Thursday, January 9, 2014

R.I.P. Sir Run Run Shaw

Legendary film producer/media giant Sir Run Run Shaw died on Tuesday at the incredible age of 106; I won't attempt a career-spanning obit right now but if you need a quick catch-up on who this guy was, the New York Times has a pretty good one, or try the AV Club. The long and short of it is, this man, and his brothers, who went under the production banner of Shaw Brothers, produced hundreds of kick-ass kung fu films in their lifetime.

But here's a little bit of recent history pertaining to the Shaws and DVD... Back when DVD was in its relative infancy, circa 2002, Celestial Pictures, the rights-holder to 760 Shaw Brothers films, announced that they would be digitally remastering them for the format. For film geeks everywhere, this was amazing news, since the majority of these films were extremely hard to see in any shape or form on home video. They would be subtitled in English and presented in their original aspect ratios. Although the martial arts films were Shaws' bread-and-butter, these releases also included a range of comedies, horrors, romances, musicals, thrillers, dramas and exploitation films.
A smattering of them made it here too, via now-defunct distributor Siren, and we picked up most, if not all of them for our library. So if you're remotely curious about Shaw Brothers movies or want to rewatch a few classics in memoriam, there's a bunch sitting on our shelves right now (the ones tagged with ** are essential):
All Men Are Brothers
The Assassin
Challenge of the Masters
Death Duel
Dragon Swamp
Duel of Fists
Heroes of the East** 
Heroes Two
The Heroic Ones
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan**
Invincible Shaolin
The Lizard
My Young Auntie
The One-Armed Swordsman**
The Shadow Boxing
The Shadow Whip
Shaolin Hand Lock
Shaolin Prince
The Spiritual Boxer
36th Chamber of Shaolin**
Trail of the Broken Blade
The Twelve Gold Medallions
The Water Margin
The Web of Death

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