Shihan Fumio Demura, actor, martial arts expert and film consultant, passed away on Monday at the age of 84. Word spread throughout multiple posts in social media with the news shared by martial arts entertainment laureates like Scott Adkins, Cynthia Rothrock, and Douglas Wong.
Article update as of March 12, 2023: Italia Gandolfo, who represented Pearry Teo, confirmed the filmmaker’s death on Thursday March 9, in and Sunday report published by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Mike Barnes. The cause of death remains unknown.
Since I started writing (or at least trying to write) this article in an effort to get my nerve back with posting and reporting again, my family and I were close to a week since the death of my sister, Dr. Isis Lee-Marie Golden. She was an inspiration to many people in her life who were fortunate to know her – of course, none more fortunate than myself, my mother and father, for whom she was the absolute pride and joy.My sister, who died at her residency on the morning of April 7 in Lansing, Michigan, has to be the darkest chapter we’ve ever faced, and we’ve had some pretty damn dark ones. While her death wasn’t the only personal tragedy I’ve had to live with, because until last week, we were four. And now, we are three. My emotions were in a constant state of flux, and because I landed myself in a fever the following Sunday evening, my mood dynamics often aimed for the bushes.I was high… I was low… I was giddy one moment and the next, I was cry-counting. Late night Lo-Fi piano jazz and supportive messages from friends within my circle and my sister’s, as well as the concern and care shown from some of my extended family, were a lot of help most nights. It kept me in tune with the importance of my own self-care, and connecting with my feelings as a means of healing, and I’d like to think it helped me recover from my fever a bit faster.Moreover, the past week-and-a-half proved to be a unique time, in my view, for me, who now stands as the only surviving sibling of my parents. I consider myself blessed that we’ve managed to come this far and push past the pain as much and as hard as we did, as terrible and mortifying as it was to endure, and to keep enduring, and I sincerely hope my family and I will remain steadfast and forward in our endurance for many years to come.As for me, part of me feels ready to get back on this platform and do what I enjoy doing. I missed covering the successful confirmation of Warrior: Season 3 for HBO Max, as well as trailers for Cliff Walkers and Sheep Without A Shepherd, and all the other PR tidbits I wanted to help get a handle on, and for all that and more, none of it would’ve gotten up at all, if ever, were it not for the handful of people whose names you can see in the bylines in the articles of this front page as we speak. Some of them have been here longer than the others, and we are still vetting, but if it’s one thing these people – Christina O. Phillips, Cathy K. LaFrance, Matt Essary, Vance Ang, Brandon Streussnig, and Kyle Wong, and the incredible and inevitable Eileen Cruz understand, is that what we do takes heart. And this bunch has more than most.With that off my chest, indeed the events of this month have indefinitely shelved The Hit List, and so I will try and find a new way to keep covering film and TV, while continuing to shine a light on stunt performers and independent shortform filmmakers with an eye for action (something I have worked hard to do since late 2012).This is all aimed toward getting me back into the rhythm of being a reporter and enjoying the escapism the work often brings, but one thing is clear out of all this: This is not something I’m going to rush. This has been a VERY difficult time for me, almost as much as it’s been a teachable one.I won’t forget those of you who saw my posts and either reacted, commented, or even messaged or called me in the last ten days. It means a lot to me, and it’s taught me a little more about life in a filter I’ve never had to look through until now. It is…a million things. Opportune being one of them.Give me time, I promise I will keep giving you my best.P.S. Our condolences here at Film Combat Syndicate go out to the family, friends and loved ones of Max Repossi, a burgeoning action talent and screenfighting wunderkind who sadly passed away from a heart attack at his home gym on Wednesday. I found out the update through a press group affiliated with the UK-based Fighting Spirit Film Festival – to whom he was a friend and a recurring talent and guest. It was just this past Monday when Max privately contacted me to send his condolences for my late sister. I didn’t know him very well, but we always got along, and I proudly share every word of praise being circulated about him. And I will truly, truly miss him.
You’re forgiven for taking to your film collection to put on Bloodsport this week a few more times over if you’ve heard the latest on the passing of Ken Siu. Reports came in over the weekend as Siu was inexplicably seen in a photo, hospitalized for months and on a breathing apparatus (via Twitter).
Robin McLaurin Williams, 7/21/51 – 8/11/14 (Photo: Patch Adams, 1998 film)
Saying anything about the death of legendary comedian, actor and Chicago native, Robin Williams was a little difficult for me last night. I suppose enough time has past now, the sun is up on my end, eating breakfast, at work and starting my day. I’m still affected, but moving forward is our best and only option at this point. But I’m in the mood to reflect…
A few people have died this past week though…legendary action film director and producer Menahem Golan, actor J.J. Murphy who died four days into filming the new season of Game Of Thrones, mother and father who fell off a cliff in Spain while trying to take a vacation selfie as their children watched in horror…and even the hundreds and hundreds of deaths that have taken place between Gaza and Israel, and so on.
In reality, no single death really is more important than another. However, its the impact that really matters. Williams, young and into his 60’s, touched the lives of anyone who saw him and were compelled to laugh at his iconic brand of humor. He brought heartfelt drama, emotion, and compelling performances to his characters, funny or sad. His movies were contemplative, entertaining, fruitful and theraputic to humanity, and carried such a great deal of weight that was healing and wonderful.
What is more sad though, is that as electrifying as he was to the public, his suffering remained hidden, despite his known substance abuse and depression, and there will always be a certain extent of his suffering that we will never know about because we aren’t in the room. Only his family and closest friends may likely know of this on a much, much deeper scale.
It’s emotionally exhausting mourning so many people, when all the rest of us really want is for humanity to go on, live, prosper, make love and be happy. But tragedy strikes, and Williams‘ passing is one of those that hit the hardest at the core.
Williams understood people, loved his fans and cared about making people smile. That is the Robin Williams I know.
It’s the same Robin Williams that helped me get through high school when I endured my first and utmost horrible break-up in my late teens. (And high school already sucked…boy oh boy.) Hell, I almost met him when he premiered his 1997 movie, Flubber at my old high school – I couldn’t because I had to be on my way home.
It was a missed opportunity and one I regret a little more now that he’s gone. Although, even if I never got to meet him, the world felt less lonely knowing Williams was still around, bringing light into someone’s darkness. Only now, the sunrise doesn’t feel the same this morning.
Williams is gone, and like with most other similar situations, time will be our only band-aid until this scar heals.
The struggle is real. Depression is real. If you are dealing with this in any capacity, click here for help if it suits you. Either way, all I ask is that you not feel you are alone.
I had no one to hug last night when I couldn’t sleep because I was still processing all this in my mind and broken heart. It was an awful nightmare. But, I am glad I have this platform. This is my outlet, and if my thoughts matter to you here and inspire you a little more, then all the better. I certainly hope so.
Stay healthy, people.
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of actor, martial artist, stunt coordinator and all-around filmmaker Panna Rittikrai, best known for his intergral role in helping bring Thai action cinema to the forefront of the film industry between his early career as a stuntman and an action director and performer as of late, including the Thai action classic Born To Fight and its 2004 remake, Ong Bak, Tom Yum Goong 1 and 2, Dynamite Warrior, Bangkok Knockout, and many more.
Rittikrai‘s condition was a surprise to me several months ago (I can’t remember when). I chose not to speak too much on it until I learned all the facts and even now, not everything is clear on his diagnosis how long he has been ill, except for those closer to him with a more informed position on the issue; The official reports and posts I’ve read thusfar indicated an unnamed disease in addition to today’s news of liver failure.
Ironically, and sadly, today also marks the 41st anniversary since the passing of another trailblazer in martial arts cinema, Bruce Lee.
2/17/61 — 7/20/14.