Silent But Deadly

While Bruce Lee and the Shaw Brothers may have popularized kung-fu films in 1970s America, the genre certainly didn’t start in that decade. The Bowers Museum is screening Red Heroine, a silent, Chinese, kung-fu film from 1929 (with a female protagonist, no less) and the only one of its kind to survive in entirety. Worried that some of the impact of the fight scenes will be lost without the trademark woosh and slap sound effects that make later films so ridiculously entertaining? Well, the Bowers has enlisted the aid of the Devil Music Ensemble to provide live accompaniment for the film. With thundering drums and ehru, Devil Music Ensemble more than make up for the lack of spoken dialogue and hokey folly. Here’s hoping that one day, posters of the Red Heroine may occupy the same prominence as those of Bruce Lee in adolescents’ weight rooms.

Fri., Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m., 2008

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