Gentlemen of Intriguing Appearance: Bruce Lee
This one is going to be shorter than usual, quite simply because my familiarity with Bruce Lee’s film work extends to only Enter the Dragon (which struck me more as interesting part of martial arts film history rather than necessarily a great film in and of itself – certainly representative of it’s time in fascinating ways).
Of course, I know well who he is, and what he means to modern martial artists; during my teenage years doing karate, despite it not being his own discipline, his name came up, and always with admiration. Not only was he partly responsible for the popularisation of Asian martial arts outside of Asia, but he was also a martial artists of incredible skill and insight – and you can still see that in clips of him fighting in his films. One benefit of the older films is the lack of rapid cutaways that are used so often in modern cinema that it gets kind of dull. At least with Enter the Dragon you get to see more of the fight and what the fighters are actually doing.
Rare for this series too is the profusion of shirtless pictures – I am hampered by the fact that there are more of Lee shirtless than not online – yes, hampered. It is a tragedy really…
Having said that, those striking male bodies that seem to work for a lot of women don’t give me the same kind of the thrill most of the time; heavy musculature and ripped abs are impressive, but not compelling. However, knowing the amount of work Lee put into his, and what he was capable of doing with it… well, I’m intrigued, no question.Watching him interviewed now, you can see someone under whose skin is simmering a ferocity and passion for his work that is very compelling.
I suspect also that there is a leanness to Lee, the kind of fighting cat frame the suggests the action he is capable of. In that way, it is as much an admiration for his focus and drive, wanting to possess some of that, as it is enjoying looking at him.
Oh, and you know what’s really cool and totally relevant to my interests? His name (stage name) in Chinese, is Lee Little Dragon (李小龍). Little Dragon! Awesome!