Monday, November 28, 2005

"Watchaa....!" Bruce Lee would have been 65 yesterday...

To the words of Jeff Ooi, I am tad disappointed that the Project Petaling Street bloggers have failed to see the obvious, that yesterday was the birth anniversary of martial arts icon, Bruce Lee.' Oopps...I'm not 'the most influential blogger', so sorry, if I have offended you with this statement.

OK...OK...before you start throwing stones at me, I was also caught unaware that 27th November 1940 was the birthdate of Bruce Lee, the legendary martial arts icon. Just happened to turn on Channel 5 and saw the had a medley of Bruce Lee and other martial arts movies. So just Googled it and found that yesterday was actually his 65th birthday.

From Bosnia to HK, Bruce Lee's legacy looms large on his birthday
Both Bosnia and Hong Kong, his hometown, unveiled statues of Bruce Lee to mark the 65th birthday on Sunday of the late movie star credited with introducing kung fu to the world.

Strong winds blew off a cloth covering a bronze likeness of a muscular Lee, torso bared, set in a harborside perch against Hong Kong's stunning skyline, as Lee's trademark howl was played over an audio system and white smoke was released.

Fans from as far away as Africa, Britain and Jamaica attended Sunday's unveiling ceremony in Hong Kong.

On Saturday, another Lee statue was inaugurated in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a war-ravaged city where Lee has been held up as a symbol of unity for Roman Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosniaks, traditionally enemies.

Addressing the crowd at the Hong Kong unveiling late Sunday, Lee's younger brother, Robert, said, "I think he really deserves this."

Lee soared to stardom in the early 1970s with an intense fighting style and by portraying characters that defended the Chinese and working class against oppressors.

He died of an edema, or swelling of the brain, at age 32 in 1973 in Hong Kong, with just four completed movies under his belt.

Robert Lee said a legacy of his brother is his message of individual expression.

"He always wanted to tell people what a person can do to be able to express himself or herself (to) the fullest," Lee said.

The two-meter (6.6-foot) -tall Lee statue in Hong Kong comes more than three decades after his death. Some believe Lee is underappreciated in his hometown and the place where he first made his name.

Hong Kong's government didn't contribute much to the statue, Bruce Lee Club Chairman Wong Yiu-keung said. Donors included local comedian Stephen Chow of "Kung Fu Hustle" fame and Betty Ting Pei, the actress romantically linked to Lee and in whose home Lee died.

But the Hong Kong Tourism Board is promoting "Bruce Lee Festival," a weeklong program of movie showings and Lee site visits following the statue's inauguration.

Officials also hope the Lee statue will draw more tourists to its location, the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong's equivalent of Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Wong said the statue and the festival had cost more than 800,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$103,170; euro88,130).

Asked about Hong Kong's belated recognition of Lee, Robert Lee said, "It's never too late."

The new statue of Bruce Lee.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Bruce Lee nor martial arts movies. But let us see some of the influence that this truly legendary icon had in the entertainment business:

1. The resemblance of the costume of 'The Bride' of Kill Bill with Bruce's.

2. The resemblance of Kungfu Hustle actor, Stephen Chow Sing Chi with Bruce Lee.

3. Hell...even Taiwanese hearthrob Jay Chou (and his mumbling of songs) looks like Bruce Lee.

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