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Hong Kong action cinema

Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling, aesthetic traditions and filmmaking techniques, to create a culturally distinctive form that has a wide transcultural appeal. In recent years, the flow has reversed somewhat, with American and European action films being influenced by Hong Kong genre conventions; the first Hong Kong action films favoured the wuxia style, emphasizing mysticism and swordplay, but this trend was politically suppressed in the 1930s and replaced by kung fu films that depicted more down-to-earth unarmed martial arts featuring folk hero Wong Fei Hung. Post-war cultural upheavals led to a second wave of wuxia films with acrobatic violence, followed by the emergence of the grittier kung fu films for which the Shaw Brothers studio became best known. Hong Kong action cinema peaked from the 1970s to the 1990s; the 1970s saw a resurgence in kung fu films during the rise and sudden death of Bruce Lee.

He was succeeded in the 1980s by Jackie Chan—who popularized the use of comedy, dangerous stunts, modern urban settings in action films—and Jet Li, whose authentic wushu skills appealed to both eastern and western audiences. The innovative work of directors and producers like Tsui Hark and John Woo introduced further variety, with genres such as heroic bloodshed and gun fu films, themes such as triads and the supernatural. However, an exodus by many leading figures to Hollywood in the 1990s coincided with a downturn in the industry; the signature contribution to action cinema from the Chinese-speaking world is the martial arts film, the most famous of which were developed in Hong Kong. The genre emerged first in Chinese popular literature; the early 20th century saw an explosion of what were called wuxia novels published in serialized form in newspapers. These were tales of heroic, sword-wielding warriors featuring mystical or fantasy elements; this genre was seized on by early Chinese films in the movie capital of the time, Shanghai.

Starting in the 1920s, wuxia titles adapted from novels were hugely popular and the genre dominated Chinese film for several years. The boom came to an end in the 1930s, caused by official opposition from cultural and political elites the Kuomintang government, who saw it as promoting superstition and violent anarchy. Wuxia filmmaking was picked up in Hong Kong, at the time a British colony with a liberal economy and culture and a developing film industry; the first martial arts film in Cantonese, the dominant Chinese spoken language of Hong Kong, was The Adorned Pavilion. By the late 1940s, upheavals in mainland China—the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, the victory of the Communist Party of China—had shifted the centre of Chinese language filmmaking to Hong Kong; the industry continued the wuxia tradition in Cantonese B movies and serials, although the more prestigious Mandarin-language cinema ignored the genre. Animation and special effects drawn directly on the film by hand were used to simulate the flying abilities and other preternatural powers of characters.

A counter-tradition to the wuxia films emerged in the kung fu movies that were produced at this time. These movies emphasized more "authentic", down-to-earth and unarmed combat over the swordplay and mysticism of wuxia; the most famous exemplar was real-life martial artist Kwan Tak Hing. A number of enduring elements were introduced or solidified by these films: the still-popular character of "Master Wong". In the second half of the 1960s, the era's biggest studio, Shaw Brothers, inaugurated a new generation of wuxia films, starting with Xu Zenghong's Temple of the Red Lotus, a remake of the 1928 classic; these Mandarin productions were more lavish and in colour. They were influenced by imported samurai movies from Japan and by the wave of "New School" wuxia novels by authors like Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng that started in the 1950s; the New School wuxia wave marked the move of male-oriented action films to the centre of Hong Kong cinema, which had long been dominated by female stars and genres aimed at female audiences, such as romances and musicals.

So, during the 1960s female action stars like Cheng Pei-pei and Connie Chan Po-chu were prominent alongside male stars, such as former swimming champion Jimmy Wang Yu, they continued an old tradition of female warriors in wuxia storyte directors of the period were Chang Cheh with One-Armed Swordsman and Golden Swallow and King Hu with Come Drink with Me. Hu soon left Shaw Brothers to pursue his own vision of wuxia with independent productions in Taiwan, such as the enormously successful Dragon Inn. Chang remained the Shaws' prolific star director into the early 1980s; the early 1970s saw wuxia giving way to a new and more graphic iteration of the kung fu movie, which came to domin

Benni Efrat

Benni Efrat is an Israeli painter, sculptor and filmmaker, born in Beirut, Lebanon. Benni Efrat immigrated to Palestine in 1947. From 1959 to 1961, he studied at the Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv under Yehezkel Streichman. From 1966 to 1976, he lived in London. Benni Efrat was one of the first of Israeli Conceptual artists and influenced others in this direction, his works were systems of components which spoke for themselves and sought to represent no more than the sum of their parts. In the mid-1970s his displays were accompanied by films, on the back of which the artist had painted. After settling in New York City in 1976, became involved with conceptual art, producing drawings and photographs that explore energy and the perception in sculpture. Efrat lives in Belgium. 1966 America-Israel Cultural Foundation 1969 Sixth Paris Biennale for Young Artists 1974 Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art, Israel Museum of Jerusalem 1992 America-Israel Cultural Foundation Visual arts in Israel Benni Efrat collection at the Israel Museum.

Retrieved February 2012. "Benni Efrat". Information Center for Israeli Art. Israel Museum. Retrieved February 2012. Art of Benni Efrat at Europeana. Retrieved February 2012 Bex, F. W. van Mulders, H. van Pelt, Beyond Surface: Peter Berg, Benni Efrat, Tim Head, Buky Schwartz, Antwerp. Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, 1980. Gintz, Benni Efrat: Quest for Light, Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, 1982. Ikon Gallery, In fusion: New European Art: Ben Bella, Carlos Capelan, Benni Efrat, Chohreh Feyzdjou, Claudio Goulart, Ying Liang, Lea Lubin, As M'Bengue, Flavio Pons, Felix de Rooy, Ohannes Tapyuli, Birmingham, UK, Ikon Gallery, 1993. Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, Nature's Factory, Winter 2046, 1888: Benni Efrat and Ronny SomeckWinter 2046, The Israel Museum, 1998. Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, Benni Efrat: Putney Bridge, 1976. Printed After A Film Projected on a Blackboard and Scribbled on With White Chalk, New York City, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1977

Paulo Afonso Falls

Paulo Afonso Falls is a series of waterfalls on the São Francisco River in the north-east of Brazil adjacent to the city of Paulo Afonso. They stand up to 275 feet high; the falls consist of a steep rapid that descends 80 feet and drops a main plunge of 260 feet into a narrow gorge. Upstream of the falls, a hydroelectric dam, the Hidrelétrica de Angiquinho blocks the flow of the river. Prior to the damming of the river in 1948, the average water flow over the falls was over 2,832 m3/s, floods exceeded 14,158 m3/s; the Paulo Afonso Hydroelectric Complex that grew from the original plant was known as Complexo Hidrelétrico de Paulo Afonso in Portuguese, or locally as Paulo Afonso. This, plants, such as the Hidrelétrica de Xingó downstream, near the town of Piranhas, provide much of the region with electric power. List of waterfalls by flow rate