Bruce Lee

I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who hasn’t heard of Bruce Lee. There probably isn’t that much I can say about the man that is not know yet. But on the 48th anniversary of his death it might be a good starting point to look at the lesser known facts of Bruce Lee.

Lee was born Lee Jun Fan on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco, California, in both the hour and year of the Dragon. His father, Lee Hoi Chuen, a Hong Kong opera singer, moved with his wife, Grace Ho, and three children to the United States in 1939; Hoi Chuen’s fourth child, a son, was born while he was on tour in San Francisco.

Lee received the name “Bruce” from a nurse at his birthing hospital, and his family never used the name during his preschool years. He only started to use the name Bruce when he entered secondary school and began his study of the English language The future star appeared in his first film at the age of 3 months, when he served as the stand-in for an American baby in Golden Gate Girl (1941).

At the age of three months, Lee Hoi Chuen, his wife Grace and baby Bruce returned to Hong Kong where Bruce would be raised until the age of 18. Bruce’s most prominent memory of his early years was the occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese during World War II (1941-1945). At the age of 13, Bruce was introduced to Master Yip Man, a teacher of the Wing Chun style of gung fu. For five years Bruce studied diligently and became very proficient. He greatly revered Yip Man as a master teacher and wise man and frequently visited with him in later years.

As a nine-year-old, he would co-star with his father in The Kid, also known as Kid Cheung and My Son A-Chang, is a 1950 Hong Kong drama film starring the then 9-year-old Bruce Lee in his first leading role in the title role of “Kid Cheung”, based on a comic book character written by Yuen Bou-wan, who also has a role in the film. Co-starring Lee’s father, Lee Hoi-chuen.

In high school, one of Bruce’s accomplishments was winning an interschool Boxing Championship against an English student in which the Marquis of Queensbury rules were followed and no kicking was allowed.

-As a side note- John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry , was a Scottish nobleman, remembered for his atheism, his outspoken views, his brutish manner, for lending his name to the “Queensberry Rules” that form the basis of modern boxing, and for his role in the downfall of the Irish author and playwright Oscar Wilde. Lord Queensberry’s son Alfred had a relationship with Oscar Wilde-

Bruce was also a terrific dancer, and in 1958 he won the Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship. He studied dancing as assiduously as he did gung fu, keeping a notebook in which he had noted 108 different cha cha steps. In addition to his studies, gung fu and dancing, Bruce was also a child actor under the tutelage of his father who must have known from an early age that Bruce had a streak of showmanship. By the time he was 18, he had appeared in 20 films.

Lee finished high school in Edison, Washington, and subsequently enrolled as a philosophy major at the University of Washington. He also got a job teaching the Wing Chun style of martial arts that he had learned in Hong Kong to his fellow students and others. Through his teaching, Lee met Linda Emery, whom he married in 1964. By that time, Lee had opened his own martial arts school in Seattle.

Just as Bruce was cementing his plans to expand his martial arts schools, fate stepped in to move his life in another direction. In August of 1964, Ed Parker, widely regarded as the father of American Kenpo, invited Bruce to Long Beach, CA to give a demonstration at his First International Karate Tournament. A member of the audience was Jay Sebring, a well-known hair stylist to the stars. Jay told his producer client, William Dozier, about having seen this spectacular young Chinese man giving a gung fu demonstration just a few nights before. Mr. Dozier obtained a copy of the film that was taken at Ed Parker’s tournament. The next week he called Bruce at home in Oakland and invited him to come to Los Angeles for a screen test.

The rest of course is Hollywood history.

On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong to have dinner with actor George Lazenby, known for his roles as James Bond in “Her Majesty’s Secret Service” with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee’s wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. at home to discuss the making of the film Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee’s colleague Betty Ting Pei, a Taiwanese actress. The three went over the script at Ting’s home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.

Later, Lee complained of a headache, and Ting gave him the painkiller Equagesic, which contained both aspirin and the tranquilizer meprobamate. Around 7:30 p.m., he went to lie down for a nap. When Lee did not come for dinner, Chow came to the apartment, but he was unable to wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, and spent ten minutes attempting to revive Lee before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Lee was declared dead on arrival at the age of 32.

The untimely death of Bruce was not the only tragedy to fall on the Lee family.

On March 31, 1993, Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee was filming a scene in The Crow where his character is shot and killed by thugs. In the scene, Lee’s character walks into his apartment and discovers his fiancée being beaten and raped. Actor Michael Massee’s character fires a Smith & Wesson Model 629 .44 Magnum revolver at Lee as he walks into the room.

In the scene preceding the fatal scene, a gun was loaded with cartridges from which the crew had removed the powder charge, so in close-ups the revolver would show normal-looking bullets. The crew had neglected, however, to remove the primer from the cartridges. This caused one of the rounds to fire and lodge a bullet inside the barrel. For the fatal scene, which called for the revolver to be fired at Lee from a distance of 3.6–4.5 meters (12–15 ft), the emptied cartridges were replaced with blank rounds, which feature a live powder charge and primer, but no bullet, thus allowing the gun to be fired without the risk of an actual projectile. When the blank round was fired, the bullet lodged in the barrel was propelled forward with almost the same force as if the round were live, and it struck Lee in the abdomen.

Brandon Lee was rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina. Attempts to save him were unsuccessful and after six hours of surgery, Lee was pronounced dead on March 31, 1993 at 1:03 pm, aged 28

sources

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033669/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

https://brucelee.com/bruce-lee

https://www.biography.com/actor/bruce-lee

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Happy Birthday Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on the 16th of June in Ulverston, Lancashire in England, 1890. His father was a vaudeville performer and this led Stan to being a stage performer too. He didn’t get much schooling and this resulted to the joining of Fred Karno’s Troupe where Stan understudied the future star, Charles Chaplin. In 1912 they went on a tour to America where Chaplin remained, but Stan went straight back to England. In 1916 he returned to the States and did an impersonation of Charlie Chaplin and the act was called “The Keystone Trio” and it was quite successful. What I find ironic is that although there is no doubt that Charlie Chaplin was a genius, his comedy dated badly. Whereas Stan Laurel’s comedy, and especially as part of the comedic duo Laurel and Hardy, it still is fresh today. It was actually quite progressive. The movie ‘Brats’ is about 2 dads staying at home, minding the children, while the wives are out for the night, this was in 1930.

He appeared with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles. However what most people don’t realize is hat he appeared in 67 movies without Oliver Hardy, albeit it mostly short movies.

‘The Lucky Dog’ (1921) was the first film to include Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together in a film: prior to them becoming the famous comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy. Although they appear in scenes together they play independently of each other. Stan is the star of the film and Ollie is only in a side role.

It was in 1925 that Hardy and Laurel had met again at the Hal Roach studios and at that point in time Laurel was directing movies at the studio with Hardy in the cast for a couple of years. Among these films were Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) and Wandering Papas (1926) written & directed by Stan Laurel and starring Babe who now acted under his real name, Oliver Hardy. In 1926 they began appearing together but not yet as a team. One of the directors at the Hal Roach studio known around the world as director of such great movies The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) and Going My Way (1944), Leo McCarey joined these comic geniuses and an immediate partnership unfolded. Laurel & Hardy had appeared as funny as they could be in Putting Pants on Philip (1927) which led them to stardom. They made films for another 20 years. Laurel & Hardy are now known as one of the best comedy teams. They retired from films in 1950. In 1953 they went on tour to England and Ireland for a farewell tour. where they performed in variety halls.

In the 2018 film Stan & Ollie, Steve Coogan portrayed Laurel.

There are very few people who can make you laugh just by looking at their face, but such was the genius of Stan Laurel, his expressions were enough to get you in a burst of laughter.

Of course there was much more to his comic genius than just his face. One of my all time favourite quotes comes from the aforementioned Laurel & Hardy movie Brats. ” You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”

A few moments before he died , on February 23,1965, he told his nurse ” I would like to go skiing” The nurse said “I didn’t know you were a skier” . he replied ” I am not, but I’d rather to that than this”.

He also had said ” If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to them again” Until his last breath he remained a funny man.

At his funeral service at Church of the Hills, Buster Keaton said, “Chaplin wasn’t the funniest. I wasn’t the funniest; this man was the funniest.” He was interred in Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

Dear Sir. thank you so much for making me laugh and making me realize how important humour is, to get through life.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0491048/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

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Why I hate Metallica’s “One”

Growing up in the Netherlands there was a tradition on Good Friday. Every year on Good Friday the Dutch radio would play the ‘Top 100 of all time’, basically the greatest songs ever recorded. The majority would be rock songs.

The top 4 would always be ‘Child in Time’ by Deep Purple; ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin; ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, and ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles.

I would be totally happy with these 4 songs in the top spots, sometimes the sequence of the position would change but I didn’t care about that, because they also happened to be my favourite songs of all time. I would find it difficult enough to place them in a sequence of 1 to 4.

Then Metallica decided to release the album “… And justice for all” on the album was a track called ‘One’ of 7.27 minutes long. How dared they messing up my 4 favourite songs. Immediately after I heard the song for the 1st time, all the others were put in a shadows. Decades of finding the 4 perfect songs for me, destroyed.

Recently I went for a walk, as I would do for every walk I plug in my earplugs into the phone, select the music player, and listen to the music whilst on the walk. This time however, I was nearly home when ‘One’ came up on the player. it forced me to extend my walk by 7+ minutes. 7 minutes of missing out on a lovely cup of coffee.

That, ladies and gentleman. is why I hate ‘One’ by Metallica so much. Because the song is addictive and it is impossible not to love.

Even the video is so compelling to watch. It is intercut with scenes taken from the 1971 anti-war film ‘Johnny Got His Gun’.

In this tragic, dark, anti-war movie , a patriotic young American in WW1 is rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack, played by Timothy Bottoms. Trapped in what’s left of his body, he desperately looks for a way to end his life.

Metallica could have taken scenes from any other war movie but no they had to choose ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ ,written and directed by Dalton Trumbo.

Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10. How did Metallica know that aside from music my other passion is History? How did they know I would be compelled to research that video? In a pre internet and Google era, that was not an easy task.

I am sorry to do this to all of you but I have no choice but to end this piece with that notorious piece pf music I hate so much, and yet I love it more then any other piece of music.

Veit Harlan-Messenger of Evil.

Although many German film makers left Germany in the 1930s, because of the rise of the Nazism, propaganda minister Göbbels still had quite a pool of film makers to help him produce a great number of propaganda movies.

The most famous and probably prolific was Leni Riefenstahl. But a close second was Veit Harlan.

After Adolf Hitler came to power, Harlan -unlike many German film directors – decided to remain in Germany. He embraced the new Nazi regime with both arms and directed several pro-Nazi propaganda films for the new Nazi regime , with his 3rd wife Kristina Söderbaum in the main parts. Considered to be the worst of these was the universally reviled Jud Süß (1940), a virulent anti-Semitic propaganda piece masquerading as a period piece melodrama. After the war, he was charged with crimes against humanity because of this film, but in 1950, after several court trials, he was acquitted twice and released. Both acquittals remain controversial to this day since the ruling judge had previously worked as a judge for the Nazi regime and since Harlan’s works had been proven to have contributed hugely to spreading the antisemitism in Germany, which enabled the Holocaust.

His first wife Dora Gerson was one of the victims of the Nazi regime, she was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau on February 14, 1943.

There are some fascinating connections to Veit Harlan. His son, from his second marriage to Hilde Körber, Thomas Harlan was an author and film director who created a semi-documentary film in 1984, “Wundkanal” (“Wound Passage”), in which his father, played by a convicted mass murderer, is forced to undergo a series of brutal interrogations into his war crimes. Thomas Harlan’s final publication, issued posthumously, entitled Veit, was a memoir in the form of a letter to his father, continuing the investigation into his father’s actions during the Nazi regime.

The mass murderer(turned actor) in the film Wundkanal was SS Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Filbert, responsible as the first head of SS-Einsatzkommando 9, a mobile killing squad, for the murder of more than 18,000 Soviet Jews – men, women and children. Filbert was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1975.

Susanne Körber, one of his daughters from his second wife Hilde Körber, converted to Judaism and married the son of Holocaust victims. She committed suicide in 1989.

Veit Harlan’s niece, Christiane Susanne Harlan, German born actress, dancer, painter, and singer took the name of her second husband, the legendary Jewish director Stanley Kubrick. Her married name was and still is Christiane Kubrick.

Christiane did act in a few movies like in ‘the Path to Glory’ She said she was ashamed to come from a “family of murderers” but was happy that Kubrick’s Jewish family accepted her despite her ties to Harlan. They remained married until Stanley Kubrick’s death in 1999.

She painted for her husband’s films; the paintings seen in the Harford’s apartment in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) are hers, as is the large painting of seed boxes in the writer’s home in A Clockwork Orange (1971).

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0473583/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0363234/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

Donation

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview -the actual facts.

I usually don’t do celebrity blogs but I felt I had to do one because I think making such a big issue about the interview while we are in the middle of a pandemic, where millions of people have dies and who knows how many more will die is disgusting. No only that but it will make the divide of those who are privileged and those who struggle bigger and will give fuel to the expansion of both far right and far left extremism.

No one should be denied the right to voice their grievances . However it is a different story when these grievances are within a family, and especially direct family.

The wider audience should be spared that, it should stay within the family. I don’t mean when there is any physical abuse or sexual abuse, then of course everyone should know about it.

However this was not the case with Meghan and Harry. The worse accusation there was racism, but it was an allegation based on hear say . Meghan told Oprah that Harry was asked by another member of the family what colour skin the baby was going to be. What I find bizarre about that, Harry wasn’t there when this allegation was made. He joined the interview later. So why not wait to talk about that until Harry was there? What we have now is hear say. Even Meghan’s own father has his doubts.

The other ‘bad’ thing was that Harry’s dad ,Prince Charles, had not spoken to him in a while, or would not answer his calls. You would nearly say that Harry is a teenage boy who needs his Father’s guidance all the time. But he isn’t his a 35 year army veteran, who served in Afghanistan. Dear Harry my dad didn’t talk to me form age 9 to 27 ad I didn’t even make such a big deal about is as you did.

Coming back about the whole issue of racism. Things are often said within families which may sound horrible to an outsider but really is just banter within the confined environment of the family. I have said horrible things about my family in the past and sometimes still do. However if Harry really wants to make an issue about that, he seems to have forgotten this incident at a party in 2005.

Four years later in 2009 he used a racist term against a Pakistani soldier.

Meghan made a big deal about her children not having a security detail assigned to them, paid for by the tax payers , well guess what there are billions of children across the world who don’t.

Also Meghan and Harry decided to leave the confines pf the royal family and move to Canada and then Los Angeles. Waiving all royal titles and responsibilities, knowing that this would result in not having a security detail assigned to them anymore. So what is the point she was actually making?

Meghan and Harry have a combined net worth of about 50 millions US dollar, also they have secured a deal with Netflix worth 100 million US dollar. I think they are well placed to afford paying for security themselves.

then it takes us to one of the reasons why they left Britain, it was the scrutiny of the media. Harry also compared the situation to hat of his mother. He has often said in the past that the press and mainly the paparazzi killed his mother Diana. There is no doubt that Diana was hounded by the paparazzi but she was killed because of the fact that her driver was speeding into a tunnel and he was also drunk.

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna16120237

As you can see the above article about the report that tests proved Diana’s driver was drunk, is from NBC the same broadcaster who broadcasted the interview, so if Harry doesn’t believe those reports why would he sign up to do an interview with Oprah on NBC? The word that comes to mind is hypocrisy

The whole issue about escaping the media is non sensical, Meghan is an actress, media is what she does . Not even mentioning the times they were photographed for a fee by the likes of Hello magazine and others.

Meghan also said that the actual wedding was more or less only done as a media event. They actually got married a few days earlier with only them two and the bishop . This of course can not be true because it could not have just been the 3 of them, it would also have legally required witnesses. So this kind of makes me doubt the validity of that claim and in fact all the claims she made during that interview.

I actually should not call it an interview what it really was, was a rant of 2 very privileged people talking to a billionaire media mogul.

I always respected Oprah Winfrey but lately I have been questioning her integrity. During this interview she didn’t ask any probing questions, it was really just a matter of agreeing to what Harry and Meghan said without exploring the validity of their claims.

A few months ago I saw Oprah interviewing a group of wealthy African Americans about white privilege. As I said I always respected Oprah and was also impressed by her integrity but I feel she has lost some of that.

One last point on the Harry and Meghan interview. That point is the timing of it. Aside from the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and by the way I didn’t see any of them wearing a mask, where so may have died and other will be suffering for years to come. Talking about the issues you have with your family in front of a global audience shows very little respect and compassion for anyone but yourself, On top if that, Harry’s 99 year old grand father is in hospital recovering from a heart operation , far as I understand, given the fact he is 99 means there is a high chance he may not recover, Then there is Harry complaining that his own father doesn’t call him, I don’t know but could that have something to do that Prince Charles is worried about his own father?

Just Cool

When I look at some actors and other celebrities nowadays and lsiten to them preach to us, I wonder is it because they are just very bland?

Whatever happened to just being cool like the stars from days of yor. These are just some of them. I won’t put any names down, that is your homework for today to find that out, You will know most of them though.

Recorded today 80 years ago- Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

On January 2, 1941 The Andrew Sisters recorded “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” which became a major hit for The Andrews Sisters and an iconic World War II tune that was written for the Abbott & Costello comedy film, Buck Privates.

The unknown original movies.

Who doesn’t know the classic movie Ben Hur starring the legendary Charlton Heston, which won 11 Oscars Most people will have seen it.

However what many don’t realize that the 1959 version had in fact been the 2nd remake of the story of Ben Hur, The 1st time it hit the screens was in in 1907(pictured above) and the 2nd cinema release was in 1925, although it had an alternative title then “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”

Who could forget the classic 1944 thriller “Gaslight ” starring Charles Boyer and the stunning Ingrid Bergman. A movie that has become a classic in so many ways and even resulted in a verb being created “Gaslighting” a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group.

But the story had first been adapted as a play in 1938 and had been made into a movie in 1940, starring Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard.

A movie that makes a comeback every year around the Christmas season is “The Wizard of Oz” the 1939 classic starring Judy Garland which initially flopped at the box office but is now seen as one of the all time classics. It was just a technically brilliant movie that it still looks fresh in 2020,81 years after its first release.

But as the the other 2 movies mentioned earlier. the 1939 version was in fact a remake of the 1925 movie starring Dorothy Dwan.

Next time you say you don’t care much for remakes better make sure you are not actually watching one.

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Source

IMDb

Interview with Ferne Pearlstein- Director of “the Last Laugh”

 

This is the interview I did with Ferne Pearlstein , director,writer and producer of “the Last Laugh”

A documentary where world-famous comedians including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, and Gilbert Gottfried pitch in with their own views on the boundaries of comedy.

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https://www.imdb.com/video/vi1303361817?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_2

Stan Laurel-16 June 1890-23 February 1965.

Stan

There are very few people who can make you laugh just by looking at their face, but such was the genius of Stan Laurel, his expressions were enough to get you in a burst of laughter.

Of course there was much more to his comic genius than just his face. One of my all time favourite quotes comes from the Laurel & Hardy movie Brats. ” You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead”

so much has already been written about Stan Laurel, that’s why I am fouussing on his last few moments on this earthly soil.

A few moments before he died , on February 23,1965, he told his nurse ” I would like to go skiing” The nurse said “I didn’t know you were a skier” . he replied ” I am not, but I’D rather to that than this”

He also had said ” If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to them again” Until his last breath he remained a funny man.

Dear Stan Laurel on this your 55th anniversary, I salute you and thank you for the many laughs you have given me, and indeed still do.

This is footage taken at his funeral.