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Venues and Tickets

GUILD THEATRE
829 SW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

WHITSELL AUDITORIUM

1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205

Tickets Available Online!
click on
"BUY TICKETS" links

Admission Prices:
$7 General
$6 PAM Members, Students, Seniors
$4 Friends of the Film Center

DOUBLE FEATURE
$2 Additional for second film

[cash or checks only at screenings]

 
 

THE FIVE VENOMS
DIRECTOR: ZHANGE CHE
HONG KONG 1978


MAR 31 FRI 7PM
APR 2 SUN 6PM
Guild Theatre


Long a favorite of martial arts movie fans, THE FIVE VENOMS was the defining showcase for late-career, all-male-ensemble Zhang Che. The dying master of the Venoms House tasks his one remaining disciple to bring to justice the young man’s predecessors, now dispersed and fallen into ignominious criminality. The elder Venoms quintet, however, possesses formidable skills, each in a distinctive fighting style: scorpion, snake, centipede, gecko and toad. The youngest Venom locates them in a small town, and in this nexus of gold loot, shady cops and corrupt judges, a suspenseful mystery plot unfolds, punctuated by some of the most lucidly articulated and imaginative fight sequences of the martial arts cinema.(97 mins.)


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MY YOUNG AUNTIE
DIRECTOR: LAU KAR-LEUNG
HONG KONG 1981


APR 1 SAT 7PM
Guild Theatre

A young widow (Kara Hui) arrives in Guangdong to deliver a fought-over deed of inheritance to the rightful heirs, her crotchety nephew-by-marriage (Lau Kar-leung) and his westernized son (Xiao Hou). Age and gender role reversals allow for a wealth of kung fu funny business: the nephew is easily twice as old as the aunt but still bound to respect family hierarchies; the fetching aunt has serious warrior chops despite her traditionally feminine appearance. Freely mixing martial arts moves with allusions to popular Hollywood genres (musicals, swashbucklers and even war movies), MY YOUNG AUNTIE is an unalloyed triumph of kung fu comedy.(114 mins.)


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THE JADE TIGER
DIRECTOR: CHU YUAN
HONG KONG 1977


APR 2 SUN 8:15 PM
APR 6 THUR 7PM
Guild Theatre

Chu Yuan’s penchant for labyrinthine plotting reaches its zenith in this dizzying adaptation of the Gu Long source novel. Di Long heads an all-star cast as a Zhou warrior catapulted by the threat of his father’s decapitation, delivered on his wedding day, into the middle of a no-holds-barred war between his clan and the Tangs. The outrageous characters, exotic weapons and proliferating layers of subterfuge are hyperbolic even by the standards of an already excess-saturated subgenre. Chu’s characteristic visual splendor contributes to the air of delirium, but a self-conscious pathos about the futility of martial rivalry lends the film thematic ballast.(101 mins.)


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THE NEW ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN
DIRECTOR: ZHANG CHE
HONG KONG 1971

APR 7 FRI 7PM
APR 9 SUN 5PM
Guild Theatre

Zhang Che revisits the premise of his epochal ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN (1967) but with a gruesome difference. David Jiang portrays an arrogant warrior humbled by a nefarious opponent and forced to hack off his own arm. Years of waiting tables fortify his single-handed dexterity, but what finally launches him back on the path of bloody retribution is the untimely death of his comrade Di Long. The actors were Zhang’s preferred pairing of heroes in his ‘70s films, and like other of the director’s films about male bonding, this one is charged through with latent homoeroticism. Fuelled by the estimable action choreography of longtime collaborators Tong Kai and Lau Kar-leung, the film builds to an astonishing finale traversing the entire span of a bridge and then some.(94 mins.)


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LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA
DIRECTOR: LAU KAR-LEUNG
HONG KONG 1982

APR 8 SAT 7PM
APR 9 SUN 7PM
Guild Theatre


Director Lau Kar-leung’s exhilarating exposition on Chinese martial arts has been hailed as the ultimate film on the subject, and it’s easy to see why. It argues for realistic kung fu (skilled effort) over fakery and spectacle. A compendium of 18 classic weaponry and combat styles, including “weaponless” fist-fighting, the film also reiterates a favorite theme of the martial arts cinema—the training of a disciple by a master, though it shifts the usual focus on the pupil to the teacher and his ethical responsibilities. Lau himself stars as a master who, having disavowed the messianic bullet-repelling hocus-pocus of the Boxer rebels, is now pursued in exile by three young Boxer assassins: the acolyte Xiao Hou, the nimble-footed Kara Hui and the fanatically implacable Gordon Liu (36 CHAMBERS OF SHAOLIN, KILL BILL 2).(101 mins.)


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DIRTY HO
DIRECTOR: LAU KAR-LEUNG
HONG KONG 1979

APR 13 THUR 7PM Whitsell Auditorium
APR 15 SAT 9PM Guild Theatre


Fighting without seeming to fight—that’s the ingenious premise at the heart of this dazzler by martial arts grandmaster Lau Kar-leung. The director’s mainstay Gordon Liu plays a prodigal prince (and hyper-cultivated epicurean) targeted for assassination by his elder brother. Enter Wang Yu (not to be mistaken for the star of ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN) as the eponymous Ho, a boisterous ruffian who reluctantly apprentices himself to the expert Liu. With the killers disguised as a wine merchant and an antiques dealer, the prince finds himself parrying kicks and blows while in art appreciation mode. The climactic fight-back-to-the-palace pitting prince and apprentice against a battery of swords is a set piece for the ages.(100 mins.)


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THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG
DIRECTOR: ZHANG CHE, BAO XUELI
HONG KONG 1972

APR 14 FRI 7PM
APR 16 SUN 7PM

Guild Theatre

This brutal fight film adapts the proverbial rise-and-fall gangster formula to the mean streets of ‘30s Shanghai. Chen Guantai is a poor hick from Shandong (“Shantung” according to the old Wade-Giles romanization) whose fearsome boxing ability allows him to muscle his way to the top of the Shanghai underworld. Bursting with typically Zhangian bloodshed and distinguished by Chen’s authentic kung fu technique (the film proved to be the actor’s breakout vehicle), BOXER also features Shaw luminaries David Jiang as a charismatic gangland don and Jing Li as a principled songstress. Among its highlights that have inspired a host of imitators: ruthless hatchet-wielding thugs, most recently revived as the “axe gang” in Stephen Chow’s comic tribute to the martial arts cinema, KUNG FU HUSTLE.(121 mins.)


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CLANS OF INTRIGUE
DIRECTOR: CHU YUAN
HONG KONG 1977


APR 15 SAT 7PM
APR 16 SUN 5PM

Guild Theatre

Chu Yuan continued his cinematic transmutation of the Gu Long literary oeuvre with this gripping wuxia “whodunnit” set in the timeless realm of martial chivalry. Famed swordsman Chu Liuxiang (Di Long) is framed for the murder of three clan chiefs. Leaving behind leisure and connoisseurship—a resplendent houseboat and poetry-spouting friends—Chu embarks on an investigation that leads him from a mystery woman to Buddhist monks and a grotto-dwelling clan of female fighters led by a lesbian (Betty Bei Di). Gradually he uncovers a convoluted conspiracy that culminates in an unforgettable gender-bending twist.(90mins.)


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KING BOXER
DIRECTOR: CHUNG CHANG-WHU
HONG KONG 1972

APR 20 THUR 7PM
APR 22 SAT 9 PM
Guild Theatre

Korean director Chung Chang-whu was among the foreign talent hired by studio mogul Run Run Shaw in the late ‘60s to help meet Asian audiences’ growing taste for tough action films. KING BOXER’s gritty revenge tale met that challenge and more; it became the first kung fu film to be a hit in the West and paved the way for the Bruce Lee phenomenon to come. Actor Luo Lie brings characteristic intensity to his role as an “Iron Fist” adept whose fingers are viciously shattered by a rival gang. (The film was released internationally under the title FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH). In paradigmatic fashion, he then trains his way back to peak form and wreaks vengeance on his adversaries.(97 mins.)


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THE MAGIC BLADE
DIRECTOR: CHU YUAN
HONG KONG 1976


APR 21 FRI 7PM
APR 22 SAT 7PM

Guild Theatre

Chu Yuan followed the popular success of KILLER CLANS with this outré martial arts fantasy, possibly the most celebrated of his 21 adaptations of Taiwanese writer Gu Long’s novels. Shaw action stars Di Long and Luo Lie are chivalric rivals who join forces to track down a legendary weapon—the terrifying Peacock Dart!—and defeat an evil sorcerer bent on domination of the jiang hu. Along the way a wild menagerie of armed henchmen, conniving nobles and beauties, and a militant grandma crosses swords with poncho-clad Di Long, sans cheroot but brandishing his own custom spinning blade. (101 mins.)


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