Sunday, July 19, 2009

yearly anniversaries, birthdays and more

This time of year there are several birthdays and an important milestone. Tomorrow Dame Diana Rigg turns 71. She is 10 years older than I am, and that means I'm moving along as well. July 26 is Kate Beckinsale's birthday. And by an odd twist of fate Tomorrow July 20th is also the yearly anniversary of Bruce Lee's passing. So quite a busy week.

As I've mentioned before both Bruce Lee and Diana Rigg were on the ABC winter tv schedule Friday nights. "The Green Hornet" was on at 7:30pm, and "The Avengers" at 10 pm. Both actors were instrumental in their own way for paving new ground in the way Asians(and non-whites) and women were viewed. Both are crucial for the way society now views Asians and women. Diana Rigg's Emma Peel was a radical departure from the way women were viewed both on tv and in society. She was and is very strong. Dame Diana has her sun in Cancer conjuncted with the planet Mars(warrior energy) and her sun is also conjuncted by the planet Pluto(power). So she has the astrological energy of a very powerful woman. And yet her sun sign is Cancer, so she has a very strong feeling sense.

I am not well versed in Bruce Lee's astrology. But he was a non-white hero and an Asian at a time when Asians on the screen were often times played by non-Asians, and were either diabolical masterminds such as Fu Manchu or simply comic figures. I'm sure the popularity of Hong Kong action films as well as Jackie Chan and Jet Li owe a lot to him. Having watched his films recently, he had a touch with comedy( Way of the Dragon and Fist of Fury especially) and was very expressive with movement and gesture. I think he was and would have gone on to be an even greater actor.

Kate Beckinsale has her Mars in her first house(Aries) and it is also in its own sign. That also gives her quite a bit of warrior energy. She is by far my favorite of the younger generation of actresses. I protested the fact that she was not in Underworld 3 by only going to see the film once and by not buying the dvd. I recently saw it again on dvd and it is a fine action film. Michael Sheen is excellent. But it is not the same without Kate. I hope they do an Underworld 4 soon with her in it.

I found the following video on youtube. Bruce Lee guest stars in an episode of "Ironside". It is revealing in that this is the way martial arts were viewed back then. The actors and actresses were coached and were themselves largely not experienced with hand to hand combat. So watching Bruce Lee move was a revelation. His moves were real. His skill very tangible. His counter to a judo throw is both very skillful and extremely athletic. Diana Rigg was much better than the people shown in this clip. I believe with good instruction, she could have been a great martial artist. I still enjoy watching Mrs Peel move. And Kate in the Underworld movies has had the advantage that choreography has grown by leaps and bounds since the '60's and '70's. Still she has a great feel for guns and the close in in'fighting scenes. I like that her combat style is not Hong Kong cinema but more a combat aiki jutsu mix. Throws, strikes as throws, very little kicking or aerial work.
If I were casting a new Avengers movie she would be my choice to be Mrs Peel. And if he were still alive, maybe we could cast Bruce Lee to be the son of John Steed and an oriental woman. Interesting.


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