html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: The early Police Story series with Michelle Yeoh? Oh man.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The early Police Story series with Michelle Yeoh? Oh man.

Back when I went to Cal, the UC Theater played two Hong Kong movies every Thursday night. If I didn’t shower after workout and ran to the theater, I could usually catch the last fight of the first movie and the whole second movie. I went every week my senior year. The theater was always packed full; all of Wushu, Judo and HapKiDo would already be there. Some TaeKwonDo folks came when I did. I usually knew forty or fifty people in the crowd, so the break between the movies was for waving to people and chatting. My ex was wooing me then; he always saved me a seat.

The entire crowd was regulars, so there were lots of conventions. When the phone rang, the whole audience would answer “Wei?”. When any star appeared, you shouted his or her name. Smaller groups who knew the movies better would prepare bits; I remember fifteen people singing the Darth Vader theme as a bad guy dismounted his horse and strode into the temple. At Jackie’s first appearance in a movie, we’d go apeshit cheering for him. I would walk home all but hopping from adrenalin, wishing I could run across telephone wires.

I’m at my Dad’s house, and he has one of those magic boxes with the little people in them. Tonight, Tony Jaa (in Ong Bak) was in the box. Tony Jaa truly is the heir; jesus, he’s a beautiful fighter. To my eye, his fighting looks all circular and twirly, but it sure seems to work. His technique is so clean; he returns to stance so unbelievably fast. I’m in awe of Tony Jaa, but he doesn’t rip the breath from my body and own my heart the way Jackie did. I miss Jackie Chan’s sense of humor and his amazing realization that a weapon is a link between opponents. I miss his freakin’ badass female co-stars, who were genuinely useful in a fight. I miss seeing the stunts full size. I also miss watching gorgeous fights in a noisy theater packed with cheering friends. I was so lucky to be there then.

6 Comments:

Anonymous ogged said...

one of those magic boxes with the little people in them

A Skinner box! Sweet. Good subjects are hard to find.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

No no! The little people are talking, or dancing or playing sports. It changes.

But there aren't levers in there.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting story. Reminds me a bit of Cinema Paradiso.

2:59 AM  
Anonymous James said...

It makes me sad to think it's no longer there.

3:09 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

It was great while it lasted.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Dubin said...

Is that weird tiny theater with two screens still open up on Euclid on northside? The one near La Val's Subterranean?

12:01 PM  

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