Guest Blogger: Oscar Agramonte
“I don’t think people realize that’s a Styrofoam cup.”
I’ll get back to that in a minute, but the point has to be made that this movie, as great as I feel it is, is not complete. It just can’t be. When you are trying to tell a story as rich and full of amazing stories as that of Grand Master Pui Chan it is impossible to fit it all the specifics in one feature length documentary.
So, some of the people interviewed had to be cut out. Many of the back stories couldn’t be fully realized. “Director’s cut DVD,” Mimi keeps saying whenever anyone who knows the stories brings them up.
Looking at the end product I can’t help but be impressed at how Mimi finished and edited a film where she was so close to the subject. There are many themes in Pui Chan: Kung Fu Pioneer and the hope is that people leave seeing the movie realizing and appreciating the overall positive message conveyed. I think back to when Mimi was editing and I wanted her to spend more time discussing all of the ways that people (so called friends, former students) have been so disrespectful to Grandmaster Chan over his long career. You know the audience loves drama (or in my case you can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the boy). In the end, the right choice was made. Grandmaster Chan’s story has enough action, drama, excitement to keep the audience entertained and it could be shown by not digging too deep into all the negative stuff.
Once when discussing Mimi being an instructor and already getting let down by former and maybe even current students Grandmaster Chan said with a smile, “Don’t worry, Mimi’s problems are like little pebbles at her feet. Looking back, I’ve had boulders as big as mountains and everything is still ok.”
So back to the Styrofoam cup… If you are planning on seeing the movie, all I’ll say is YES that is what he is balancing on. If you already saw the movie and don’t know what I’m talking about don’t worry, go watch it again on October 20 or 21 at the Orlando Film Festival or hopefully at a Film Festival near you.