Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Yuen Woo-Ping Received The Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award (NYAFF 2019)

Yuen Woo-Ping at The 18th New York Asian Film Festival
Last night, the New York Asian Film Festival was in full swing featuring an award ceremony for the legendary Hong Kong action choreographer and director Yuen Woo-Ping.  If you are follower of Unseen Films then I'm sure he needs no introduction, but if you just happened to be tuning in, the man directed Jackie Chan in his first two movies, Snake In The Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master.  Yuen went on to make movies with Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, Yuen Biao, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh.  Many years later, American audiences would know him for his work in the Matrix movies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill.  Back in the day when Mr. C and I collected kung fu VHS tapes on our trips to NYC, if Yuen Woo-Ping's name was mentioned somewhere on the box, we knew that the action scenes were going to be off the hook!  Yuen was awarded The Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center.  Yuen graciously accepted the heavy award which he lifted in the air proudly as you can see in the photo above.  He also said a few words which you can see in a video below.

left to right: Samuel Jamier (Executive Director of NYAFF), Yuen Woo-Ping and Joanne Chu (Director of the Hong Kong Economic And Trade Office in New York)

The award ceremony was followed by a screening of Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy.  The movie is an excellent spinoff to the Ip Man series which features Max Zhang back in the role of Master Z.  After his defeat to Ip Man, Master Z looks to live a quiet life running a small grocery store and taking care of his son.  Drug dealing gangsters put an end to the peaceful life for Master Z and sure enough, it's back to kicking and punching in the Hong Kong streets. I wasn't aware of the stellar cast in the movie but there is Tony Jaa who plays the mysterious Sadi the warrior, David Bautista as a restaurant owner and Michelle Yeoh as the leader of an organized crime gang.  The action in the movie is some of the best in recent years especially a sequence above the streets and among the neon signs.  I highly recommend the film to fans of the genre and you best believe I'll be seeing it again soon and hopefully in a movie theater packed with kung fu movie fans.  Yuen Woo-Ping came back after the movie for a Q&A moderated by Samuel Jamier of NYAFF.

If you are interested in seeing more of Yuen Woo-Ping's movies at NYAFF, then check out THE MIRACLE FIGHTERS on Tuesday July 2, 9:00 PM at The Walter Reade Theater and IRON MONKEY on Wednesday July 3, 10:00 PM at The Walter Reade Theater.

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