World of the Drunken Master
Sunday, December 12, 2021, 4:15 p.m.
Museum of the Moving Image – Bartos Screening Room
Please note: This film replaces The Mystery of Chess Boxing, which has been pulled due to poor print condition.
Dir. Joseph Kuo. 1979, 88 mins. Digital presentation. In Mandarin with English subtitles. With Jack Long, Mark Long (aka Lung Kuan-wu), Li Yi-Min, Jeanie Chang, Simon Yuen. Between appearing in Jackie Chan’s 1978 Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and dying in January 1979, Simon Yuen (Yuen Wo-ping’s 66-year-old father) played his Beggar So character in no less than 15 movies, and Joseph Kuo made two of them. The second, World of the Drunken Master, is one of the finest-looking, best-made Kuo movies, and the entire thing is a touching tribute to the kung fu character that Simon Yuen forever made his own. Released only 10 months after his death and with action choreographed by his son, Yuen Cheung-yan, World of the Drunken Master was shot by Chris Chen, who’d go on to film a lot of Jackie Chan’s early movies (Young Master, Dragon Lord). The acrobatic action makes your joints ache, and its relentless intensity just keeps ramping up.