March 1st, 2013

marcus 2013

Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting and The Dark Knight Returns

Finally got round to watching Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting - quite good within its limits, but it does omit the western martial arts and a lot of the background connections; for example, it misses a fairly important connection between Bartitsu and some of the 1930s Judo history, when it mentions Yukio Tani in the latter without pointing out that he was also involved in Barton-Wright's Bartitsu school as an instructor, one of the first Japanese sensais to visit Europe (and about the only thing I know about him, since I'm no sort of martial arts expert). Some good stuff from 1950s movies, The Avengers, Whicker's World, etc.

I'm not sure what a real martial arts enthusiast would make of it, but I enjoyed it. It'll be on BBC iPlayer for a couple more days, worth a look if you're at all interested.

In other news, did you know that Batman: The Dark Knight Returns has been filmed? It's animated, using the same styles as the original graphic novel, and includes some VERY bloody and violent scenes. The first part covers the first two parts of the graphics novel, up to the moment when Joker becomes aware that Batman is back, the second is the remainder of the story. It's VERY faithful to the original, but omits the "stream of consciousness" narration from Batman. Works pretty well apart from that, and I think is about as good as we're going to get given how much things have changed since the books first appeared.

later - I think that I may be wrong about the 1930s Japanese stuff anyway - one of the things that was mentioned when I was researching Bartitsu was that the Bartitsu sensai Yukio Tani had a brother who was a more traditional Ju-Jitsu sensai who disliked Bartitsu - it's probably him that was referred to.