David Desser - Professor of Cinema Studies, Comparative Literature, and EALC Research Professor
David Desser will deliver a lecture about “5 Fingers of Death” (1972, 104 min.), following the screening. After a number of false starts in the 1950s and 60s, the cinema of Hong Kong shot to international box-office success in 1973 with a poorly dubbed, violent martial arts revenge saga with the intriguing title of “5 Fingers of Death” (a more dramatic, if less accurate title than the original English-language moniker of “King Boxer). Though extremely competent in its direction and martial arts choreography, “5 Fingers of Death” was also fairly typical of the martial arts movies of the early 70s being churned out, factory-like, in Hong Kong by the Shaw Bros and Golden Harvest Studios. What factors account for the global success of this B-movie? This talk will trace the evolution of the martial arts films starting in the mid-1960s and try to understand how this particular film entered global cinema at the time.
Films of Fury Series on Martial Arts Cinema - Spring 2008 CEAS China Film Series