The greatest icon of martial arts cinema, and a key figure of modern popular culture. Had it not been for the amazing Bruce Lee and his incredible movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream western cinema & audiences the way it has over the past three decades.
The influence of Asian martial arts cinema can be seen today in so many other film genres including comedies, action, drama, science fiction, horror and animation.....and they all have their roots in the phenomenon that was Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was born "Lee Juan Fan" in November 1940 in San Francisco, the son of Lee Hoi Chuen, a singer with the Cantonese Opera. Approximately, one year later the family returned to Kowloon in Hong Kong and at the age of 5, a young Bruce begins appearing in children's roles in minor films including The Birth of Mankind (1946) and Fu gui fu yun (1948). At the age of 12, Bruce commenced attending La Salle College, and was later beaten up by a street gang, which inspires him to take up martial arts training under the tuition of "Sifu Yip Man" who schools Bruce in wing chun kung fu for a period of approximately five years (this was the only formalized martial arts training ever undertaken by Lee). The talented & athletic Bruce also took up cha-cha dancing, and at the age of 18 won a major dance championship in Hong Kong.
However, his temper and quick fists saw him fall foul of the HK police on numerous occasions, and his parents suggested that he head off to the United States. Lee landed in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1959 and worked in a relative's restaurant, however he eventually made his way to Seattle, Washington where he enrolled at university to study philosophy, and found the time to practice his beloved kung fu techniques. In 1963, Lee met Linda Emery (later his wife) and in addition he opened his first kung fu school at 4750 University Way. During the early half of the...
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