Wasp and Orchid

Martial Arts Choreography Film Series and Seminar

presented by d. g. eng

Wasp and Orchid

“Wasp and orchid, as heterogeneous elements, form a rhizome. . . . At the same time, something else entirely is going on: not imitation at all but a capture of code, surplus value of code, an increase in valence, a veritable becoming, a becoming-wasp of the orchid and a becoming-orchid of the wasp . . . these two becomings interlink and form relays in a circulation of intensities pushing the deterritorialization ever further.”
  – Deleuze and Guattari

The immense influence of Asian action cinema on American films is both readily apparent and often overlooked. Movies such as The Matrix, Kill Bill and the overseas success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (all choreographed by the renowned Yuen Wo Ping) brought a particular aesthetic of stylized violence to a mainstream audience: the pupil-pumping flashes of multi-perspectival editing; mesmerizing scenes of swordplay and gravity-defying qing gong; the elaborately detailed dance of the fight sequences, where whirlwinds of limbs deliver and deflect blows with hyper-real speed and dexterity. The evolution of these techniques can be traced back to the early Chinese kung fu and Japanese chanbara films of the 60’s and 70’s (Shaw Brothers, King Hu, Akira Kurosawa) up though the pioneering work of Hong Kong action cinema during the 80’s and 90’s (Ringo Lam, John Woo, Jackie Chan), whose approach to the depiction of conflict assumed bold and idiosyncratic strokes.

This film series explores martial arts choreography in its most inspirational and innovative forms. Each screening highlights a particular martial arts style, choreographer, or individual actor and actress, featuring cinema from China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and beyond.


Jan 25 2009 at Betalevel

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

May 19 2006 at Betalevel


May 22 2005 at Betalevel


SATURDAY April 23 2005, 8pm at BETALEVEL

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martial arts choreography film seminar

* About the logo:
The “Wasp and Orchid” logo was originally used by the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil [formerly here]. They had apparently failed to probe the deeper implications of the image until a clogged server [courtesy boingboing] made them wake up and smell the roses.

As an example of cultural interpenetration and the painful pleasures of translation, Superbunker is pleased to pull this logo out of its memory hole and stick it where the sun don’t shine — the Wasp and Orchid martial arts choreography series!