I have written a book on innovation called ‘Ask for the Moon’. In it I use Shaw Brothers Studios and their production of kung fu movies in the 60s and 70s as a case study to interrogate the tension between business model innovation and artistic innovation. People might think that chopsocky and innovation are odd bedfellows. Well, they’re wrong. Read this blog from the book’s website to find out why I chose innovation as a theme.
“An astonishing number of kung fu movies are about innovation. A common feature of the genre, and one that is often held against it, especially by Western viewers, is a recurring plotline that underpins these movies time and time again. If classic Hollywood movies relied on the boy-gets-girl / boy-loses-girl / boy-gets-girl-again story arc (and, funnily enough, this isn’t held against this genre) then kung fu movies often have the following:
- Villain slaughters hero’s entire family and nearly does for the hero, who escapes by the skin of his teeth;
- Hero, knowing he can’t beat villain, as he is a far technically superior fighter, goes into hiding and broods on how he can extract revenge on the bastard;
- Hero has a flash of inspiration and discovers or invents or adapts a technique or weapon that can counter the villain’s technical advantages;
- Hero kills villain.
Thus, in Executioners from Shaolin (1977)…
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