Summer is here and for cinephilic types, that means more festive film events forthcoming. Our own New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) kicks off on June 28 with a pending line-up that will also bear host to a celebration of venerable martial arts cinema auteur, Master Yuen Woo-Ping.
The legendary action director, best known by the global kung fu cinema cult fandom at large and mainstream audiences for his work on The Matrix trilogy, both Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon films and the dual Kill Bill revenge saga, will be on hand to receive the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award on July 1.
The celebration will also include a 35mm presentation of seminal Donnie Yen headliner Iron Monkey (1993), Well Go USA’s presentation of Yuen’s sequel-bound Master Z: Ip Man Legacy returning actor Max Zhang to his role in the preceding Ip Man 3, and Yuen’s 1982 classic, The Miracle Fighters.
My intial exposure to the master’s earlier work was actually Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow, Yuen’s highly celebrated directorial debut. If you’re a fan then you can imagine how addicted I became in catching up with some of Yuen’s subsequent titles thereafter like Jackie Chan starrer, Drunken Master.
Of course, that was in the 1990s following Jackie Chan’s second stateside crossover with Rumble In The Bronx as more and more video stores kept piling up with 80s kung fu and Hong Kong classics. Needless to say, Yuen’s touch on celluloid hasn’t gone overlooked and underhanded and with a number of projects he’s still expected to be involved with, this latest accolade from the upcoming 18th NYAFF is more than deserved.
The Yuen Woo-Ping tribute at the 18th New York Asian Film Festival is presented in association with Film at Lincoln Center, with the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETONY). To learn more, click here.