If you want a movie icon, you don’t have to look much further than Bruce Lee. The films, to be honest, were variable – although I’ve always loved Fist of Fury – but Bruce himself, in the true manner of the star, rose above the material. There’s something about his physicality – that almost balletic mixture of grace and intensity – that made it impossible to take your eyes off him. After A Fistful of Yen, I thought I would be unable to ever watch Enter the Dragon with a straight face again, but oddly, once I did, it sucked me in once again.
So I’m glad to see, on the 36th anniversary of his death, that Bruce’s siblings have given their blessing to a series of biopics, which they hope will give us an insight into what he was really like:
Producer Manfred Wong said at least three films were planned, with the first focusing on Lee’s teenage years.
Wong added he wanted to focus on the late actor’s personality in the trilogy.
“There will be kung fu, but more importantly, we want to portray the real Bruce Lee. What is the real Bruce Lee like? He was very humorous. He was very obedient to his parents. He was very kind to his family,” he said.
Robert Lee said he wanted to give an authoritative account of his brother’s life saying: “We’ve read many books and seen many movies about Bruce Lee, but there are many inaccuracies in them.”
Phoebe Lee added: “I’m more than 70 years old. I want do something for my younger brother – to promote Bruce Lee’s life story.”
And good luck to them. Bruce the icon is familiar to us all, Bruce the person is more of an enigma. I just hope the movies have the execution they deserve.
And, just to end on a whimsical note, this provides me with a legitimate excuse to use a pic of one of my favourite public monuments, the statue of Bruce Lee in Mostar, Bosnia. The gold-plated bronze statue was unveiled in 2005 as a gesture of reconciliation, after some local artists had been searching for a cultural figure who both the Croats and the Muslims could unite around, and figured that everybody loves Bruce Lee. Now why can’t DCAL splash the cash to get us something like that?