The Cultural Gutter

geek chic with mad technique

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

RIP, Panna Rittikrai

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Action choreographer, director and stunt performer Panna Rittikrai has died. Films Panna worked on, whether as a choreographer, director, producer and/or actor include: Born To Fight / Gerd Ma Lui (1986 and 2004), Tom Yum Goong (2005), Chocolate (2008), Spirited Killer (1994),  Power Kids (2009),  Dynamite Warrior/Khon Fai Bin (2006), Bangkok Knockout (2010) and all […]

Vic Armstrong on Buster Keaton

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Stunt performer Vic Armstrong talks about the stunt work of Buster Keaton. (via Graham Wynd)

RIP, Hal Needham

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Director, stunt coordinator  and stuntman Hal Needham has died. Needham directed Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run, but he also performed and coordinated stunts in The French Connection II, Three The Hard Way, Chinatown, Our Man Flint, The War Wagon and Blazing Saddles. and in television shows such as, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, […]

Daredevil Emilie Sannom

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Emilie Sannom performs hair-raising and death-defying stunts in this collection of Danish silent film clips from 1923.

RIP, Lau Kar-Leung

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Actor, director, writer and action choreographer Lau Kar-Leung has died. Most widely known as the director of 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Lau has an extensive filmography. He collaborated with director Chang Cheh and, in his own work, brought humor to and a singular action choreography to his own films, Dirty Ho, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, […]

The Raid Fight Tribute!

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Two men recreate the drug lab table fight from The Raid (aka, The Raid: Redemption).

Police Story vs. Tango & Cash / Rapid Fire / Bad Boys

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Scenes from Jackie Chan’s Police Story (1985) compared with scenes from Tango & Cash (1989), Rapid Fire (1992), and Bad Boys (2003). (via @proboothcast)

The Girl Who Flirted With Death

A gallery of photos of a female daredevil from the 1920s , Lillian La France. Her symbol was a skull and crossbones.

A Hero Dies 50,000 Deaths!

In chanbara, Japanese sword-fighting movies, actor Seizo Fukumoto is a master of the art of dying.  Anthony Kuhn interviews him about his life dying on screen. “In a trademark move, Fukumoto is dealt a fatal blow, then bends over backward, seemingly suspended in midair for a moment of final agony before crumpling to the ground. […]

RIP, Bob Anderson

Olympic fencer, sword master, stunt choreographer, performer and actor, Bob Anderson has died. Anderson performed Darth Vader’s lightsaber battles in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Her served as sword master, fight coordinator and stunt performer in films such as 1953’s The Master of Ballantrae featuring a swashbuckling Errol Flynn, The Princess […]

Movieline Interviews Pam Grier

Jen Yamato interviews Pam Grier on her experience working on Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and in 1970s action films doing her own stunts. (via Grindhouse Database)

“So Why Can’t I See You Kicking His Ass?”

John Kreng finishes the fallacies of why filmmakers make action so hard to see with the punches, kicks and elbow smashes of his thoughts. And you can see the whole thing here. (via ShelfLifeCC)

I Double Dog Dare You

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Last month I wrote about Jackass as a cultural project, but what I initially intended to write about was how I feel just a little bit better about myself and the world after watching it. And no, it’s not because they’re all more of a jackass than I am.

Interview with Stuntwoman Bridgett Riley

Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill talks with Bridgett Riley about going from boxer to stuntwoman: “Women get minimal pads if any at times and high heeled shoes are sometimes a must depending on camera. Wardrobe sometimes makes us shoes that are stunt friendly. I like these wardrobe people. It just depends on the shot. The […]

The Social Relevance of Jackassery

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Jackass isn’t as stupid as it seems on the surface. I mean, there’s no question it’s jackassery and that’s the main draw, but it’s also a really interesting cultural project.

How Hollywood Killed Stunts

Salon has an excellent piece on the death of stunts in Hollywood movies, exploring everything from the history of film stunts, the reliance on CG effects and new-fangled “intensified continuity” editing. The piece also mentions Michelle Yeoh, Tony Jaa, Zoe Bell and Yakima Canutt. (Thanks, Brian from Shelf Life CC).

More Action!

Brian at Shelf Life Clothing Company has put together an awesome display of “The Greatest Movie Stunts of All Time.” As well as, the first volume of “The Greatest Movie Soundtrack Composers.”

Sexploitation that’s not Sexist?

The makers of Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys have made a sexploitation lesbian heist movie in homage to Russ Meyer: Bitch Slap. It’s no Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! but it’s the movie Quentin Tarantino wishes he could make with Zoe Bell doing the stunt choreography. 

South Korean Action

Just some quick trailers: capoeira, stuntmen and actors gone bad in South Korea.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embrace and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.  Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter.  Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as ‘suspicious’ walking down the street.”

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    Nerds of Color announces that their own David Walker will be writing Dynamite’s Shaft comic. Denys Cowan shares the cover for Shaft #1 drawn by Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Sanford Greene shares some his cover work here and here. Black Comix posts Ulises Farinas’ cover.  Comics Wow has more and previews covers. (Via Black Comix and World of Hurt)

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    Actor Richard Kiel has died. Kiel worked in both film and television, including performances in The Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”; Eegah (1962); The Barbary Coast with William Shatner; Happy Gilmore (1996); Pale Rider (1985); as Vlad in Tangled (201); and as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).   The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here he is interviewed with Britt Ekland. And David Letterman interviews Kiel here.

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    Open Culture has a round-up of eight free and complete films by Dziga Vertov, including Man With A Movie Camera (1929) and the first Soviet animated feature, Soviet Toys (1924). (Thanks, Earl!)

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    Matt Zoller Seitz has written a lovely meditation on Robin Williams at RogerEbert.com: “Williams wore the invisible garments of depression. He carried that burden. A lot of the time we didn’t see it, because he was a bright and enthusiastic comic performer and a great actor. But the weight was always there.

    Somehow he lived 63 years.

    What a warrior he was.”

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    At Kaiju Shakedown, Hiroshi Fukazawa interviews director Ringo Lam. “Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors. He made his name with sophisticated, downbeat crime dramas that came to define a certain style of urban Hong Kong cinema in the Eighties and early Nineties. After getting his start in television at CTV and TVB, he directed five features before finding his stride with 1987’s City on Fire, the movie that provided the blueprint for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.”

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