by Clincy Latimer    

      

It has been 30 years since Bruce Lee flashed across the silver screen, dramatically displaying the lethal art of Chinese Gung Fu, and it has taken that long to bring the REAL art of Gung Fu back to the silver screen.

Dr. Z, actor, producer, director and the Grandstudent of the late Bruce Lee does not resort to the run of the mill camera tricks which are widely used in today's martial arts movies. He doesn't have to.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Z's introduction to Gung Fu began at the age of five when his grandfather took him to the park to practice Tai Chi Chuan every night after dinner.  Later on during his teenage years, Z took up several styles of Chinese Gung Fu before leaving for America to persue a college education.  While earning two Doctorate degrees, Dr. Z studied Jeet Kune Do, the art created by the late Bruce Lee, and was honored with teaching status in 1989.  Among his classmates was the late Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee.

Dr. Z worked on a number of martial arts films while simultaneously establishing a highly successful practice as the sports doctor and acupuncturist for many Hollywood stars, directors, and stuntmen. However, once he became more serious about his film career, he lost most of his Hollywood clients, who now perceived him as a rival.  The cut-throat world of film production in Hollywood turned out to be a far more challenging arena for the doctor to succeed in than he had anticipated.  Dr. Z, however, viewed this not as a hurdle, but as an opportunity to expand into the San Francisco Bay Area, where indie films are more welcome than in Los Angeles.  Dr. Z started hosting radio and television shows in San Francisco and quickly established himself as the Gung Fu doctor who takes it to the screen.  The unique character of being a doctor, martial arts master, and film producer earned him admiration and recognition among high school kids, college students, martial arts enthusiasts, and health professionals.

"Chasing the Dragon", which will be released on DVD December 2005. simultaneously with Dr. Z's other films "American Hwang Fei Hung"® and "Combat Mortal" .  Shot in the San Francisco Bay Area by Dr. Z while he maintained his medical practice in Los Angeles, "Chasing the Dragon" is not about drugs or opium, says Dr. Z.  Instead, it tells the story of an individual's relentless struggle to make a film in Hollywood and deliver it to the silver screen and his encounters with many of the darker aspects of film making.

"Actually, the dragon is the symbol of authority in Chinese culture.  It signifies power, success, optimum health, and ultimate immortality.  This film is my effort to redefine the entire term and connotation in honor of my Grandmaster, the late Bruce Lee", says Dr. Z.

The martial arts choreography in the film demonstrates the authentic techniques of Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do.  No fake camera angles, wires, cheap trickery, or break-away props were used in the action scenes. Real glass, lamp shades, and light bulbs were used.  "Only authentic stunts.  We do it for real and the audience knows and appreciates it", says Dr. Z.

"Chasing the Dragon" is part of Dr. Z's mission to carry on his Grandmaster's quest of showcasing true Chinese martial arts to the Western world.  "Even though, Bruce Lee's efforts have opened up martial arts to the world, there have been too many imitators of the Grandmaster in the media whose sole purpose is monetary gain. Today, even when the image of the chop chop coolies has faded, there are still a lot of meaningless roles played by Asians on the screen. My Grandmaster used to say: in the United States, the true image of the Orientals should be shown."  This film is also Dr. Z's effort to redefine the Chinese role on the silver screen, maybe not in Hollywood, but for sure in San Francisco!

Dr. Z is also the creator of "American Hwang Fei Hung"®.  Hwang Fei Hung is the beloved and legendary healer and martial artist in Chinese culture.  With "American Hwang Fei Hung"®. Dr. Z carries on this tradition in the modern world and offers a wide array of health services, products, and ancilliary merchandise.


Movie Facts:

  • No breakaway props were used during the filming of "Chasing the Dragon".   Bottles, glasses, and lampshades were shattered, tables and bookshelves were broken for real.
  • All martial arts techniques and choreography were performed authentically with no fake camera angles or phony antics.
  • This marks the first time a follower of the late Bruce Lee stars in and directs a major motion picture to be shown in American cinemas.

 

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