On Saturday, July 20, it is 40 years since the death of Bruce Lee, a legendary and master of the Eastern martial arts. We remember an exceptional man who changed the cinema once and for all.
Bruce Lee - legend who changed the cinema / East News forever
Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco. Bruce's father - Hoi Chuen Lee, actor, star of the Chinese opera, was on a tour of the United States. The child was given the name of Jun Fan, but the name of Bruce was written in the American birth certificate.
Little Bruce - due to his father's constant trips - was brought up by his mother. The boy did not like school much - he preferred to spend much time wandering around Hong Kong. As a result, he often took part in fights and had problems with the police. Parents paid their son kung fu kung fu lessons with Master Yip Man.
Lee quickly became involved in training. Under the guidance of Yip Man, Bruce developed fighting skills, but he also improved his mind - he became interested in Chinese philosophy, in addition to martial arts, he trained dance. The crowning achievement of these interests was his winning the Hong Kong championship in cha-cha dance.
His parents decided to send Bruce to America. Lee, 18, lived with friends in Seattle, where he graduated from high school and then began to study philosophy. To earn extra money, he gave kung fu lessons: at first only to Asians, but eventually to all interested people. Together with the growing number of students, he founded his own martial arts school.
At training, Bruce met Linda Emery. Despite the reluctance of the girl's family, the young were married in 1964. A year later the first child of the couple came to birth: son Brandon, and in 1969 daughter Shannon.
Lee developed his school and founded its branches in other cities. He also improved his own fighting style - Jeet Kune Do.
- Bruce Lee during his studies on martial arts focused on searching for the most effective, economic way of struggle by rejecting all unnecessary, ineffective, and sometimes only effective elements. According to Lee, martial arts must be as simple and effective as possible. Jeet Kune Do is simply a scientific street fight - emphasizes Mateusz Rakowski from the Jeet Kune Do school.
Bruce Lee versus O'Hara - "The Enter of the Dragon" (1973)
Thanks to shows at sporting events, the news of Lee reached the film environment. In 1965, he was offered to play the main character's chauffeur in the television series "Green Hornet". For Bruce, working in front of the camera was nothing new.
Bruce Lee's father was a professional actor. Therefore, Bruce from the youngest years had contact with the film industry. Even then Bruce showed his talent for acting and unusual temperament. Thanks to the Lee series, he became recognizable in Hollywood and began to give private martial arts lessons to famous people, including Roman Polanski.
Despite the many friends he had in Hollywood, Bruce had not yet satisfied his acting and directing ambitions. The studios only saw him as a leading instructor and expert on the eastern fights. Despite all the physical advantages of a man-gum, he had a slight handicap: he was short-sighted and wore glasses or contact lenses, "recalled Polanski.
Bruce Lee as Kato in the series "Green Hornet" (1966 - 1967)
Not so popular in the US, the series "Green Hornet" became known in Hong Kong. Lee received an offer from the film producer Raymond Chow to appear in the films: "The Big Boss" and "The Fist of Fury". Movies have become hits in China. In another film, The Way of the Dragon, Lee took on the role of actor, producer, writer and director. Of course - just like in the previous titles - he also watched over the choreography of fights.
- Bruce clearly distinguished between street fighting, sports struggle and choreography of the fight for the film's needs. That is why many elements from the master's films have nothing to do with Jeet Kune Do - says Mateusz Rakowski.
The next production Bruce was involved in was entitled 'The Game of Death'. Lee undertook many tasks at once - he was a director, producer, choreographer, screenwriter, he co-created the set design, helped with setting the camera and lighting the plan.
News of Bruce's success in productions from Hong Kong reached the United States and the Warner Brothers label offered him a speech in the film "The Enter of The Dragon." Lee stopped working on the "Death Game" and got involved in the first US-Chinese production.
- In the 70's, there really was no genre of fighting movies in America. Bruce was the first to introduce him to the United States. It was something completely new and fresh. Combined with Bruce's amazing abilities, it could not fail to be noticed. But really only after the gigantic success of "Enter the Dragon" combat movies gained great popularity "- emphasizes Rakowski.
Bruce had health problems while filming. In May 1973 he was diagnosed with cerebral edema, but in a short time the actor returned to work. On July 20 he felt worse and actress Betty Ting Pei gave him a headache remedy. Lee fell asleep and did not wake up anymore. According to official information, death occurred due to cerebral edema due to hypersensitivity to the analgesic component.
There were 2 funerals. In Hong Kong crowds of fans came to the streets that wanted to say goodbye to the star. In Seattle, the body was put into a grave at the Lake View Cemetery, assisted by the closest Lee. "The enter of the dragon" premiered on July 26 in Hong Kong.
From Lee's death, conspiracy theories appeared to have allegedly been a punishment for revealing the secrets of kung fu. These hypotheses gained strength when the son of Bruce - Brandon, who also became an actor, died in an accident on the set of the film "Crow".
- Always premature death of great stars is associated with conspiracy theories. Bruce is not alone in these stories. Linda Lee Cadwell, after the death of her husband, officially said that Bruce's deaths should not be traced to conspiracy theories. She did the same after the death of her son Brandon. The official causes of death are widely known - says expert Jeet Kune Do.
- To this day, people admire Bruce's amazing skills. I often hear from beginners that they were interested in Jeet Kune Do because of the fascination of the Chinese master. It's amazing how people still remember Bruce and regret that he had no chance to make more films.
Translation from polish.
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