Daily Archives: March 30, 2010
UPDATE: Link fixed!
This intentionally goofy 70′s kung fu movie is one of my favorites. Here’s a review that explains its charm quite well. Lots of screenshots, too.
Just bear in mind that Shorty and Fatty are dubbed to sound like Stan & Ollie….
Here’s the opening credits, demonstrating the basic moves behind monkey kung fu, and playing some funky Seventies music with brass.
Apparently, this movie was directed by the same guy who brought Jackie Chan his big breakthrough.
Those crazy Wolverines from U of M have found themselves a genuine mystery in the ancient Italian town of Gabii.
Gabii was one of Rome’s early neighbors and rivals in the surrounding region of Latium, occupying a highly defensible position between lakes. It sat on top of a big chunk of fireproof volcanic rock, though, so when Rome grew powerful, it built itself bigger by diminishing Gabii. However, as it became a backwater, Gabii had a second life as a Roman lake resort town.
There were eleven classical statues found at Gabii and put in the Borghese Museum. Napoleon bought them and stuck them in the Louvre. There was also a beautiful colored mosaic floor found in the ruins of a villa in Gabii, which Borghese sold to Hervey, the Earl of Bristol, for use at his country seat. I’m looking for a picture of that.
St. Symphorosa’s husband St. Getulius was supposed to have hailed from Gabii. He decided to retire from the Army without asking because of his Christian views, and was executed with six relatives and converted friends for his pains. St. Primitivus, one of them, had his body thrown into the lake; St. Exuperantius recovered it. So Gabii had ruins of an old church of St. Primitivus, at least in the 19th century.
Here’s Gabii on Google Maps. See where it says you’re looking at what used to be Lake Regillus, of the famous battle?
At the moment there’s no Street View, but there’s some kind of panorama thing from Google Earth. It apparently points you right at the temple of Juno.
Here’s an old book describing a short jaunt from Rome to the ruins of Gabii, along the Via Prenestina. Very useful for identifying what you see on Google Maps.
Apparently, Funimation is releasing a whole bunch of Shaw Brothers kung fu flicks on DVD. (Via Instapundit.)
The exciting bit is that one of these is a flick called The 14 Amazons. It’s based on the old story called The Yang Heroes.
The Yang clan was famous for being a clan of great military skill, producing many generals. Of course all the men went to serve the emperor in his army, when they were old enough, leaving the capable women of the clan to run things at their border home. But then there was a sudden invasion of Hsia barbarians, and every man in the Yang clan got killed.
As often happens in this sort of tale, the surviving female members of the clan just designate the eldest girl a boy, for all military and clan leadership purposes, and go on. (Since this came out long before the Mulan story was on American radar, a lot of reviewers mistook this point. But the actress is playing a girl whom everyone knows is just pretending to be a boy for clan purposes; the actress is not playing a boy. This is courtesy of the Amazon reviewer, who references Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s website.) There are a lot of women running around Chinese opera getting mistaken for boys, or disguising themselves as boys for various reasons. So the convention is just to take the costume as totally convincing, like the way nobody ever recognizes Superman when he’s wearing glasses.
But unfortunately, when the Yang ladies sent a warning to the emperor that his borders had been breached, he decided to send negotiators instead of armies — and the barbarians weren’t interested in negotiations. Out of time, and with nobody else able to save their country, the ladies of the Yang clan ride out to take care of the matter themselves….
This movie got a lot of awards and kudos back when it was made, for paying attention to the rigors of a pre-modern military campaign and for showing the bonds between women in a clan and household. I always like best the martial arts stories with historical weapons, so this is right up my alley.
Re: the abuse case of the late Fr. Lawrence Murphy, as reported all over the place, the judicial vicar from Milwaukee back then has written a very interesting article about the case. It appears in the Catholic Anchor, an archdiocesan newspaper out of Anchorage, Alaska. Here it is with Fr. Z’s interesting glosses. (Because canon law has its own weird way of putting things, and it’s easy for us non-lawyers to miss significant wording.)
Why did such an article, with such in-depth information, appear only in Alaska?
As the writer says: “The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself.”
Even the news media have reported that when matters were originally reported to the civil authorities, they did not believe the deaf children and refused to prosecute Fr. Murphy. This was never pursued further by civil authorities, in any of the waves of attention to clerical child abuse. As part of cleaning house, it was the archdiocese that pursued the matter. A little late, you might say, but it was done.
One interesting part is that the ex-vicar general claims in this article that all the quotes attributed to him from handwritten notes were not handwritten by him, and that he can’t imagine who they did come from. He notes that the lack of factchecking wasn’t what he was taught to do in journalism class….
Here’s the most important quote: “….on the day that Father Murphy died, he was still the defendant in a church criminal trial.”
Which I can believe. Canon law investigation and trial is slow and careful.
The article ends with something I haven’t seen in quite a while — his email and phone number. Obviously, he is begging for reporters elsewhere to call him and get the story.