ARTS / FILM
6th Jackie Chan International Action Film Week to kick off in August
Published: Jul 19, 2021 06:28 PM
Promotional material of the 6th Jackie Chan International Action Film Week Photo: China News

Promotional material of the 6th Jackie Chan International Action Film Week Photo: China News

The 6th Jackie Chan International Action Film Week will be held in North China's Shanxi Province on August 6-8 and a new selection of global classic action movies called "Top Ten Classic Actions" will be revealed at the event, it was announced on Monday. While the news sparked excitement in the star's fans, some Chinese film observers were dourer, saying that the golden age of Chinese action films have passed and need a reform in order to better fit in with today's mainstream tastes. 

Jointly initiated by action star Jackie Chan and the Shanghai International Film Festival Organizing Committee, the film week aims to commend filmmakers who have made outstanding contributions to action movies and focus on cultivating and supporting new Chinese action elites.

"In order to make a film, the pain in my body is uncountable, but these efforts are worth it. Each classic scene not only stems from our love for action movies, but also our self-exploration, respect for life and honor toward the nation," Chan talked about his experiences filming the 1997 action movie Who Am I at a press conference on Thursday. 

Jackie Chan is invited to sing a song on a Chinese web celebrity's wedding. Photo: VCG

Jackie Chan is invited to sing a song on a Chinese web celebrity's wedding. Photo: VCG

However, Chinese film observers warned that Chinese martial arts films are on the "decline."

"Audiences are always yearning for a martial arts world; but if martial arts stars cannot create a character that echoes the spirit of the times and action movies cannot tell a resonant story, this will result in the inevitable decline of the genre," Shi Wenxue, a film critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday.

He pointed out that the martial arts spirit and national righteousness conveyed by traditional kung fu movies is different from the current patriotic spirit in today's films. "Chinese moviegoers are no longer keen on the tolerance and forbearance in the traditional spirit of martial arts, but more greatly admire Wu Jing's high-key performance in Wolf Warrior 2."

"The emergence of super kung fu stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li was contributed to the prosperous age of Hong Kong films in the 1980s and 1990s, when kung fu or action films were some of the most characteristic films in the region. However, with the decline of Hong Kong film, it is hard to produce such brilliant kung fu stars," Xiao Fuqiu, a film critic based in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Monday.

"Martial arts superstars like Jackie Chan are rare actors who have both traditional martial arts [kung fu] skills and are well-versed in acting. However, in the current Chinese film market, it is difficult to find actors who can do both," he added. 

But both experts denied that special effects could completely replace real-life fight scenes even as the actions in animated movies are mostly based onthe technology to capture real-life fights as "humans are always the core of an action film."

"Special effects can make action scenes more of a spectacle, and the fusion of real people and technology will create more actions that cannot be completed by real people," said Shi.

According to a report from China News, the "Top Ten Classic Actions" section will focus on classic global action movies and be picked through extensive selection by audience members, experts, as well as the judges. The results of the selection will be announced at the closing ceremony on August 8, and will also be included in the collection at the China Film Museum. 


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