lee Phone Interview 1972

Bruce Lee (Hong Kong and American actor/ film director/ Martial Artist/ Martial Arts Instructor):

“How many times in films is a Chinese required?”

Accented Cinema (YouTube Video Essay Series with a Focus on Foreign Cinema with Yang Zhang):

Which, to some, is annoying. Why does it have to be about racism? Here’s the thing,.. Bruce was such a rebel, so ahead of his time, we often forget about the social context surrounding his life. So, let’s just say this. Bruce and Linda were married in 1964. The Jim Crow Law was abolished in 1965. And, that concludes our Bruce Lee retrospective. I learned a lot making these videos and I hope you learn something, too.

Anyway, sorry for the episode delay, things will go back to normal starting next episode. And it’s October, which means it’s time to get spooky.




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