Drunken Master (Yuen Woo-ping, 1978)

Location: Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater

Drunken Master
(Yuen Woo-ping, 1978, 111 min, Hong Kong, Cantonese with English subtitles, Digital)

-- Introduced by Prof. Eileen Cheng-yin Chow (Asian & Middle Eastern Studies)

“A rare chance to see Jackie Chan's original 1978 kung fu/comedy classic on the big screen where it belongs. The thin story finds Chan turning the legend of real-life folk hero Wong Fei Hung on its ear, playing the famous do-gooder as a rambunctious, bratty youngster always getting into fights. In an attempt to straighten him out, Jackie's father sends him to be disciplined by the titular drunken master, an old beggar who teaches Fei Hung the secrets of “drunken boxing,” a fighting style based upon the staggering movements of drunkards. As directed by Yuen Woo Ping, Drunken Master is basically one long fight sequence, occasionally interrupted by the picture's torturous training set pieces. The chemistry between Chan and legendary Peking Opera actor Simon Yuen, playing his newfound master, continues the charming rapport they shared in their previous hit Snake in the Eagle's Shadow ... and provides one of the most memorable and imitated master/student relationships in the genre. Yuen Woo Ping's direction is wildly energetic, and his fight choreography -- strongly assisted by Jackie, no doubt -- is nothing less than groundbreaking, shamelessly mixing slapstick from crude to clever, along with traditional martial arts stances and acrobatics. He deftly fills his Cinemascope frame with brilliant movement. Undoubtedly, many will snub their noses at the film's lack of plot, and, admittedly, Drunken Master is far from brain food. However, not unlike the silent films of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd, or for that matter, the best pictures of Hong Kong's Seventies kung fu films, the genius of Drunken Master lies in its kinetics. Pure entertainment, and a true chop-socky classic.” – Austin Chronicle

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As we welcome audiences back for in-person screening events, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our extended community. Keeping each other safe during events will require collaboration and we are grateful for your support. Screen/Society and the Rubenstein Arts Center will adhere to all university, local, and state regulations on and off campus, which are subject to change on short notice depending on public health conditions.

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Healthy Team: All employees and vendors are required to be symptom free before entering the building, as well as wear masks at all times, and frequently wash their hands during shifts.


Contact: Hank Okazaki

Email: hokazak@duke.edu

Sponsor: Duke Cinematic Arts

Co-Sponsors: Asian/Pacific Studies Institute