There are a great number of directors out there that deserve a lot of recognition for the things they’ve done. Stephen Chow is one of those that not only has an impressive list of films to his credit, but also has managed to capture the attention and imagination of viewers worldwide. His talent and vision have managed to create a wide array of films that have made him famous and allowed his career to continue throughout the years, building a solid base upon which he’s stacked innumerable credits and a great number of accomplishments. Just taking a look at his filmography you can imagine that this guy has been insanely busy over the years trying to build a legacy, and after almost four decades of being in the industry that legacy has been, for the most part, assured.
He started out as an actor.
A lot of directors tend to start out acting. It’s a gateway of sorts for many of them to get the hang of what it takes to be in front of the camera so that they can learn how to direct a little better once they get behind the camera. Having both perspectives is important to any director since it gives a much better balance to the movie and allows the director to better understand what their actors are going through and what they might be able to expect from certain situations. Those directors that have not stepped in front of the camera are still bound to be great at their job, but there is a definite plus to having been an actor before being a director.
He got his inspiration to act from a Bruce Lee movie.
Chow watched The Big Boss, shown above, and was instantly hooked. Because of this film he decided to become a martial arts star like his idol and would eventually enroll in a school where he could learn such skills, and how to act. In 1988 he made his big break into film with the movie Final Justice. Before that he’d done a lot of TV and had been on his way to becoming a big star. By the time he made his film debut he was already gaining in popularity and was becoming a big star in his home country of China.
He didn’t start directing until the early 90’s.
It takes a while for an actor to really make that jump sometimes and become the person giving direction instead of taking it, and Chow seems to have taken things slowly in order to build up to this point. The first film he directed was titled Flirting Scholar, which is about a man looking for a wife that is more appreciative of his skills. The funny thing about this movie is that after all the struggle and hardship the main character goes through, he still ends up with a woman that has just as many vices as the eight wives that he wanted to escape from.
Of course the movie that a lot of people might know Chow the best for is one that is equal parts ridiculousness and compelling story line, Kung Fu Hustle. Despite being one of his most well-known films across the world it was incredibly silly but also very entertaining. The story of a young man living by the rule of a gang and somehow becoming a Kung Fu master is one that seems to fit Chow’s level of storytelling and for that it was kind of ridiculous is still considered to be a cult classic in the states. Stephen Chow is definitely a visionary for the kind of work that he’s done and has made a living out of surprising people with his films. Not all of them have been his best but he has managed to create a wide range of films that have entertained people for many years now.
Any career spent in film is going to be one that’s kept under scrutiny for some time to come, and with Chow’s career it seem that the same holds true. Like every director that’s ever come along he’s managed to push through some projects and thoroughly enjoy others. His use of martial arts movies as some of his best has had a large part in making him the legend he is today. While some of them are a little suspect in their story lines and don’t always seem to make sense he does manage to incorporate enough satire and action within them to make watching them all the through worth it. Given the vast number of actors and directors that deal with martial arts in their movies and have made it into something of an over-saturated market, the fact that Stephen Chow has been as popular as he has been for so long is amazing. But thankfully he’s just that good, as he’s proven more than once.